Week four marked a change in Scout’s temperament and behaviour. I noticed that she became clingier and would want be on the arm to sleep during the day. She also needed pacifying before bed on a few nights, which was not necessary up until this point. She’s become quite alert and wants to be engaged when she is awake. Her feeding time has decreased but the frequency remains the same. With her bouts of crabby behaviour, I did not introduce too many new things this week because I felt that her need for physical contact was the priority and I made sure to respond to that need.
Scout had developed the common rash that new-born babies get around four weeks of age. To remedy her very red and acne-like breakout on her face I visited the paediatrician who recommended using Epimax Junior (the tub with the purple lid) on her face twice a day. I was not seeing enough results and, after reading an article, began using my breast milk on her face with every feed. The rash has since cleared and it took about three days for us to see results.
A few physical changes I noticed this week was that Scout began flinging her arms in the air; it was not the gesturing for us to pick her up but it was something that she often did when she was washed or having her nappy changed. She also began cooing this week (which I find absolutely adorable!) and I heard her scream on two occasions, which is quite exciting as this is the early signs of baby babble and the chattering that will make up our conversations over the next year or so. She also began holding her head up while I brushed her hair, showing that her neck and back strength is improving.
In terms of stimulating her development I have continued with daily tummy-time, increasing the duration to an unbroken six minutes a day. I have continued with song; articles have suggested that the rhythm of songs and the familiarity of the same lyrics encourages their ability to learn language at a later stage. I have also introduced whispering in each ear to stimulate her hearing. While it was suggested that I introduce activities to develop her sense of smell, I found that her fussiness did not quite allow for her to be still enough and so I have delayed this activity.
This week I found that:
- Giving in to some of her physical neediness established comfort and trust between us. My mom reminded me that while it is good to follow tips on rearing an independent baby, that she is still a baby and she will want me to hold her.
- Mother’s milk is literally liquid gold! (goodbye, rash).
- Scout will develop naturally and make strides even without all the stimuli; it does not mean that I will quit stimulating her development or endeavouring to keep her occupied.
- Keeping up with good practices, like song and tummy-time has long-term benefits.
- Babies have good and bad days and it is not necessary to force activities if they are too crabby or not responding to a stimulus. You can always start a week or two later.
- Allowing yourself to cuddle your baby, for whatever reason, is the best feeling in the world!
I’d say that the past week was quite a mixed bag of changes but it taught me that parenting is not a set mould and so I want to remind readers that your babies or the children around you (if you are not mothers and just enjoy these articles) will develop at their own pace. Apart from diagnosed barriers, there isn’t a set time for them to go through changes and they will have their preferences in terms of things that they respond to. I’d like to believe that they are already teaching us who they will become and that we should pay attention to what they respond to. Week five is meant to be a big week as she should go through her first leap. Stay tuned and read next week’s post to find out more about it!.
Until my next post,