Leap 2: The World of His Hands
We got off easy this leap in terms of the stormy period and the Three C’s. We really only experienced about a day of him being cranky and fussier than usual, and I wasn’t even sure if that had been the start of the leap or not!
The World of His Hands
The real indicator that it had, in fact, been the leap, was we realized he discovered his hands. We noticed it about 10 days after the fussy day, that Luke seemed to be moving his hands with intention, even though it was very jerky and at first looked random. He was waving his hands in front of his face in a way that wasn’t just the “newborn flail” but like he really meant to.
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What really solidified it for us was watching him as he lay on his back one evening. He turned his head to one side and then ever so slowly moved his hand up to his mouth. It took him nearly a minute, but it was clearly deliberate and he obviously wanted to suck on his fingers. My husband and I turned to one another and said “what a little monkey!” (To be clear, we are very glad that he has hit this milestone, but we are intentional that we would like him to take a soother and not suck his fingers, because his older brother is a finger sucker and has already developed some oral and orthodontic issues because of it.) Over the following days and weeks, we repeatedly noticed Luke moving his hands to his mouth, even sometimes purposely knocking his soother out in order to suck his thumb.
I began watching how he interacted with the toys hanging from his bouncy chair. It was slow at first, and clearly a lot of effort for him, but he had absolutely begun to reach for them. He started paying much closer attention to them when his brother wanted to “help” him play with them than he had in the past. He also has a “baby gym”, a mat with some toys that hang above him, and as we got close to starting Leap 3, we noticed him clearly reaching for and grabbing some of the rings that hang off of it. We have to make sure they’re easily within reach, but he has successfully grabbed at them enough times that he is motivated to keep trying and reaching for other toys.
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We’ve definitely noticed that Luke turns his head toward sounds, especially familiar voices. When he hears his brother or Daddy enter a room and talk to him, he moves quite quickly to turn toward them, and usually accompanies that with a big gummy smile. He also turns his head to look at something interesting to him. The bridge picture is still a favourite, and it’s becoming more challenging to feed him when we’re out in public because there is so much action that he keeps turning his head to look, and his bottle pops out of his mouth!
He has also learned that he can make sounds on purpose. Our little chats that we were having after Leap 1 have become more intentional, and there are some sounds that I think he means to make. He doesn’t just cry now to let us know somethings wrong, but can make other sounds that we’ve learned are his way of telling us something doesn’t feel quite right. And when he’s in a good mood, he has a few loud and happy sounds that everyone loves to hear.
This leap was interesting, because we were lucky enough to not have a rough stormy period … this time. Who knows, maybe he’ll make it up with the next one! But we sure did see a marked difference in our little guy’s ability and understanding of the world around him after it was done.
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