One month on

Today Elphie is one month old! I cannot believe it has been a month already, it feels like a few days. But she is quite different to the tiny little thing that rocked up on Fathers’ Day.
But she was supposed to only be a day old today, younger than Cath’s baby boy and yet she will always be twenty four days older when she should have been five days younger. As a result the developmental milestones won’t apply for her in quite the same way. It can take two years for a preterm baby to catch up with its full term peers and even three years if very premature. Elphie will, at least initially, be judged as starting from zero as of today and hence be expected to hit the one month old milestones only when she’s one day shy of two months old.

However, like all good pushy parents I want to know how Elphie is doing now against the one month developmental milestones, “just for fun” of course.

Babycentre provides a great milestone chart so I thought I would tell you how she’s doing against that:

Mastered Skills (most children can do)

  • Lifts head
  • Responds to sound
  • Stares at faces
  • She’s getting there on the lifting her head lark – lying on her front she can certainly lift her head and occasionally hold it there was a few seconds, although that’s quite rare – normally she lifts it up and then throws it down randomly in another direction leading to much consternation if she decides to bang it into your face and you haven’t moved out of the way fast enough.

    She definitely responds to sounds. Anything loud and sudden will trigger the Moro reflex (pictured below) which really is the sweetest of the newborn reflexes making it hard not to want to deliberately startle your baby to induce it.
    As for responding to a familiar lullaby – hmmm I guess I have to be more consistent in what I sing to her for that to work. I am obviously very disappointed that, at the wedding we went to, she didn’t immediately respond to hearing the original of Pulp’s Common People having recognised it from my version (Common People being the most obvious of lullabies).

    I’m not certain about staring at faces – she certainly stares at me, and Grandmama (her choice of name not mine!) thinks she stares at her, but Fred thinks we are making it up so who knows.

    Emerging Skills (half of children can do)

  • Follows objects
  • Ooohs and aaahs
  • Can see black and white patterns
  • The eye co-ordination ain’t quite there yet for following anything – I think she is still trying to manage the focussing lark. Unless of course she is just doing a deliberate impression of Stevie Wonder with a bit of eye-crossing thrown in for good measure.

    I look forward to the general grunts and snuffling noises being replaced by ooohs and aaahs. Currently based on noise, I gave birth to a truffle hog.

    The ability to see high contrast patterns is interesting – being a bad parent I wasn’t sure how I would judge this given I had failed to buy her anything of high contrast with which to judge this (cue emergency purchase of a black and white book). But then nature came to the rescue! Having a barbecue outside for the first time this summer (thanks to Grandmama clearing out the garden so it was less like a jungle), she was fascinated by the tree and specifically spent a lot of time looking upwards where in the gathering dusk that leaves created a dark pattern against the sky which was still relatively light. So I have high hopes the book will be a winner when it arrives!

    Advanced Skills (a few children can do)

  • Smiles
  • Laughs
  • Holds head at 45-degree angle
  • I am not sure two seconds really counts as “holding”, so we’re going to have to go with a no on these.

    Never mind – she has another three months to master them as for her the clock really started yesterday.

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