Training Active Babies

December 11, 2009, 0 Comments

Praise the Lord for his creation. All babies are wonderfully and fearfully made. My younger son is a very alert, quick and agile baby. How time flies, he is now 11months old. At only 2 weeks old, he could lift his head up and turn from side to side. At 2 months old, he refuse to be nursed. At 11months old he refused to lie down and drink from the bottle. He prefers to use a straw to drink his milk! Praise the Lord for children so special in their own ways.

I thought he was not as verbal as my elder and perhaps gifted differently. Yet he said “Car” recently. It started with his excitement with buses & cars when he sees them on the road. He turns his head this way and that, lightning speed just to catch those noisy machines wheezing pass. I took the opportunity to tell him, “that’s cars”. He got it in 3 days. Amazing. At 7months old, he mastered “papa” and “mama”. Not bad for someone gifted with large motor skill. he also managed to sign “All done”, and “bye bye”. We are still working on “apple” and “thank you”.
Warning: babies are so adorable when they sign, it really encourages us to go on!

Focus & independence skills
Active babies are hard to train, so I thought when I first began. But the lord was gracious to us. Playing alone time for training independence and focus skill was not bad at all. He could be put in the playpen and would play for as long as 30mins, without me using the timer like I initially did with my eldest, (Halleluia! – one less logistic to grapple with), or having to hide away. Playing alone is being alone without relying on the presence of someone nearby, (Halleluia! – What liberty for us, we can appear nearby or completely be away in another room and he would hardly notice)
So he goes into the playpen after breakfast for around 15mins – 30mins, depending on what he is playing and if he is tired or if his interest is sustained by the toys. of course, I observe him from afar.

Read-aloud books
Training for story time was difficult to begin with. At 6months, he struggled to crawl away from my lap. I had to bring him back many times. Discovering that he was kinesthetic, I used his hands to pat the book as I read in sing-song fashion. I try to read books that has rhyming words in them. Dr Suess early readers are really good for that. I do this every morning. There are textile books, and there are just plain board books with vivid pictures. And there is the baby’s bible that rhymes. At times, I had to hold him as I stood, with one book on my hand. That helps him to focus on the book and not attempt crawl away.

Obedience -Obedience is better than sacrifice
The very first instruction we train is “Come here”. We felt it was important to motivate him to want to obey. This instruction will carry on through to 2 or 3year old with added responsibilties on the child’s part. Baby Elias loves to be carried because each time he is being carried, he gets a big cuddle and a big kiss. No we don’t carry him all the time and so he does not have a habit of being carried that much either. So when mummy says ‘come here Elias” from the othe end of the room, he will crawl with so much enthusiasm into my arms and there I sweep him up into my arms and he gets the usual big cuddle and big kiss. With very young babies, I discovered action speaks louder than words – a really warm cuddle is the greatest motivator. Seeing how well he responded to the instruction, I tested him when he was playing with my hairdryer in a basket.

He wasnt suppose to be playing my hairdryer so this is a test if he would obey me or continue in his ways. First time, “Elias come here”. He looked at me and looked at my hairdryer and continued to play. Second time, “Elias, come here” he looked at me and didnt come. So I went to pick him up and told him “No, Elias” and took him away. In time, babies would sensed the ’cause’ and ‘effect’ of words and actions, which will translate to comprehension of boundaries at latter age.

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