Sunday, August 8, 2010

An A-Z of Infants Part III

Tummy Time – In order to help them develop strong neck and back muscles, the experts recommend you give your baby 'Tummy Time'. Tricky loves it and will do little mini push ups and raise his entire chest off the floor, and has done so since he was three weeks old. Strangely though when on his back his head control is still developing (lazy sod!).

Uncoordinated – If you would like a good laugh all you have to do is find a baby and watch it. The number of times they wave their little arms around and end up whacking themselves in the side of the head is amazing. They don't hurt themselves but if they're getting really worked up and manage to give themselves a bit of a smack, the look of surprise on their little faces as they try to work out what just happened is hilarious.

Vision – The distance a newborn can see is approximately 30cm, which is not coincidentally about the same distance between your boob and your face. The vision milestones that a bub has to reach all centre around if they look at your face and then if they track you as you move around. Now that Tricky has mastered tracking he can finally enjoy his mobile that hangs above his cot – he goes very quiet and stares at it – you can actually see the point where the toy goes out of focus and he looks for the next one coming round. There is a slight problem though because the mobile runs on a five minute loop and then shuts off, and he doesn't like that at all. He starts to kick his legs and flail his arms around, trying to make it move again. When that doesn't work he starts to whimper in short, sharp bursts as if he is telling it off, “Hey toys, keep it moving!” These little moans are my cue to run in to the room and start it again, assuring me another five whole minutes in which to finish doing whatever exciting thing I was doing (like folding laundry or preparing dinner).

Wriggly – Like a worm. You have to hold on to the little suckers really tight less they wriggle themselves free. Add to that their out of control heads. I'm amazed at how someone so small can be so strong – strong enough to head-butt me and give me a fat lip.

Xanthochroia – A big long word (thank you, Google) that means yellowness of the skin. However it does refer to patches of yellow and in newborns any yellowness tends to be most noticeable in the whites of the eyes but can be all over (you try and come up with one for X!). It's called Jaundice and is caused by an excess of Bilirubin in the blood. In hospital if I stood by the huge windows in my room with Tricky, in the brightness you could see the tinge of yellow in his eyes – he was my werewolf baby. If it's severe then the bub has to go under UV lights to help break down the Bilirubin, but if it's mild then it actually has a beneficial antioxidant effect.

Yawning – You know how yawning is 'contagious'? If you watch an infant soon enough it will yawn. If your baby is anything like Tricky it will be a big, long, stretchy, all consuming yawn. And then you will follow suit. But it can't happen the other way around. You cannot make a baby yawn because they don't understand what it is. They will copy you and open their mouth wide, but it's not a yawn.

Zzzz – Yeah so I cheated with the Z's (it was the same for the A-Z of Pregnancy) but hey, they do sleep a lot. At the moment Tricky normally sleeps for four hour stretches at night, but occasionally he'll go six. Out of the two I actually prefer the four hour intervals better because each time he goes for six, he will then wake up two hourly the rest of the night, as if to make up for lost time at the boob. Everyone tells you to “sleep when they sleep” but it's not that easy – it takes me an hour to fall asleep at least and during the day Tricky only naps so he'll be awake right when I'm about to drift off. Add to that the endless “I'll just put on a quick load of washing/have a shower/start dinner/cry and rock in the corner” and that siesta just never happens.

Next month I'll be hosting my first competition! To enter you have to be a follower - you can do this by clicking on Follow either at the top left hand corner of the screen (if you're logged in to your Google account) or on the right hand side under the banner. You might already have a Google account and not know it - Gmail, Picasa, YouTube and Blogger are all run by Google so if you're signed up for one of them, it carries over all of them.

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