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Another week, another leap forward in play. That same magical Wingel remains the love of Tucker’s life. He is now a pro at shoving it in his mouth and passing it from hand to hand. A new hit is the funniest French toy, a gift from a childhood friend of mine. It’s the hedgehog Deglingos baby blanket, and it’s a patchwork of different fabrics, with ruffles down the back and a long flowered nose. Tucker holds on to the blanket part and tries to shove the nose in his mouth; I have no doubt that by next week he’ll have it all figured out!
Another shift is that Tucker now actually looks at the pictures when I’m reading some of his books to him. Thanks to many reader suggestions this summer, and many generous gifts from friends, we have tons of board books, but the big hit so far is the reliable classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? I already have it basically memorized, which makes it easy to read while holding for Tucker to look at. He really watches the pictures, I’m guessing because they are so simple and graphic.
I guess my struggle is with what I should be *doing* with him in the increasingly long periods of alert play time. I sit with him and make faces and talk to him, play with his toys, read him books, but is there anything specific that I should be doing? I need a book that focuses on infant development in more detail than the milestones charts in the baby books, you know?
We just got back from four nights with my parents and Ben’s mom on Long Island this weekend for Tucker’s Christening, and my parents are coming up to Boston today. It was a blast to watch them all with him this weekend--Ben’s mom got his first real belly laughs! He’d been giggling and grinning a ton but she made this amazing weird noise at him and he tried to copy it and then *cracked* up. So fun. He was angelic during the entire church service, sleeping in my arms, Ben’s arms, the priest’s arms... He woke briefly when they sprinkled the water on his head, made a little “oh really?” squawk, and dozed back off. And he juuuust fit into my grandfather’s (his namesake’s) 100+-year-old christening gown (he’s just being taken out of it in the photo above), and saved the massively explosive diaper for a couple hours after he’d been changed back out of it! Whew.
While we were on Long Island Tucker was sleeping in his bassinet (nearly outgrown), but obviously we didn’t have the rocking base that we’ve used since he came home. I was really worried, because we’d all gotten pretty hooked on getting him drowsy, then putting him down in the bassinet and rocking it until he was really asleep. In the past when we’ve traveled we have swung the bassinet to replicate the rocking motion, but he’s gotten so big that it was a pretty major workout to do that anymore. Instead we just patted his stomach and shushed after putting him down, and it worked pretty well.
Last night we went ahead and just put him in the crib instead of back in the bassinet, and he went right to sleep! He did wake up at 2 a.m. for the first time in months, but I chalk that up to weird daytime sleep--he snoozed almost the entire way home, more than three hours straight, and then took a tiny catnap later in the day. After I fed him at 2, he went back down at 3 or so and slept until after 8 a.m., so I’m not complaining. Next challenge: Do we ditch the swaddle? He’s started getting his arm out of the Halo Swaddle Sleepsack, and he’s also gotten pretty reliably good at getting his hands into his mouth. I just don’t know if he’ll sleep unswaddled. Ack.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you have a happy and relaxing holiday.
Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.