Aidan’s First Day at Gymboree!

Aidan is 11 weeks and 5 days today. We think that he is undergoing his week 12 Mental Leap as he has been quite cranky and grumpy for the past few days, but thanks to my earlier discovery of The Wonder Weeks book, we are better prepared to face this fussy period. Wonder Week 12 is all about the World of Smooth Transitions. At this age, babies’ heads circumference are also meant to dramatically increase (which may explain why Aidan’s looking a bit more like a lollipop at times!). The book also says that this period of developmental change will not take as long as the previous ones; and will last between a day or a week tops (thank God!). He has certainly ticked all the boxes to indicate that he is indeed going through this phase:-  he’s demanding more attention, losing his appetite but wanting to suckle more often (I’m guessing for comfort?) and getting bouts of crying fits.

So apparently after completing this leap, Aidan should have subtly made gradual discoveries rather than the abrupt transition that happened at week 8. I suppose the world won’t seem as scary as it did at his last leap, but still quite intimidating nonetheless. Aidan should also be noticing continuous changes in all 5 senses, for example, he should be able to register that my voice or his dad’s body are part of the outside world. His movements are also meant to become smoother (I don’t think this has happened yet ‘cos he’s quite jerky still) but he can look around the room the way older kids do, track movements with his eyes really well and he can also focus on the telly or other people in the room (which is so cute cos he just stares for ages and forgets to blink!).

But the biggest change so far is in how much more he is ‘chatting’ to us. He’s always been quite vocal when we have reading time but now he talks a lot more to me in shrieks and gurgles, complains and just generally seems to want to tell me stories, which is so endearing. *melts*

During this period we’ve also definitely noticed that in terms of personality, Aidan is a ‘watch-listen-feel’ baby (as opposed to a ‘physical’ baby). He is not too interested in active, loud or repetitive movements like some of my friends’ babies, but much prefers to ‘talk’ and ‘read’ gently. Reading time has been his fave activity since he was a few days old and this definitely sits well with my own quiet, inquisitive nature.

So to help Aidan through his mental leap, we registered him at our local Gymboree in Whiteleys, Bayswater. It was a quick 5 minute drive from our flat and I was so nervous to be taking him out without my mum but he did exceptionally well and we had a fantastic time! There was only one other baby there which was good for Aidan as he hates the sound of other babies crying (but when we go back to the class after the new year, we were told that there will be more babies then so he will have to learn to deal with it!). It just irritates me because he is so happy when it’s calm and quiet but then another kid bawling will set him off and I hate seeing him upset for no reason! Anyway, according to the book, there are lots of games that we can play with him at home to encourage his development but for now only hubby can do this as they all involve physical movements that I can’t do due to my c-section (such as the aeroplane, body slide, rocking horse and pendulum games). The Gymboree is great for me as I can get involved, play and bond with him even more.

The girls (Emma and Ellie) who run the classes were absolutely fantastic and they were both genuinely surprised by how alert and involved Aidan was for the whole 45 minutes of his class. *proud mum*. But we did have to have two breastfeeding pitstops each lasting a couple of minutes only cos I think he was a bit nervous and needed to be soothed. The lesson was great; with lots of sensory stimulation such as lights, sound and singing- with the whole objective to keep our babies calm yet appropriately stimulated (as too much stimulation can stress them out at the class or even later throughout the night). Aidan did really well, responding the way he is supposed to and only got cranky when the other baby was crying. But we managed to keep him interested despite it being his usual sleeping time, and he was out like a light as soon as the class ended. I even managed to do some Christmas shopping after, yay!

Setting off to Gymboree!

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I’m sleepy Daddy. Are you sure this is gonna be fun?

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Zzz….

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ooh…lights!

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Happy mummy got to do some shopping while Aidan slept!

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Time to go home..

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I love London because people are just so accommodating in general, especially in the retail world. When we told them that we were only here for a month, they offered us a special package of 4 classes as opposed to the minimum number of 8 and we are now officially global members of Gymboree. I’m looking forward to the rest of the classes and also to continuing them in K.L, but I hope they will be just as good as the classes here in London!

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