Tired and Learning
I have changed many a diaper with only one eye open because the other one was just too tired to join the party.
It’s amazing what the human body can do on little sleep. Luckily sleep deprivation can generate some good laughs between the yawns.
The one that sticks out for me the most is when one evening I was feeding Brooklyn and I asked Chris to get me a glass of water. When he brought it over I could see the water in the glass was a bit cloudy – as if it was warm water. I said “I think it’s warm” and he looked at the glass and smelled the water. I laughed and said “is that how you tell water is warm now?” he paused, looked at the glass and responded “I’m very tired.”
Those first few weeks were tough.
I was camped out in the living room with Brooklyn and my mom anxiety monster was growing. Was I doing everything I could to make sure she was happy? Was she learning? What should I do with her now?
(a year in that, narrative in my head really hasn’t stopped I suppose… )
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Mom on a Mission
So when Brooklyn was two weeks old I stopped at a local children’s shop and asked if they had any toys for newborns and I was quickly shown these art cards – they were black and white (high contrast) hard cards.
My pack featured animals (the original collection) but the same brand carries a few others like Jungle and Pets. I was so proud of myself for buying something that felt educational for my new baby. I came home and opened the pack and showed Brooklyn and she had absolutely no interest. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Mom fail.
It wasn’t until she was 11 weeks old and I noticed she was able to see things more clearly that I taped the cards to the bottom of her shelf, above her change station, that she fell in love with them.
Full laughs and intently staring. Mom for the win!
Tip: I even placed her on her changing station when she didn’t need a change if she was a little fussy. Instant smiles! If you have the Wonder Weeks app or book (highly recommend) then this occurred in the Second Leap – Leap of Patterns.
These Art Cards were also great for extending the life of her play gym. Click here for 5 Activity Gym Play Hacks
What’s the deal with high contrast?
According to Baush & Lomb, babies are born with the ability to see black, white and grey and will see red first and by 3 months will see all colors. They will be attracted to high contrast, geometrical shapes.
As a parent you can help your baby’s eyes “learn to see” by showing them interesting and varied objects.
Because babies are attracted to high contrast black and white items at first, buying high contrast baby specific items can capture their little baby eyes interest.
The below are items or games that I have found to get baby’s attention… and what I strive for most in life in the beginning: smiles and coo’s.
Wee Galaxy Art Cards – these come in a few versions. I got the original collection – Brooklyn’s favorites are the owl and elephant.
Manhattan Toy Mobile – this mobile is great for the stroller and car seat and I’ve also attached it to her play gym. It’s made of paper so is best for little ones before they get the hang of grabbing.
Whoozit – this goofy guy has actually lasted the longest – I still give him to Brooklyn in her car seat. She now uses him more to munch on, but in the beginning his black and white side would get her attention for ages.
Shadow puppets – One night at our family’s cottage the sun had set and Brooklyn was still awake. Her cousin had been playing with a flash light so I picked it up and asked Chris to make a few shadow puppets. B LOVED them! Best thing is they are free if you already have a flashlight!
It is so rewarding to discover items that baby loves. I look at every day things like a flashlight so differently now that I’m a mom.