Monday, September 29, 2014

First Week of Newborn Early Learning Program

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Aria at one day old, looking at black & white patterns in hospital bassinet

I got to meet my beautiful daughter this week.

Aria had a safe and healthy delivery at 41 weeks and 1 day gestation. She was 7 lbs 6 oz and 19 inches long.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Snuggling my babies

We got home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon and spent most of this week cuddling and resting and getting to know each other.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Big smile at 5 days old

And taking lots and lots and lots of pictures.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1

The boys love her. We didn't get much school work done with them this week but I'm totally ok with that.

This is what went on in terms of our early learning program this week:

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1

What we got around to in the first week early learning program:
  • Lots and lots of visual stimulation (well-lighted rooms, many high-contrast patterns available during all waking hours)
  • Tummy time on parent or brother's chest
  • Face to face conversation
  • Stimulating the grasp reflex, babinski reflex, & startle reflex
  • Listening to Thaïs: Méditation by Jules Massenet
Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Black & white pattern board


At birth babies are practically blind, and their vision only grows by using it.

This little girl certainly used her vision a lot this week.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Looking out a window, 3 days old

With my other kids, during the first maybe 1-2 days after birth I could only get them to open their eyes if the lights were dim.

With Aria, from the moment she was born she was drawn to the light of the big hospital window. She had no problem opening her eyes in bright daylight and looking around at everything from the day she was born.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Wide eyes at black & white picture, 4 days old

We have lot of different high contrast (black & white) patterns for her to look at, and it's really incredible seeing her eyes light up and get as big as saucers when she sees them.

If I set up a pattern anywhere near her she will turn her head towards it and just stare at it and focus on it for quite a long period of time.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Checking out pattern on car seat, 3 days old

It is so amazing witnessing the drive to learn and grow and develop that even the tiniest babies have. Watching her use her eyes in such a determined way at literally every single waking moment.

She's not content to just stare happily off into space. She literally seeks out things that she is able to see (newborns can only see things that are very high-contrast), then intensely focuses on them trying to see them better.

So inspiring and profound.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1


Maybe a half dozen times this week, we've listened to Thaïs: Méditation by Jules Massenet from "The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music", usually on repeat.

Theoretically we would listen to it almost every time she's sleeping, but it's still a habit I'm getting used to.

We will be listening to a new musical piece each week from the above-mentioned album for her first year.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Stimulating the grasp reflex

REFLEXES (Auditory, tactile, & manual)

During the newborn stage of the infant stimulation program, you simply get to stimulate baby's built-in reflexes, which is basically playing with their little fingers and toes.

I love this stage because it requires so little effort and those tiny little digits are so irresistible.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Stimulating the babinski reflex

When I think about it, often while nursing or just playing with her, I will stimulate her grasp reflex (holding her little hands), her babinski reflex (running my fingers across her little feet), and her startle reflex (clapping two blocks together to make a sharp noise, which elicits the startle reflex).

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Falling asleep during tummy time, 7 days old


Although Doman's books recommends using the infant crawling track right from birth, I learned with my last baby that it's really not a good idea to start the crawling track until the umbilical cord falls off.

Otherwise the cord will get irritated when baby moves around, bleed, and take longer to fall off. Which could theoretically also lead to infection.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
Tummy time on big brother, 6 days old

So in the meantime, while waiting for the cord to fall off, we have done tummy time while laying on someone's chest. This gives her the opportunity to lift up her head and build neck and core body strength.

Baby homeschool week 1
Big brother teaching shapes, 2 days old

All in all we had a good first week. It was not all picture perfect, particularly the day after we got home from the hospital and sweet baby decided she needed to nurse practically all day.

I might have had a moment of panic convincing myself that I was never, ever going to be able to get anything done, ever again, and oh my gosh I just want to take a shower, how am I going to live if I never shower again?

A little dramatic, I know.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1
They're adorable, but life is NOT always this picture-perfect

And my older kids might have driven me a little bit crazy many a times throughout the week, particularly a very ornery, limit-pushing three-year-old who is full of sweetness, snuggles, and spit.

My nine-year-old switches rapidly back and forth between the most amazing, caring, helpful big brother who is anxious to "teach" Aria everything and hold her all the time and help with his little brother and around the house, to full-blown attitude and drama over the silliest things.

But I guess being a preteen is kinda rough, so I'll cut him a little slack. Because he really is the most amazing brother and son and person, hands down.

Newborn Early Learning Program: Week 1

Next week I plan to start the crawling track (her umbilical cord fell off this weekend), some of the balance activities, and the flash light stimulations. Those are the things I didn't get to this week.

Resources used this week:

Free Infant Stimulation Kit for Glenn Doman "How Smart is Your Baby" Program

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Welcoming Baby Aria to the Blog

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Baby Aria made her appearance into the world last Sunday.

7lbs 6oz and 19in long.

 She is healthy and alert and very, very loved and adored. Looking forward to sharing her early learning journey with the world!

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