Thursday, 29 May 2014

Wonder Week #4 - Part 2

I suddenly remembered that Wonder Week 4 has two parts to it. The first hits around 14 weeks and the second around 19. We are officially in Part 2!

I've realised that one of the key identifiers of Sticky hitting a Wonder Week is she becomes very clingy. In the past few days, she cries whenever she can't see me. This is so out of character that it's the first sign something is going on. 

She becomes upset, starting with a little whinge. She does that a few times and pauses to see if I appear. If I don't, she will slowly build in intensity until she reaches a distressing cry. I normally try and appear before we get to that stage but sometimes I can't get there in time. I make sure I don't pick her up as just seeing me relaxes her. I do tell her to take deep breaths to help calm down and I take them with her. I want to teach her that breathing is a key part of regulating our emotions.

This is the first Wonder Week that I've noticed such significant changes all at once. She's gone through both physical and mental developments.

Physically, she is now showing finer finger movements. She's able to put a finger through a ribbon in her taggy toy, pass a rattle from hand to hand and is grasping anything she can get in her hand. She's also showing more gross motor skills - making the first crawling movements, pushing herself up on her arms, sitting by herself for a few seconds and rolling over from her stomach onto her back.  

Mentally, she's recognising her name and will turn her head to where I'm calling her, or will look up at me. She's also showing more emotions - kicking her legs if she's excited, smiling and laughing if she's happy, crying if she's sad, grunting if she's frustrated and raising her eyes if she's surprised or scared. She's also started baby tantrums, throwing her arms up if she's not happy or impatient.  

I've started labeling these emotions for her so she can start to learn what she's feeling. So I say she's happy, sad, scared etc when I notice she's experiencing an emotion. She has no idea what I'm saying to her but I want her to learn how to identify her emotions. 

The other big change this week is she's showing a lot more interest in food. She's started smacking her lips together if she's hungry, and will mimic my chewing when she watches me eat. I've started giving her a taste of my porridge in the morning by putting a tiny bit on my finger and letting her suck it. She's not quite sure what she's meant to do with it, but I figure I'll do this over the next few weeks and look to introduce food around 5 months.

Given she's got so much going on inside her right now, she's doing amazingly well. Other than the crying when I'm not there, she's her normal, happy self. She's given up her afternoon sleep this week so it will be interesting to see if she returns to that once this Wonder Week passes but I'm ok if she doesn't. It means she's been sleeping from 6:30pm to 8am and I just give her a dreamfeed and another feed at 4am when she stirs. 

The only impact I really feel is the realisation I need to do more with her. She's much more interactive now so I'm taking her to a music class once a week, singing songs, doing puppet shows and explaining the world to her. Next week, we'll start painting and play dough. I go to bed exhausted at the end of the day but it's the most fabulous exhaustion I've ever experienced!

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