During our family trip early November 2021 to Niagara Falls Ontario. I really took in all the sounds and movements my son was making and it became a real bonding experience for me. Learning what it is that makes my baby tic, what makes him happy, or frustrated, and even picking up on his Q’s, I guess Little Caspian (as all baby’s do) really does have a language of his own, (As my Partner Erin tried to tell me prior to leaving on this family adventure), they try to tell us things in this language of theirs, (all the time), like when they are hungry, or need a change, or they are happy with you, or angry. They have subtle signs that tell you everything you need or even want to know about them. I think most stay at home parents probably pick up on these subtleties because they have the time to do so, but a working parent wouldn’t necessarily pick up on them or at least would take a whole lot longer to understand.
My partner, and our son Caspian’s beautiful mother, Erin Coligan, was telling me about these sounds for the past month or so, I was being polite by acknowledging these sounds she was telling me about, or trying to get me to pay attention to. When I told her I understood what she was telling me. She was so convinced our bundle was tying to communicate, but how can a newborn possibly communicate with anyone. All they do is cry, feed, sleep, dirty diapers, and make some seriously strange messes, right?
However on this trip, i really started to hear what Erin had been trying to explain to me for a while now lol. I just figured babies are either happy, or not, ha ha ha. This break was a great idea I learned a lot, and not just about my newborn son either. I learned more about the changes my partner had gone through since the time we got together to the time it took for her to become a mother. The transformation was remarkable. My partner had become a mom.
I would seriously recommend (if possible) for all new families to do a relaxing weekend away. If for no other reason than, it’s a great bonding time after a long, 9 month pregnancy, and reconnecting with your partner the way that you probably had pre pregnancy, this will allow for you and your partner to de-stress a bit, allowing you to spend time as a new family and even getting some time alone with no distractions.
Ok well maybe a little distraction like your Newborn by your side, but you’ll manage, you’ll see.
So the relaxing part was great forsure, usually in the morning before Erin or Caspian awoke for the day. During this time I would head across the street and have a coffee and breakfast sandwich overlooking the Falls and just have a bit of (me time). Something I’ve found no time to do for the past? Well I can’t even remember ha ha ha. It made me think of my poor partner who hasn’t had this time for herself either, so today and tomorrow I made sure to let Erin have some time to herself as well to do whatever she wanted, maybe go to the casino, or go for a walk or sit at a coffee shop, whatever she needed to have her own time and space away from us. The problem was that when she left for her (alone time) she would return in about 20 minutes. She didn’t want to be away from us for very long. Truth be told, I loved her company anyway and was perfectly ok with her being near us. I’m sure soon the time will come she will be fine having some time to herself and she will be perfectly fine leaving us to fend for ourselves whenever she’s ready.
When Niagara was done, we also had a great time on our way home. We took a pit stop in the big Smoke. (Toronto)…..Most of my family and friends live in the Toronto area, and they had yet to meet our little Nugget. So it was time to stop and make time to meet (dads) side of the family before Caspian is no longer an infant.
I have a relatively small family on my side, so first stop was, my folks. Mom has been a bit anxious or nervous to meet our little man, but it was a welcomed visit and many smiles were shared. I think Caspian really took to my dad too. Lol……Then, Off to my Sisters place to meet Caspians Auntie Alex and Uncle John and also his cousins, Xavier, and Zoe. Caspian really took to his cousins can’t wait to see them all again hopefully around Christmas next month.
Well first things first. Happy New Years everyone. As we enter into 2022 I can only hope everyone has a stellar year.
As for myself I am happy to announce, I have received word over the Christmas holidays that an interview I had for a full time Mates position at work, or (1st Officer), back on October has been filled by yours truly.
But that’s not the reason or topic of this entry lol I just wanted to share the news that’s all.
The reason for this post is that over the past few months Erin /my partner and I have been curious to know how our little Caspian has been measuring up with health Canada expectations at his young age? So I needed to start by figuring out what expectations are expected, and at what age.
Ontario health has guidelines that your baby’s should be following month by month. So as for Caspian we now know that he is meeting and exceeding in all the categories they have set forth.
Within the first few months of a child’s life, sometimes Parents get little, to no sleep and are just trying to get to know their baby.
I can remember feeling that the first couple months flew by. Well, I took the first 2 weeks off work to help Erin after her C-section then back to work for 3 weeks. Those 3 weeks did not actually go by fast at all, LOL. They may have in-fact, been the slowest and longest 3 weeks of my life.
But by mid October I was starting my Parental leave for the next 15 weeks, or until early February 2022.
There are so many changes that come so quickly with your baby those first few months let alone that first year!
During this first year, your baby is learning that he or she will be loved and cared for. It is important to foster that development of trust. Don’t let your baby cry for long periods of time, especially in the first 6 months. Crying is your baby’s way of communicating. Soon you will learn what different cries mean, like “I’m tired”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m wet”, “I need to be held”, “I am bored”….Responding to your baby’s needs helps your little one develop trust in you and the world. You cannot spoil a baby! Older children can be spoiled, but not infants, so just enjoy catering to their needs and loving your baby.
Growth and development should be steady and progressive. That is more important than comparisons with other children. It is common for new parents to look at other babies and start to worry and compare. Try not to compare, just know what important milestones your baby should be reaching.
