Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Contagious Yawn

Brynna and I shared a long, delicious nap this morning (I was home for the day, studying for my midterms).

When we woke up, I stretched and yawned...and then Brynna yawned back!

I'd been wondering when this might happen. She has always been able to make us yawn, but the connection didn't work the other way.

Thanks to the all-knowing Wikipedia, I have learned that yawns are thought to be contagious because of "mirror neurons" in the frontal cortex. These neurons seem to be involved in imitation, and yawning back may demonstrate a capacity for empathy. The idea of imitation is particularly interesting, since six months is generally considered to be a good time to start sign language with a baby, and babies often start signing back around eight months as they gain the ability to imitate and the fine motor skills to move their hands in a precise way. Also, I think Brynna was imitating me opening my mouth as I fed her her rice cereal this evening!

So, many things are afoot in Brynna's little noggin.

What else is she up to?

She is still not crawling forwards, though she can pivot herself around in a circle really quickly, and rolls all over the place. She can scoot backwards also. It is definitely bothering her that she can't go forwards, and also that she can't sit back up when she is on her back.

She can stand holding onto her play table for many minutes without any help.

She loves her swing, especially when we push it so it goes high and fast!

She can almost get out of her carseat (if set in it unbuckled) by herself. Yesterday night we were at a restaurant and she grabbed the post of the chair back and pulled herself out of the seat, almost up to standing.

Her fine motor skills continue to improve. She can hold things independently in both hands, and use her hands together to pick up and manipulate something large, like a big book. She's got a good strong grasp with her fist (the "pincer grasp" of forefinger and thumb develops around nine months).

The rice cereal is going okay, though not great. She has had about an ounce of breastmilk, mixed with the cereal and her Vitamin D drops, every day for the last week. Most days she has half or 3/4 of that from the spoon, and then looses interest in eating, and drinks the rest from a bottle. I am not sure where to go from here—she's at the point where she needs the iron in the cereal, so I don't want to substitute other foods for the cereal on a regular basis. I think maybe we'll do the rice cereal for another week or two and then re-assess! I do think that she is swallowing more of the cereal than she was a week ago, though a large amount of it still ends up on her face and hands. Luckily she has a big smock coverall Grand got from Ikea.

We went to visit Panache the horse last night. I didn't think Brynna would be scared, but Luna loomed up out of the darkness and blew air in her face, and she started to cry. Panache is quieter, but she didn't like it when he swung his face around to say hello, either. Brynna was also frightened of the friendly golden retrievers at the barn. I suppose that makes sense, since she has no way of knowing that they are dogs, like Jasper, who she adores.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Perhaps you can get her iron checked if you are concerned. It's not difficult to supplement if needed! You may also be able to find fortified oatmeal or barley cereal. It will come with time, no worries :)