Week 5: Leap Week
It was in week five that I realised I no longer had a newborn baby! Things had definitely begun to change and all the changes I posted about in week four, especially the cranky behaviour, all pointed to the signs that Scout had begun going though her first leap. A leap is like a growth spurt but signals mental development; my bestie introduced me to the concept and the app called The Wonder Weeks and each developmental leap is broken down, from behavioural changes to what they would have learnt once the leap is over.
In this week I noticed that she began developing a preference for who could pacify her, mom being the first choice which meant that dad began struggling to settle her; she wanted close bodily contact all of the time. It was also this week that she slept a little less and wanted to be spoken to and ‘entertained’ while she was awake. Her newborn clothing got tighter and I felt I needed an aid for my arm because she also began getting heavier. I was pleased to notice that she travels really well; car rides are mostly peaceful and she sleeps most of the time while we are out, allowing for some social time and grocery shopping to take place.
This week I found that she:
· Became more aware of her surroundings and waned to be awake.
· Began using her legs to push away from me and would mock-stand on my hands.
· Bobbed her head against my shoulder while I was winding her (which shows neck strength that develops well with lots of tummy time).
· Responded with slight movement to her feet being tickled.
· Recognised herself in the mirror.
· Responded to whispering in each ear.
· Pulled really funny faces when new smells were introduced.
· Noticed the television but did not pay full attention (yet!)
Our playtime included:
· Singing of nursery rhymes.
· Spending time in front of the mirror for her to recognise herself.
· Introducing new and different smells to see her reaction (e.g. my hands after eating an orange or scented body creams).
· Whispering information in different ears and noticing how her head turns in response.
Week five felt almost like an extention of week four with on-going leaps in her development (see what I did there!). Week six saw us explore life outside of the home and we also attempted bottle feeding, so continue reading for the update on week 6!
Week 6: Trying something new
As we approached six weeks of her life, I decided that it was time for me to start going out with her on my own. We attended our first Mums and Munchkins bible study at church, where mums get together and read the word in a space that allows for the busy/ noisy nature of young children. It was here that I was reminded how important it is that mom maintains her interaction with the outside world if she is to feel happy and whole; it is only when mom is well that baby can continue to thrive as stimulating a child requires patience and energy, which is vital for their development. I also made sure that both Scout and I were napping together on a daily basis.
It was in week six that my milk supply settled. I want to address this because I did not know what was happening as no one had told me that at some point your body learns how much your baby needs in terms of feeding. I’d noticed that my breasts were softer and that the feeling of engorgement had disappeared; I thought it meant that my supply was decreasing when it was only settling. Out of panic I began pumping, which resulted in an over-supply. I then had to resort to block feeding to help my supply settle again and we have had a better breastfeeding journey since. (Should I do a post on this experience?)
We also tried introducing a formula feed at night and it was not working. Scout spat up most of the formula and became really windy with the bottle feeds. So we laid off (later discovering that the teat of the Tommy Tippee was too fast and that she preferred the Nuk teat as it matched that of her pacifier).
This week I noticed that:
· Her neck became noticeably stronger as she was now able to turn her head while lying on her tummy.
· She wanted to be awake and stimulated for up to two hours.
· She napped a lot less, so finding games to play became important.
· Scout focused on the television – I used that information to track her eye movement and get her to concentrate, which I will elaborate on in the ‘playtime’ section of this post.
Our playtime included:
· My getting her attention in the mirror and then moving my hands to show her her different body parts, naming them only when she looked at them.
· Tummy time on my lap.
· A rattle to help get her attention, thus encouraging her to lift her neck more during tummy time.
· Songs that included hand gestures, to which she reacted. E.g. Sally the camel and other nursery rhymes (you can really make up hand gestures to any song).
Overcoming the milk supply issue as well as traveling on my own with my baby were the highlights of this week. Realising that you need to stimulate a baby can be quite challenging so it is best to be prepared with little games that will keep them stimulated while encouraging their development. I use google and the app The Wonder Weeks (mentioned in week five) to help me formulate age-appropriate games. Watching her learn is absolutely fascinating and I look forward to sharing how much she’s developed in the weeks to come.
Until my next post,