Today’s milestone: First laughs
On a recent drive, my husband and I listened to Radiolab’s episode all about laughter. In discussing babies, they reveal that it’s typically around the 90th day that a baby will have their first laugh. Aristotle believed it was this moment that we become human because laughter was the one thing that absolutely separated us from every other animal. Aristotle also believed it was around your 40th day of existence that you first laughed. Turns out Aristotle was wrong—both about when we laugh and that we’re the only animals that do it. Rats, chimpanzees and even dogs laugh too.
That first laugh is probably one of the most anticipated milestones for parents. I think Aristotle was on to something because it does, in some ways, feel like the moment your baby instantly becomes human or their personality bursts forth. That first laugh seems to coincide with or mark the end of the newborn period or the “fourth trimester” (as the first 3 months are referred to in the Happiest Baby on the Block). For my husband, this milestone in particular is a marker for him. While he got his share of smiles, he was excluded from the tender and sweet relationship I got by nursing and being needed in that way. Now he can engage on a new level and being the one to provoke a laugh is an exceptional feeling.
A still from the video of Paloma’s first laugh
We were lucky to both be there for each of our daughter’s first laughs. With Paloma, it happened on day 96. I had just pulled in from work and my husband was holding her so she was standing on the ground. Our dog ran over and dropped the ball at her feet in hopes that she would throw it. When she didn’t throw it, he barked. Paloma was so startled her whole body quaked and just when I was sure she would cry, she instead burst out laughing.
And yesterday, 83 days from her birth, Isla laughed for us. We were toweling her off after her first bath with her sister and my husband leaned over and blew a raspberry on her tummy. Her eyes shot open wide and for a second she looked utterly startled. So my husband leaned in and gave another raspberry and Isla looked at both of us and let out a hearty laugh.
I think just about anyone who hears that first laugh has their heart instantly melt into a puddle of ice cream. From that moment on, it becomes a daily quest to inspire more laughter. Our household turns into a circus as we all take turns doing one ridiculous thing after the next…from silly dancing to funny faces to a series of weird noises…even Paloma is participating this time. Mostly, we end up laughing at ourselves or each other while the baby stares in wide-eyed wonder. After weeks of sleepless nights, endless diaper changes and all the many challenges that come with the first few months, it’s a welcome shift in the household demeanor.
When did your baby first laugh? Does the 90 day theory hold up?
Today’s milestone: First time traveling
Paloma, our seasoned traveler, en route to Cartagena
Tomorrow we take our first trip, airplane and all, as a family of four. Not only is it Isla’s first time on an airplane, but it’s also the first time Paloma will have her own seat. We tried to get in as much traveling as we could before we hit that financial milestone—having to pay for a third ticket. We literally booked a trip that ended on Paloma’s second birthday. I have to say, while it was a bitter pill to swallow paying for that third seat, the idea of not having an almost 40lb toddler in my lap while my husband and I pass our ten week old back and forth is almost worth the extra money.
That aside, the first time you bring your baby on an airplane is more of a milestone for parents than it is for your baby. All the anxieties you have to face…will they scream the whole flight, will their ears hurt during take off and landing, will they get airsick on you….not to mention the looks of barely-contained panic from fellow passengers that greet you as you step aboard with an infant in your arms.
We faced all of these fears with our first child when we took her to the west coast at 10 months old. On top of that, I am utterly terrified of flying, so the added factors of having to manage a baby on top of my fears was probably why we waited so long to fly with her. As we took our seat, people either wished us luck, strapped on their headphones or looked at us as though we’d already ruined their vacation. So when Paloma fell asleep during take off only to wake when the wheels touched down, people actually reached over and patted us on the back…thanked us and congratulated her. It was then that they smiled at her and interacted with her—before that moment, they wanted nothing to do with her.
We’ve been lucky to have only good travel experiences so far (pauses to knock on every wood surface within reach). Paloma has become a seasoned traveler and last year we even had our first international trip when we took her to Cartagena, Colombia to see where her father grew up.
Things I’ve learned to always have with me when we travel though are:
For Isla, who is still so little, the only thing I can think to pack for her is extra clothes, my baby k’tan carrier and an extra shirt for myself. My hope is that she’ll just nurse and sleep.
What travel tricks do you use when traveling with kids? We’d love to hear the story of your first travel and how you celebrated (or coped with) the milestone?
