To clarify, we’re not just talking about your kidsーーin fact, all kids. As cute as they are, they’re also quirky. Their nervous systems are immature, they have no life experience, their brains are still developing, and let’s face it, they are not very socially aware. In summary, there is no doubt that what they are doing makes no sense to us.
So, what kind of confusion are you about to face? These six usually pop up when babies are about a year old. Now, when your pride and joy are letting his little monster float, you won’t be so worried.
He’s going through a touching experience
It’s diaper change time, so you do what you usually do and take off his diaper. Except this time, your baby won’t be lying there like he usually does; instead, his hands will move south and stay there. Oh. My. Gosh. Is he feeling it?
Yes and no. DeAnn Davies, director of child development at Scottsdale Healthcare in Arizona, says, “It’s common for babies to start playing with their genitals when they’re 5 to 7 months old. ” . “I promise, for them, it means something completely different than you! ” She explains that babies touch themselves out of sheer curiosity: “At this age, they’re such eager learners and explorers – anything they can touch is fair game.”
Including themselves. “If you think about it, your child also plays with his hands and feet a lot, but it doesn’t grab your attention the way he touches his genitals,” says Peter Vishton, principal investigator at the Center for Research in Child Development at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. Peter Vishton, PhD, adds. He is also the creator of the DVD What Babies Can Do: An Activity-Based Guide to Infant Development. Your baby will probably spend more time in his device than anywhere else because it feels good.
If this makes you feel sick, distract them: Give them a toy while they’re undressing so they have a different focus. Or go with the flow. “Accepting that touching themselves is something kids do is just another way to learn about their bodies,” Davis says.
Is he a bird? Is he an airplane?
A long, long time ago, when the pantry was running out of canned tuna and Kix, women did more than just drive to Wal-Mart. They were nomads, wandering to wherever the food was good. How cruel! And, as you can imagine, babybj ö rns were scarce back then, too. Little ones traveled in their mothers’ arms, and a fall could be fatal. Yes, again, it was so cruel.
Babies adapt to falling by developing a defense strategyーーat least experts believe it’s the formation of an automatic behavior called the Moro reflex. Whenever your infant has a feeling —- whether it’s right or wrong —- that he’s falling or if he’s startled, he may extend his arms out to the sides as if he’s trying to fly. Davis says: “If someone loses control of the baby, this will help him hold on to the baby and buy the mom a few seconds to catch him.” .
While it’s surprising to see Moro in action, it’s actually a sign that your little one’s nervous system is developing properly. Still, “it’s stressful for the baby,” Vishton says. “His breathing and heart rate go up.” So will yours; you’re sure to feel guilty every time you accidentally set off his body alarms. But don’t worry; the reflexes usually subside after three months.
He makes his stand
At about 10 months of age, your baby will reach a cool milestone: he’ll grab a piece of furniture and stand up. This is all well and good, except that he may never know how to sit again! Putting your butt down takes practice and coordination. So be prepared: Davis says, “You may wake up at night to a crying baby trapped in his crib.
It’s OK to lend a helping hand, but don’t be in a hurry to get him spellbound. “Sitting is a skill he needs to learn on his own,” explains Vishton. There’s little chance he’ll hurt himself because babies are comfortable on their bottoms and in their diapers. During the day, put him in a safe place (like the edge of a sturdy couch) and put down a pillow. Soon he’ll be having a good time.
She’s freaking out.
One minute, your baby is lying there calmly. The next minute, she’s shaking like you did when you got the bill for the nursery furniture. What’s going on?
Davis says it’s a temporary phenomenon of the nervous system. “From a neurological standpoint, babies aren’t very good at regulating their movements at first, and you may see some instability. It’s just part of the maturation process,” she explains.
Of course, check her hands to see if she feels cold. You may shiver a little when you get cold, but a newborn will shiver even more, Vishton says. “Babies are born relatively thin because they have to adjust to their mother’s body,” he explains. Your little one doesn’t have a lot of padding to help her regulate her body temperature. She also can’t do the things you do when the breeze blows, like cross her arms over her chest or hold a sweatshirt. This is where shivering comes in handy: when muscles tense and relax quickly, it generates heat. Put an extra layer of clothing on her and see if that helps.
If your child shakes a lot and cries along with it, it’s worth a visit to the pediatrician. But the occasional shiver? Find something else to emphasize (now where did that protocol go?) .
She has a cough.
You’re just at home doing your own thing and suddenly you hear your baby start hacking. You’re eager to find out what the problem is and the answer is: there’s no problem. In fact, she grins mischievously and loudly, coughs exaggeratedly again, and then waits for your reaction. She’s a liar! A cute impostor, but an impostor! Should you keep a poker face, even if it’s very, very funny?
Go ahead and laugh. She’s too young to understand the story of the boy who cried wolf, and besides, her behavior is a charming testament to her growing social awareness.
“Around six months, when the fake cough first starts, babies really start to understand how the world works,” Vishton says. “Your child has noticed that when someone coughs, you’re very concerned, so she’s doing it to get some attention.” Give her the interaction she cravesーーsmile and even fake a cough. “There’s no harm in that,” Vishton says. “It’s hilarious.”
He’s going through puberty
Last week, you cheered when your baby finally shook a rattle or rolled on the floor. Now you hand him his Wiggly Giggler and he just holds it up and says, “What do you want out of my life? “Look him in the eye, or lie face up and don’t roll onto his stomach. (This happens, of course, when you gather the in-laws to see his new trick.) How could he forget?
Just like you forget things you thought you knew, like how to program a DVR, Vishton says. Sometimes, he explains, “even if we succeed at a task several times, our memory of how we accomplished it is incomplete.” . And the DVR is to you what the rattle is to your child. He says: “Kids forget to do things that are easy for us because they’re actually complicated.” .
Another possibility: a new environment ーー say, grandma’s house instead of yours ーー makes him a little disoriented. Or it’s not that your child has forgotten a new ability, it’s just that it’s being fed back to someone else. Sometimes it’s a good thing when your child suddenly stops learning something, even if he didn’t learn it a long time ago, it means he’s moving on,” Davis says. .
You’ll be thinking the same thingーーwondering how that first puzzling but precious year flew by.