Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The 37th week in your baby's development

Hi Latichia! Does Tyler become very distressed when you leave him? Yes, at times. In fact just yesterday when I got to Memaw's house to pick him up I came in and spoke to him and got up to go to the bathroom and he cried like his heart had just broken into a million pieces!! When I came back to him, he reached for me and just grinned! He is still learning that even though he can't see you, you still exist. The concept of time is still new to Tyler as well, and he's uncertain when you'll come back. Here are five suggestions to help make goodbyes easier:
Establish a goodbye ritual. He says Bye now and waves his little hands. It's so cute!!Follow through after saying goodbye and leave quickly. Returning or waiting for Tyler to stop crying may prolong the distress.
Provide Tyler with a favorite toy or object to hold or cuddle when you're gone. Some children are comforted with a blanket or something that smells like you, such as your sweater. He doesn't really cry when I leave him in the mornings yet. But, I know it will come soon enough.
Gradually introduce new people and places. Allow time for Tyler to become familiar with a new caregiver (my husband's mom keeps him and he is very content with her) or place while you're still there. Begin leaving him with a caregiver for just short periods of time and visit new places a few times together before leaving Tyler there for longer periods of time.
Try to avoid leaving Tyler when he is tired, hungry or sick.
Tyler will take behavioral cues from you, so don't act anxious or guilt-ridden about leaving. If you make a big production out of it, so will he.

If you decide to introduce pureed meat to Tyler's diet, start with small portions, and be sure the meat is tender, thoroughly cooked, and pureed. Depending on how many teeth Tyler has (still only two...but those top two are really trying to pop through) and how long he's been eating solid food, you can try a few small chunks of meat. Remember to introduce new foods one at a time, several days apart. Tyler's taste buds are still getting used to the taste of food, so don't add any seasonings including salt, spices, herbs, sugar, honey, butter or margarine. He doesn't need much protein now and is probably still getting enough from your breast milk or formula. (He drinks decaffinated, unsweetened tea with dinner and he loves that!!) You may want to prepare yourself for Tyler's first bowel movement after eating meat. A good sturdy clothespin should do the trick. I can promise you, after he starts eating meat you'll no longer wonder whether he has had a bowel movement or not. You'll definitely know. (That's kind of an odd thing to post...but it was there, so I just cut and pasted. *LOL*)_Take a moment to double-check Tyler's sleeping arrangements. He will be standing and pulling himself up soon (if he isn't already), (It is...we never changed it from when Shelby was in it, so it's always been lowered. But, I don't usually raise the rail. I need to get into that habit) so you may need to lower the mattress in his crib so he will not accidentally fall out if he stands up and leans against the railing.

A Tip from the Trenches
Watching you leave teaches your child an important coping mechanism and is an important developmental step. Don't sneak out - this will leave your baby unsure of where you are and what has happened to you when you're suddenly gone. Have Brien or the sitter stand at the door with Tyler and wave goodbye to you as you leave. If he sees you get into the car and drive away, he knows you're gone and won't spend any time looking for you in the house. It's an honest approach and your child will respond to it better than if you sneak away.

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