How big your baby is at birth is a poor predictor about the size of your child by adulthood. The size at birth has more to do with the conditions of uterine development. Most children will find their growth curve and stay at that curve. A child that is smaller than 75 percent of other babies his/her age can be perfectly healthy, that may just be the growth curve that child has. By the end of the 2nd year, the size of your child will more truly reflect his or her adult size.
We parents know that our children are special! However, reaching developmental milestones faster than other children does not necessarily predict your child’s intelligence. As long as your child is reaching his or her developmental milestones on target, there are no worries!
By the end of the 2nd month baby should:
- Look at you!
- Start to try to self soothe. May bring hands to mouth and suck
- Begin to smile at people
- Start to coo
- Turn towards sounds
- Follow things with eyes
- Pay attention to faces
- Hold up head and begin to push up during tummy time
Activities for parents:
- Talk to your baby
- Show simple objects
- Give your baby different looks at the world, change his or her scenery!
- Play the silly face game, open and close your eyes, stick out your tongue etc.
- Start the routine of a daily walk weather permitting
- Help baby with tracking objects, babies love mobiles, shapes and movements
- Imitate your baby’s sounds and expressions as your baby starts to learn to communicate
Your baby’s growth:
- Growth should be about 1 ounce per day in the first 2 months
- Growth will continue at about a pound a month after the first couple of months
- Birth weight doubles by 5 months
- Birth weight triples by one year
By the end of the 4th month your baby should:
This is where our son is at right now and I’m pleased to report he is reaching all of the milestones to date.
- Like to play and interact with you!
- Copy some movements and even facial expressions like smiling
- Babble even with expression
- Cry in different ways for different needs like hunger, or being tired, or lonely
- Reach for a toy or rattle
- Track with eyes well side to side
- Be able to roll from tummy to back
- Push up on elbows during tummy time
- Like colors now and be drawn to them
- Continue to talk, talk, talk
- Build reading into your daily routine
- Respond to your baby’s coos and babbles…carry on a conversation!
- Continue to show your baby the world!
By the end of the 6th month your baby should:
- Recognize a familiar face and begin to have some stranger anxiety
- Like to look at self in the mirror
- Use vowel sounds when babbling and takes turns in a “conversation” with you!
- Begin some consonant sounds when babbling
- Respond when you say his or her name
- Transfer things from hand to hand, easy to hold toys are important
- Try to get things that are out of reach
- Roll over in both directions
- Sit with support
- Like to “stand” with you holding and might bounce
- Start to push up and may rock back and forth on hands and knees
- Start to scoot and move arms like a swimmer
- Sometimes show frustration if he can’t reach something he wants
- Teething may begin with the average baby cutting their first tooth by the end of the 6th month
- Should start the “dropping game” between 7 and 8 months (helps your baby learn object permanence)
- Should begin clapping between 7 and 8 months
- Remember stranger anxiety starts at about 6 months and peaks at about 9 months. This is normal. Help your baby by gradually introducing strangers. A stranger is someone your baby does not see everyday! Never force a situation quickly when your baby is afraid of a new face. Hold your baby, sit on the floor and let your baby explore with you holding him or staying near at first.
- Start to teach finger games like “so big”, waving “bye-bye”, playing patty cake
- Continue to read and talk to your baby
- Make sure you are establishing routines, especially bed time and nap time routines
By the end of the 9th month your baby should:
- Begin to have favorite toys
- Understand the word “no”
- Copy sounds you make and gestures you make
- Pick up small things with thumb and index finger “pincer grasp”
- Play peak a boo
- Look for hidden items
- Look where you point
- Sit well without support
- Start to scoot and crawl
- Start to pull up to stand between 9 and 12 months
- Continue to play finger games like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”
- Continue waving bye-bye
- Build things for baby to crawl under and over
- Let your baby play with every day objects like pots, pans, plastic containers
- Encourage your baby to imitate your behavior like brushing hair, talking on the phone
- Encourage pretend play with keys, phones, dolls, chunky trucks etc.
- Play with pop up toys, a jack-in-the-box is a great way to teach object permanence
- Play in and out games
- Let your baby hold your fingers to walk
By the end of the 12th month your baby should:
- Point at items
- Pull up to stand and may walk
- Cruise around furniture
- Squat and stoop to pick up things
- Throw a ball
- Understand one step directions from you
- Turn pages of a toddler board book
- Look for missing objects in last seen location
- Say Ma Ma and Da Da and maybe a few other words like ball, dog
- Start to show fear, will cry when you leave
- “Help” get dressed by holding out arms etc.
- Put things in a container, takes things out, likes to dump items
- Help baby with push toys, wide based push toys that children can walk behind are fun!
- Play games that the baby has a part in like puffing up your cheeks and letting her push the air out
- Look at books and make up stories about the pictures
- Teach body parts Where is your nose? Where is your tummy?
- Play with musical instruments that shake and bang
- Play music your baby loves to move and dance
Enjoy the first year! Your baby will grow and change more quickly than you can ever imagine. Interact, smile, play, read to, cuddle, play music, walk, and just introduce your baby to the world! The world is an exciting place through the eyes of a child. Experience it with your child!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent for your child