As Cara wrote earlier, she has a spirited toddler in her daughter, Zoe. With Owen, I have a spirited infant.
His moods are mercurial. One minute he’s beaming his two-tooth grin, the next his lower lip is quivering, one minute he’s squealing with delight, the next he’s screaming in frustration. One might say he’s quite like his mommy in his many mood changes, and I can’t say I disagree.
I’ve discovered that there are two things that always calm my spirited baby—the vacuum and the Baby Einstein Baby Beethoven DVD.
Most people use a pacifier to calm a fussy infant, I have the vacuum. When I try to give Owen a pacifier, most times he spits it out in pure anger and gets this look on his face as if to say, “How DARE you shove this plastic thing in my mouth!”
So when most moms simply pop the pacifier back in their baby’s mouth to keep them sleeping or calm their fussiness, I turn on the vacuum. Owen loves the Swiffer Sweep n’ Vac best, but unfortunately its rechargeable battery doesn’t last very long. We used to swear by our Kirby, but we actually broke the motor on that vacuum.
We even bought a vacuum noise on CD, but our little O-ster can definitely tell the difference between “real” and “canned” vacuum, and “canned” vacuum just will not do.
So, I don’t mind running the one vacuum we have left at all times of the day and night, but when I’m working at home, calling in to a meeting, and O is fussing, running the vacuum in the background just won’t do. So then, I have to resort to the Baby Beethoven DVD. I’ve heard about an AAP report on babies watching TV that says children under 2 shouldn’t watch TV, and it makes me feel guilty when I let O watch his DVD.
But then I looked at the article a little closer.
“Babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant care givers for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills,” the policy says.
I figure Owen watches about 30 minutes of TV a week, if that. The rest of the time he is either eating, sleeping, or playing (interacting) with mom, dad, or his care givers at daycare.
So I’m hoping he is getting the interaction he needs, and I’m not rotting his brain with television. Plus, it’s set to a track of Beethoven music, so it can’t be all bad, right?