Get Physical

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Veronika and I have played games to verbally enhance her self-awareness, and today we concentrated more on physical awareness of her body parts. There are so many ways to talk to and play with a baby about the body, so today that was the focus of our interactions.

First, I sang classic songs like “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” During each diaper change, I took the time to sing the song through, touching each adorable part, from the head…

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…to the toes.

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While we played in the living room, her big brother got in on the action!

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Big sibs will be so proud that they can show baby where each part is.

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I also emphasized body parts at today’s storytime. Where is Baby’s Belly Button, by Karen Katz, is a great example, with fun flaps and big pictures. Veronika loved our several reads of it!

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Finally, don’t forget to sit with your child by a mirror, and point out parts.

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What fun ways do you help your infant learn about the body? Please share in the comments!

 

 

 

Baby’s Daily Routine

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Veronika turns three months old tomorrow, which means her “fourth trimester” is at an end. I love the idea that in the first three months, a baby is like a fetus… but outside the womb. Indeed, I found this concept enormously helpful with both my children. It helped me to understand their needs, their lack of a schedule, their reliance on comfort, and so much more.

But by three months of age, it’s normal to see a routine developing. Sussing out that routine now can be super beneficial in the months to come. It might seem like your baby is still all over the place, but I would suggest that if you track feeding and sleeping cycles for about three or four days, you’ll notice patterns.

I’ve always been a spreadsheet person, tracking numbers and collecting hard data.

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But for an interesting experiment, I decided to try a more visual approach to Veronika’s schedule on the eve of her three month birthday.

I don’t do bullet journaling¬†(or “bujo” for short), but loved this exercise. For four days, I tracked her wake and sleep intervals in bright bold colors. T

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Turns out, she reliably does four short naps, interspersed with wake intervals, and the naps are roughly at the same time of day – more so than I would have thought!

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Your baby’s schedule might look similar (especially if he or she is also being dragged along according to an older sibling’s schedule), or it might look nothing like this at all. What counts is tracking down the patterns in your child’s day.

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Seeing these patterns can help you decide what your baby needs when, and can also help you organize your day as an adult – you’ll know roughly when to schedule appointments, meetings, or other “grown-up” things that need to get done.

Just don’t forget: babies have a habit of changing things on you, as soon as you think you have it figured out! In which case, pull out the bujo and jot down a few more days to suss out what’s new.

Haircut Doll

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This craft is fantastic on so many levels, whether you want to give your kids some practice with scissors, help alleviate fear of the barber shop or hairdressers… Or your kids just want to have fun and pretend it’s a day at the salon!

I made the craft for Travis, but your child might be interested in helping step by step. First, I used a hole punch to punch about 12 holes around the rim of each of two empty toilet paper rolls.

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You can use any color yarn you like for the hair. We stuck with realistic yellow and brown, but why not green or rainbow!

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For each lock of hair, thread a strand of yarn through a hole and knot to secure.

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Once the hair was on, Travis helped pick out clothing patterns for each doll.

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I cut patterned paper into shapes for tops and bottoms. Finally, I added a round face for each with googly eyes glued on.

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Once the glue dried, it was time to head to the barber shop!

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This craft marked a milestone for Travis, moving up from his plastic safety scissors to preschool scissors (these still have a blunt tip, but the blades are real metal). He was so proud!

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He didn’t miss a beat before the snipping began. He loved pretending he was his own barber, making a mess of hair on the floor.

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I watched in delight as the haircuts grew ever shorter.

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Until we had a buzz cut!

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Then Travis decided he wouldn’t be satisfied until each figure was bald!

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(Alas, you’ll notice they lost their eyes in the process, too).

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Overall, this was a fantastic activity: a craft; a fine motor skill builder; an imaginative game, and a way to alleviate fears all in one.

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