“There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.”
~ Mary Ellen Chase
Livi is in love … with her books. It has been an ongoing love affair.
Her first “toy” was a cloth book. She loved to touch it, amazed at the sounds it made, and she enjoyed the brightly colored pictures.
Then she discovered board books. Unfortunately, she loved them a little too much and they would always end up in her mouth.
But soon she found out that board books were fantastic stacking material. It was one of the first “games” she played on her own: moving books from one stack to another and back again. But she never had the patience to just sit and look at a book or to have us read a story to her.
A recent post by Sleeping Mom @ Sleeping Should Be Easy, reminded me of something I came to realize when Livi was only a few months old: our “normal” is different.
In her post, Sleeping Mom urges us not to compare our children and their skills too much as every child has his own personality and develops at her own rate.
But when Livi would cry all the time and not sleep and only wanted to be held, I could not help but compare her to other babies. In my sleep deprived state, I could not understand why other babies slept through the night, enjoyed playing on the floor and happily lounged in their swing while Livi did not.
We all know days like these, when things keep piling up and worry seems to overtake us. One thing after another goes wrong and pretty soon we hit a wall.
The last few days, really weeks, have been like this for me. Livi is having (more) trouble sleeping again and I worry that she is not getting as much sleep as she needs. And she is still not showing much interest in finger foods, which also worries me.
Add to this her newly discovered, short but intense temper tantrums, her fussiness, and her clinginess, and I cannot help but feel overwhelmed by it all.
Which problem do I tackle first? How do I deal with it? And what do I do if I cannot take care of it myself or things get worse? When these questions keep my mind busy, I know it is time to do something and sort things out.
When I was pregnant with Livi, we went to a couple of childbirth and baby care classes. During one class they mentioned baby sign language. I found the idea interesting but was not convinced. They recommended to start teaching at around 6 months.
Enter Livi at 6 months old; we were still in full blown survival mode and I had more pressing issues on my mind than baby sign language.
When Livi was about 1 year old, we came across a board book called Baby Signs. I liked the idea of using a board book to teach the signs and Livi seemed interested in the pictures, so we bought it.
Part 1: Overnight Guests: How To Prepare
What To Avoid
1. Avoid major changes
Having guests in our house for several nights was at times overwhelming for Livi. As a result, she got overstimulated easily. Anticipating this, we wanted to make sure that everything else remained the same so that she could feel safe and knew what to expect. We left her play area untouched, even though it is in the middle of our living room; and we made sure we stuck to her usual routine.
As a high need baby, Livi is very sensitive to stimulation and changes in her routine. While she does not really follow a predictable schedule, it seems to help her to know what will happen throughout the day.
She is also a light sleeper. We have to stop any (noisy) activities once she finally falls asleep.
Mainly for these reasons, we do not have many visitors at our house, especially overnight guests. We had both sets of grandparents stay for a few weeks after Livi was born as they all live pretty far away, but that was it.
Between the tears and cries and pure exhaustion there are precious moments hidden in every day. It is those moments that keep me going and keep me (somewhat) sane.
Here is the second part of 10 things I love about my high need baby:
6. Precious Baby Talk
All babies start out communicating by crying. As a high need baby, Livi made good use of it. She let us hear loud and clear when something was not right.
When Livi started babbling, it marked a big change for all of us. To hear her sweet voice instead of her screams, even if it was just once in a while, was so nice.