LEARN ABOUT MY
BABY'S DEVELOPMENT

Formerly the Welcome Baby Newsletter

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Month 6: Newsletters for Weeks 22, 24

Week 22

This feature article offers suggestions for simple, time-tested games that you and your baby can play together anytime, anywhere.

Community Resource: California Poison Control

Hair color, window spray, vitamins – dangerous? Could be. Small children are especially vulnerable to poisoning by common household products if accidentally swallowed, overused, splashed in eyes, or spilled on bare skin.

 

The Help Line’s medical staff can give treatment advice or answer questions on any poisoning topic, from food poisoning and allergic reactions to bug bites, household chemicals, toxic plants, and more. Available 24/7, 365 days a year. Language interpreters are always available.

Games Babies Play

Simple games can be fun for both you and your baby. Enjoying them together will help her feel safe, secure and loved, as well as support her mental development.

 

Little Piggies

Use this old favorite as you gently wriggle each of baby’s toes or fingers. “This little pig went to market; this little pig stayed home; this little pig had roast beef; this little pig had none; and this little pig cried wee, wee, wee all the way home!”

 

In China, the toes are cows: “This little cow eats grass; this cow eats hay; this cow drinks water; this cow runs away; this little cow does nothing but lie down all day!”

Recite nursery rhymes as you use two fingers to “walk” from baby’s feet to neck and then neck to feet. A good rhyme for this is “Hickory Dickory Dock.”

 

Who’s There?

Position a mirror so that you’re sure your baby can see himself. Point at his reflection and say him name. Use his name frequently.

 

Peek-a-boo

Hide your face in your hands or with a blanket, then peek out, saying “Peek-a-boo?”

 

The Beehive

“Here is the beehive. Where are the bees? (Hold your hand in a fist.) “Hidden away where nobody sees, soon they come creeping out of the hive.” (Relax fist.) “One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Bzzzz!” (Extend thumb, then other fingers in turn and make a buzzing sound).

Pat-a-cake. Take your baby’s hands and gently pat them together as you recite: “pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker man! Bake me a cake as fast as you can! Pat it, and prick it, and mark it with a B. Put it in the oven for baby and me!”

 

Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension.

 

Photo credit:  http://www.cdc.gov/features/handfootmouthdisease/

 

 

 

Week 24

 

Whether you're a stay-at-home mom or you've gone back to work, chances are you spend a lot of time juggling responsibilities and relationships. This featured article is all about choices, challenges and finding balance, wherever you are.

Balancing Baby, Work and You

As the parent of a 6-month old, you’ve probably returned to full-time work, become a full-time stay-at-home parent, or worked out some combination of part-time work and parenting.

 

Whatever you’re doing it’s easy to envy what you’ve given up. As you get ready for work in the mornings, you may be thinking how nice it would be to stay home in your pajamas snuggling with your baby.

 

Or maybe you’re at home with your baby feeling alone and disconnected as you struggle to find time for your partner and yourself. Isn’t it tempting to remember adult conversation and a paycheck at the end of the week?

 

Like most parents, you probably feel that there just aren’t enough hours in a day. And certainly not in a night. At 6 months, many babies are still waking during the night. Everything seems harder when you aren’t getting enough sleep. Too little REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the period when we dream, leaves us fatigued and makes us more vulnerable to stress.

 

On the Job

According to surveys, the job benefit parents want most is flex-time, or flexible hours. If at all possible, try to negotiate this with your employer. Let your supervisor know that in return you are committed to getting the job done and doing it well.

 

Be sure to hold up your end of the bargain. When your baby is sick, you may be able to bring some work home with you. Maybe you and your partner can alternate taking your baby to doctor’s visits and caring for him.

 

At Home

If one parent is staying home, remember that caring for an infant is more than a full-time job, one that requires breaks (even though they aren’t mandated by law). Let the parent who’s been away share child care in the evening and on weekends, as well as take responsibility for other household chores. Express your support and respect for your partner’s style of child care (and cooking and cleaning), even when it’s different from yours.

 

Enjoying your baby, some free time for yourself, and your partner, if you have one, are higher priorities than housekeeping.

 

Survival Tips

  • Find support. Whether it’s an organized support group or parents hanging out together by the baby swings at the park, it helps to talk about what you’re going through.

 

  • Try exercise. Taking a brisk walk every day, working out with a TV exercise program, or enrolling in an aerobics class can help boost your mood as well as your energy level.

 

  • Pamper yourself. Forget you ever heard “a parent’s work is never done.” Hire a sitter or trade childcare time with another parent. Go out and have fun with friends, your partner, or all by yourself.

Reprinted with permission from Welcome Words, a publication of the Welcome Baby Program of Durham County, NC, Cooperative Extension.

 
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