Sixteen Weeks: Developmental Milestones

This week Robert was busy with many monumental developments, and both of us were kept on our toes keeping track with him. His grasping skills are improving rapidly and he now reaches out to take a toy held to his fingertips. He spends a lot of time just looking at his hands, or regarding them, which is considered a very important step in his awareness of himself and how his body works. Grasping is becoming a conscious effort rather than a reflex. The little hands have been busy as usual exploring around his face and mouth, and now his ears have been added to the repertoire of toys. I saw him tugging at his ear a couple of times.

His exercise sessions on the play gym are becoming more eventful as well. He now likes spending time on his tummy and has mastered rolling from front to back, and attempts rolling from back to front using his hips and legs. Sometimes however he gets himself in a pickle while trying to do this. He was fussing at bedtime on one hot evening and ended up on his side. Ron came to the cot to find a very angry baby trying desperately to roll forward or backward without success.

Robert’s awareness of his surroundings is now very clear. He reacts to things he sees and hears and lets us know, in a not too subtle manner, when he dislikes something. Ron is sure for example that Robert recognizes the jingle of our daily South African soapie “Isidingo”, which we watched frequently while I was pregnant, and while in the past he did not react to television he now looks at it and shows interest in following the movement of pictures and colours.

The weather continues to drive us crazy. A blistering hot day is followed by a cold one, and the morning sky is never and accurate predictor of the day. Sunny mornings often give way to rain and thunderstorms, while a misty and cold dawn can later enfolds into a hot and humid day. On Saturday we witnessed the most amazing sunset, the pink hues of the sky turned the ocean purple. We only viewed this spectacle from our balcony, but it must have been amazing at the beachfront.

On one particularly hot evening I put Robert to bed without his shirt, and he was still too hot, and only when the air cooled down with nightfall. The next evening it was cool and I had to put him in a shirt and zip him up in a sleeping bag. This is not normal at all, looks like we will have interesting holiday weather.

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