Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 13: Wonder Week 37

My favorite baby development book is The Wonder Weeks, and I just picked it up again the other day to see if Carter was at the next stage yet. Carter is 35 weeks adjusted age, and the next "wonder week", in which babies start to be able to view the world in terms of categories, starts around 37 weeks. Babies go through a really fussy stage right before they reach a new wonder week, and the book gives lists of the sorts of behaviors you can expect to see. Here's the list for WW 37:

  • Is frequently bad-tempered or cranky. Check. He's been generally grumpy over the last couple of weeks, so much that even Michelle has commented on it.

  • Is cheerful one moment and cries the next. Check. He can pause mid-fuss to laugh and grin, and then go right back to fussing. I was thinking some of this was teething-related, but who knows?

  • Wants you to keep him busy. He was doing this up until a few days ago. Now he can actually play by himself on the floor for long periods of time.

  • Clings to your clothes. Check. He's never been a particularly clingy baby, but last night there were a couple of instances where he grasped my shirt in big handfuls and pressed his face against my chest, and wouldn't let go.

  • Acts unusually sweet. Check. He's starting to figure out that when he's cute and smiley, he gets more attention.

  • Throws temper tantrums. Check. This is another recent development, though it's only happened a few times. One that really stands out was when I needed to put him down to go do something in the kitchen, and so I put him in the exersaucer. The moment his feet touched bottom, he screamed and actually stamped his feet! I got him out and laid him on the floor instead, and he was just fine. (See the second item above.)

  • Is more shy. Check. He will take a few minutes to warm up to us when we first come home, and will actually physically turn his head away.

  • Wants physical contact to be tighter or closer. I'm not sure about this one. Of course, I've been wearing him in the sling his whole life, and that is sort of constantly tight.

  • Sleeps poorly. Check. He's seemed a lot more restless lately, which I have chalked up to his working on crawling.

  • Seems to have nightmares. Check. He will often wake up and cry a little, and then go back to sleep.

  • Loses appetite. I don't think I would characterize it that way. He is really easily distracted and doesn't nurse for much more than a few minutes at a time, but compensates by nursing more often. He's just as interested in trying new foods as he was before.

  • Babbles less. Check. I was really relieved to see this one on the list!

  • Is less lively. He has more stretches of relatively quiet time every day, so I think so.

  • Sometimes just sits there, quietly daydreaming. Check. LOL!

  • Refuses to have diaper changed. Check. Unless it's poopy, and then he seems relieved. He also hates being dressed in general, and having his arms put into long sleeves in particular.

  • Sucks his thumb. He's never really been a thumb-sucker. He does do more comfort-nursing at while sleeping, though. I'm not sure if that counts.

  • Reaches for a cuddly toy. He reaches for all sorts of toys. He doesn't seem to have a particular favorite that I can tell.

  • Is more babyish. This one seems in the book to be about the baby regressing a bit. He's recently starting blowing raspberries a lot again, after not doing it for a while. Otherwise, I'm not sure there's anything I can identify that seems more babyish. I mean, he *is* a baby!

In the next few weeks, I should see him start to recognize categories of objects in real life, in pictures, and on TV. It should start to become clear that he understands a few words. He should also start to show that he recognizes emotions in others, and show some empathy. I see some evidence of some of that already, so I think he's on his way!

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