Friday, September 23, 2011

Hands aren't just for gnawing!

Hannah recently discovered her hands and she enjoys soothing herself by gnawing on them. She is starting to get used to having them around all the time and is getting better at controlling her arms as well. I like to help her gain awareness of her arms using a little activity from Baby Yoga.

First I squeeze each of her joints (shoulders, elbows, wrists) about as firmly as I would squeeze a peach to test the ripeness. Then I open her hands by stroking the inside of her fist and rub in a circle. I hold each finger on each hand. The whole time I tell her what I'm doing; "this is your arm, this is your elbow, here is tall man!"

Today, she absolutely adored this exercise. She followed me with her eyes while cooing and smiling. Afterwards, she kept her fists open for quite a while- which is something that will help when she's ready to put her palms on the floor and crawl. She kept using her arms and hands, so I mirrored her motions so that she could watch. This is a playful connection you just can't match by shaking a rattle in a baby's face. It was a lot of activity for her and she was ready for a nap right away after we finished, but it was a little trickier to coax her to sleep. Pretty sure she was saying, "I don't want to go to sleep, I want to stay up and have fun all day. I love playing and... zzzzzz."

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