In celebration of nadya's first step on earth, we present this video (above) to dear family and friends! Needless to say, this important milestone was recorded in our "Little Milestones" Kit.
It is interesting how different Nadya's first step was in comparison to Vera(video below taken 2 years ago). Nadya seemed so ready for this moment, even though it was her first. Maybe it is because we never hurried her, unlike Vera, when we literally forced her to take her first step one day after her first birthday when we decided "it was time". I guess we were really anxious back then. This time with Nadya, you can say we are the super chilled parents who simply waited till she was ready on her own. No pressure. Ahh...the benefits of being the second born.
Do you know how kangaroos got their name? A myth goes that when European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals they asked a native aborigine what they were called. He replied "kangaroo" meaning "I don't understand" your question. The explorers thought this was the animal's name. And that's how the kangaroo got its name.
The young are born the size of a lima bean after a gestation of 31–36 days (this is equivalent to a human embryo at seven weeks old). Immediately after it is born, a joey finds its way to its mother's pouch to continue its second stage of development there. He will usually stay in the pouch for about nine months before starting to leave the pouch for small periods of time. It is usually fed by its mother until reaching 18 months. You have to show your kids this incredible video of a kangaroo giving birth and continuing its development inside his mother's pouch.
After watching this video, I almost wished humans gave birth the same painless way as kangaroos. And in case you think that only kangaroo babies live in their mother's pouches during infancy, you may be surprised to know that kangaroos are just one of a species of mammals called "marsupials" that carry their young in pouches through early infancy. Koalas, oppossums and the tasmanian devils are all examples of marsupial mammals that carry their young in distinctive pouches.
Like a newborn kangaroo that instinctively finds its way to mommy's pouch to continue its development right after birth, studies have shown that human babies can also benefit in their development from being carried in a pouch from birth.
Many parents can testify that babies who are carried in a soft pouch carrier close to their bodies cry less, are more calm and content. They also seem to sleep more peacefully, nurse better, gain weight better and develop better. More about the benefits of a pouch which is often considered parenting's best kept secret can be found here!
I guess we can now also add human beings as a evolved class of marsupial mammals?
Here is me, showing how to do the cradle carry on a (large) newborn baby. a.k.a Nadya at 6 weeks.
I consider the cradle carry more challenging, compared to the kangaroo and hip carry, as baby is still relatively small and fragile. The pouch is might to be quite snug when baby is inside. And especially with the postpartum tummy in the first few weeks after delivery, many mommies think the pouch is too small when it is actually the right size. We usually encourage mums to be patient when learning how to use the pouch but are happy to do an exchange, if required. Generally, a pouch is the right size when the lowest point of the pouch is 1-3 inches under your belly button.
As with all things, it will be a breeze once you get the hang of how to place and remove baby from the pouch for the cradle carry. Just remember safety first and always support a newborn's neck and make sure there is good airflow to baby's face. Also, practice when baby is in a good mood, not when he is screaming his lungs out to be fed.
The cradle carry is perfect when you need your hands free to do simple things like surf the web or go shopping! The snug feeling also helps calm babies down as it mimics the feeling of being in the womb.
Some Helful Tips for doing the Cradle Carry
1. Make sure that baby's legs are slightly crossed before putting in the pouch
2. You should have the padding facing out and the seam of the pouch at the lowest point and positioned directly in front of you.
3. The curved seam of the pouch is where the pouch is the biggest. Position baby's bum where the seam of the pouch is and drop baby's bum in first. Use the padding as a handle to help position correctly.
It is amazing how fast our babies grow. It seems like such a long time ago when Vera first took her first mouth of semi-solid food at 6 months. I don't think I posted these videos of her shocked expression when Vitali and I first shoved a spoonful of rice cereal into her (unsuspecting) mouth. Here they are...
Same scene, only minutes later, and she was grabbing the spoon from us...
Here are more links to videos charting Vera's growth during her first year.
This is 6 years old Connie Talbot who took part in Britain's Got Talent. Connie discovered she could sing while cheering up her terminally ill grandmother with a selection of songs from The Wizard of Oz. Her mother bought her a karaoke machine because the family could not afford singing lessons.
Double click on image above to listen to the voice of a brave little angel...