Post #1: Imogen Rose In April, At 2 Months
Post #1: Imogen Rose, In April, at Two months of age
Post #1: Imogen Rose: In April, at Two months of age
This is the first in a series of posts about the care of our newest grandchild. My husband and I provide childcare three days each week for our two grandsons who are not twins but could be since they are only 19 days apart. We call them ‘brother-cousins’, and that seems to suit them fine. Today we add their younger sister/cousin to our home for those three days, plus another two with just Imogen and me. As Imogen grows, I will note her development and milestones and provide some information about parenting these young charges.
Our First Day Together
Today is the first day I have Imogen to care for all day. This begins our time together: five days a week, while her mom is at work. There are two three-year-olds already at my house. One is her brother and he is already a doting big brother. The other three-year-old is her cousin and he is a little bit jealous of this new ‘interloper’.
Being jealous of the new baby is a typical thing for the siblings. The baby gets attention – the attention that used to be showered on the older children. Jack tells me Imogen is stinky, she is loud, she should not look at him, she can’t have his toys, and that he is mad. These are all normal emotions and feelings for three-year-old jealousy. Still, we will need to work on his attitude a bit in order for our household to run smoothly.
Imogen, at just over two months (born on February 1st), is beginning to be social. She smiles and her mouth forms what will later be words. She coos very softly and looks intentionally at lights and faces. Faces are the most interesting for her, and she grows socially as we smile and talk to her face-to-face. This will be one way I will gather jealous Jack into the circle of Imogen.
Imogen has already been to the doctor for checkups and for immunizations. She can hold her head up when lying on her tummy. I facilitate her success with this by laying her, tummy-down over one leg, or by placing one arm under her upper chest when she is lying on the table, tummy down. I also hold her in the sitting position with my one hand supporting her upper chest, and the other on her back. This way she practices holding her head up and gets a new perspective of her world.
She likes to walk around and just look at the world, so, we adults in her life, carry her around, showing her the windows, the artwork, the different rooms, the toys and tools. And, her mom and I take her in the front pac, outside on walks around the neighborhood.
Two-month-olds are still regulating themselves physiologically, so I don’t expect Imogen to be on a regular set schedule, but I will encourage her to become more regular in her eating and napping. Her mom is breastfeeding Imogen, and I want to be supportive of that newly formed relationship. I want them both to succeed. It will be important that her mom and I to communicate about Imogen’s pick-up time so I don’t feed her just before mom comes and needs to nurse. This will take some working through, but as we both have practiced this with her first child, we know it how to succeed.
It will help that there are two rowdy three-year-olds playing around Imogen in the morning. This will keep her engaged and awake a bit longer, even though she will take a morning nap. The house is quiet in the afternoon for naptime, and Imogen will be encouraged to nap when the boys nap. I hope that works out, and I will work on keeping her awake until the boys are ready to nap, so I get a time that they are all resting/ sleeping.
This ‘all quiet time’ is important for me to recharge, as well as the children. Even if I get to drink one cup of tea and read the mail, I have averted my attention from childcare, and am able to regroup. The quiet time in the afternoon allows everyone a chance to regroup and be ready to be together again after naptime.
As a thirty-year veteran parenting educator, a long time child care provider, a parent, and now, a grandparent, I recommend a quiet time for all parents of young children, and for parents of older children, as well. This quiet time is akin to the South American ‘siesta’ with a quietening of the household. I turn off sounds, drawn curtains and lower the lights. This changing of environment helps children (and adults) know and feel the quiet time. I do soundless activities like reading or hand sewing, and I expect all the other members of the household to follow suit.
We all need two things that quiet time provides: the first is time by ourselves to just be. This ‘alone’ time is a good way for children to learn self-regulation, self-involvement and that they do not have to be entertained by someone else all the time. Second, especially in our busy, noisy world, we all need quiet time. I would encourage you all to turn off musically devices, digital devices and keep voices low and soft. Hold this time sacred, as all mothers of young children do. Give your household the gift of a quiet time.
Now, if I could convince the airport to avert the planes from one o'clock to three o'clock, we would indeed be in heaven!
After naptime, we will have a small snack and go outside or play. The three-year-olds are beginning to really engage in imaginative play, so I only need supply a few props. Imogen will have a chance to be a ‘prop’ or an audience member in their play. Her world is so much richer with children slightly older than she is, and she will gain much from their social and imaginative interactions.
Baby lifting her head up
The zero to three website offers a variety of support helps to parents and caregivers. Here is the url for their ages and stages information. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/80-birth-to-3-months-your-baby-s-development
And information on sleep here: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1623-new-infant-sleep-recommendations-and-strategies
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just released new guidelines for safe sleeping practices for infants and all children, at: http://search.aap.org/find?source=aap.org&k=sleep%20guidelines
© 2017 agaglia