What can I say about this week? Well, I took a lot of pictures. Aria turned one month old on Tuesday and I had to document this occasion with quite a few variations of a monthly photo: monthly photo on blanket (to show growth), one with mom, one with dad, one with brothers.
Or more like a hundred of each one because that’s how I roll.
I had two sort of big writing projects this week that I needed to get done and spent a lot of time on that. It did end up taking away from my consistency doing her program, even though it shouldn’t have.
In reality her little program takes such a small amount of time that it can fit into any day, but I’ve realized that the problem is not an actual time issue but a focus issue. When my focus is off I simply forget to do things or put them as a low priority.
Aria (definitely, undoubtedly) started smiling back at people this week. It is so absolutely amazing and of all the fantastic milestones it is probably my favorite one.
I wrote last week about how we were possibly seeing the beginning signs of her probably, more than likely smiling in response to our smiles rather than just randomly. You know, the “social smile” that generally occurs somewhere around 6 or 8 weeks but possibly as late as 12 weeks old.
But I wasn’t entirely sure, being the skeptic that I am, thinking that maybe it’s just a coincidence.
However, I can no longer deny it. I lost all denial when I was putting her into her car seat on Saturday and she just gave me the biggest, most beautiful grin, then stopped smiling when I moved my head away, then started smiling again when she found my face again, doing this repeatedly.
Oh my heart.
She had smiled at me, often times while I talked to her, probably a dozen times in the past week or two (age three and four weeks) but I just always played it off as coincidence.
Why I was so doubtful, I don’t know, because all the evidence was there for a while! Silly me.
This is what our program looked like:
- Visual stimulation: lots of high-contrast patterns to look at, well-lit rooms during waking hours, and stimulating the pupils with a dull flashlight (actually, with the screen of my cell phone)
- Motor: tummy time on parent’s or sibling’s chest or bed/couch, tummy time in crawling track
- Stimulating the grasp reflex and babinski reflex (not so much the startle reflex)
- Hanging from my fingers using the grasp reflex
- Face to face conversation
- Vestibular (balance) stimulation activities
And the new things added this week:
- Started a new song: we’re listening to Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67, “Fate”: Allegro con brio (at bedtime and through the night, sometimes during naps)
- New poem (“Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.”)
Aria continues to make progress in her crawling track. She tends to move anywhere from a few inches to a foot or more per session. Each “session” is anywhere from 2-3 minutes to sometimes 15-20 minutes.
This week she generally got about two to four sessions in her track each day. She napped a few times in there too.
I’ve got quite a lot of video of her in her track that I need to edit and find a way to upload. We have absolutely terrible internet right now so uploading videos can be challenging.
I used the Moby Wrap around the house quite a few times this week. Previously I had only ever used it when we were going out.
But as I continue to struggle to “get things done” (cooking, cleaning, homeschooling older boys, and so on) it has been helpful many times when she doesn’t want to be in her track or lying down and just wants to be held.
On a side note, wearing her in the wrap is an excellent way to simulate her vestibular system as we move around.
So vestibular stimulation, skin to skin contact, and an aid to help get things done. Not a bad deal!
Speaking of vestibular stimulation, Aria still really enjoys her balance activities. Particularly the activities where she gets moved around on her mat (back and forth, side to side, and around in circles). She is so calm and just intently watches everything as I move her.
Aria bears weight on her legs more and more frequently now. She has done this since she was just a few days old, but it is more frequently now and for longer durations.
Such a strong girl!
Aria hung independently from my thumbs for the first time this week! Yes, the grasp reflex of many newborns is strong enough to hold their own weight. It’s incredible, isn’t it?
Her grasp reflex was not strong enough to hold her own weight at birth, but it is now. I’d like to think that has something to do with stimulating her grasp reflex so often, as well as doing gentle lifting activities.
It’s fun that she can hold her own weight now because the hanging activities are so fun!
As I mentioned, Aria hit a big visual development milestone, as witnessed by her ability to respond to a smile. On the IAHP developmental profile it is called Stage III visual development: Appreciation of detail within a configuration.
This has caught me a little off guard because I was not planning on starting Stage III activities until she was six weeks old. But as I mentioned in last week’s post she was a little bored from the Stage II silhouette cards, so we didn’t really do any cards this week.
Her visual stimulation was mostly naturally occurring, looking at things across the room, looking at faces, also looking at her picture cards that I have on the ceiling.
We did the flash light stimulations, but not nearly 10x a day.
She startles a lot. She startles more to sudden movement than she does to loud noises, it seems. But because of this, and because she doesn’t usually react to the blocks clapping, I haven’t done the block clapping activities much.
Resources used this week: