by: Emma Aguirre
My daughter will be five months this weekend. The time truly is flying and until you’re in it, you can’t really understand that concept! People told me that all the time while pregnant. But every day she grows and changes and I really feel like in the last two months, her personality has begun to shine through. It’s so amazing to have a front row seat to this little person! She is incredibly sweet and smiles all the time (we made all sorts of new friends at the grocery store last week!), but she’s also cheeky and has a mischievous side to her (I take full credit for that). She’s beginning to whine when we turn away and instantly grin when we look back at her, and loves peekaboo finally! She also loves to chat, and before bed she usually tells us a story or two.
Dr. Harvey Karp, of the Happiest Baby on the Block, talks a lot about a fourth trimester referring to the first three months of a baby’s life. Now that I’m beyond that newborn stage, I see exactly what he means. My daughter loved to be swaddled, thrived on routine, and ate and slept her days away for the first three months of her life. Things are a little different now. The fundamentals are the same – the eating and sleeping part, the routine part, and she’s still semi-swaddled – but now, there’s an entertainment factor involved!
I keep a basket of toys in the living room and more often than not you will find us rolling around the floor playing with the rings, or chewing on the plastic keys or shaking a rattle. Her latest trick is turning her arm out behind her like she’s about to bowl. I think it’s the noise the rattles and the rings make when she does it. We might even be gnawing on a book or two, and listening to some bad 80’s music. She’s really into the teething toys right now as well, even though we don’t have any teeth yet. Everything goes in her mouth. I try to switch out the toys with a basket in her nursery so she doesn’t bored every couple of days. I’ve also had to start being vigilant about cleaning the toys. As a side note, I just wash most things in hot, soapy water, but I’ve been reading most hard, plastic toys can go in the top rack of the dishwasher and soft toys can go in the washing machine (incidentally, be careful with Sophie the Giraffe. After I washed her in the sink, she sounds like she has bronchitis now!).
I find it so amazing that when we first put her in the Jumparoo at about three and a half months she really didn’t know what to make of it, compared to now, when she is hitting all the bells and whistles it has and really laughing and watching it just light up. That’s growth right there.
I’m also beginning to notice her likes and dislikes. Today as I was preparing her mangoes on the plastic tray of her highchair, with her in it watching, I moved the container that the food had been in back onto the counter. Instantly, her excitement and ooh’s, ahh’s and big eyes, turned into a quivering lip and a scream! I think she thought I was taking the food away again! I read somewhere that allowing your child to watch you prepare their food is part of developing good eating habits. And apparently it was right! She could not get the mango down fast enough! I had no idea how much she was really taking in until that very moment. Everything we do, everything we teach her, she’s absorbing. Even now, at this young age, her eyes are watching everything we do.