Today’s milestone: Then vs Then
In late January, we welcomed our second daughter. It’s hard to look at your first child and imagine anything other than them——in our case, a girl with golden ringlets and dinner plate sized blue eyes. Paloma arrived with a scattering of brown peach fuzz, navy blue eyes and lips that barely seemed to fit onto her face they were so huge and bee-stung plump. My entire second pregnancy, I tried and tried but when I imagined my second baby, I only saw that sweet bald baby. You can imagine my surprise when Isla arrived, born into water, with a head full of thick wet black hair and stared up at me with matching dark eyes. Isla had more hair at birth than Paloma did on her first birthday.
Everything we thought we knew as parents and every soothing trick we had equipped ourselves with for Paloma went straight out the window at that moment. While Paloma’s birth was rough, she transitioned into the world with ease and was easy to comfort, let anyone hold her and her papa could soothe her just as well as I could. Isla, on the other hand, had the most incredible natural birth but the world was not easy for her to adjust to. From reflux to only wanting me to needing darkness and quiet to fall asleep (impossible things with an almost three year old sharing her space) and so on. Paloma hated swaddles, Isla needed them. Paloma took forever to get her latch right, Isla came out and attached herself to the breast with expert precision. Paloma slept all day and kept me up all night while Isla started out restless during the day but has slept through the night since she was four weeks old (knock on wood!). Maybe it had something to do with the contrasting times of birth or seasons they were born into…
And finally, while they started off just ounces and 1/4 of an inch apart in growth, they have most certainly parted ways on that front. At her two month check-up, we had our pediatrician overlay Isla’s stats with Paloma’s. While Isla clocked in at 11lb 1oz, Paloma had already surpassed that weight at 4 weeks and was a whopping 13lb 6oz by week 8. For length, they were still less than an inch apart so it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. Paloma has stayed in the 99th percentile for height since birth and with two grandmothers who are 6 feet tall, it seems obvious why.
We’ve been so grateful for all the love our little company has received over the past few months that we thought: what better excuse could the holidays give us than to return the love for some of our favorite companies.
We (meaning me, Chase, and my husband, Alejandro) are expecting our second baby in a short six weeks. We also have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. So we’ve been paying extra close attention to all the wonderful products out there.
Consider this our last-minute gift guide or better yet…just a sampling of products we know, love and use.
A little disclaimer is that a few of these companies are owned by people we know—but truly, we think you’ll forget that as soon as you see their fabulous and talented creations. But we believe in transparency, so we’ll note below which those are.
Disclaimer, Kalon Studios is the amazing company owned by my sister and her husband. That aside, you won’t find kid and baby furniture as beautifully designed, locally-produced and eco-friendly as theirs. The Hut Hut (which is 30% off for the holidays) taught our daughter balance as an infant and makes a colorful and fun addition to her room now. And the Caravan Divan is really about the best-looking toddler bed I’ve seen out there. My only complaint is how hard it is to pick from their vibrant palettes for both.
#2, Balaclava Hats from CoffeeLady:
it’s cold where we live and between our daughter wanting to be outdoors constantly and the fact we’re having a winter baby, these balaclava hats from Etsy seller, CoffeeLady were a must-have. They are so cozy, soft, eco-friendly and beautiful and our daughter actually willingly wears them (as evidenced above). We also bought a newborn size :)
We met the talented owner of Misha * Puff this year but would be including her on our gift guide whether we knew her or not. All hand-knit, locally produced and made to last. It was hard to pick from her amazing collection.
“Infographics are all the rage at the moment. And I’ve found one of the most awesome infographics of all time, because it’s all about the beautiful baby in your life!” From Belle Bébes, Baby’s Firsts
What a great opener on such a great post about our My First Year series.
We are so excited about the poster and the cards and thrilled that other people share the excitement!
Belle Bébes is a really great blog and Debs has a wonderful eye so if you are looking for a great resource for creative nursery design, cute clothes or fabulous toys, check it out!
By the time we got around to sending our birth announcements out, our daughter was practically old enough to fill them out herself…
Being a designer, you would think I had my daughter’s birth announcement planned and ready to mail out before she was even born. We certainly had good intentions and lots of design ideas. After a very rough pregnancy though, about all we could wrap our heads around was our daughter and how absolutely smitten, crazed and exhausted we felt as new parents. So the birth announcements got shelved…and months rolled by. And before we knew it, our daughter was 4 months-old and we were printing ‘better late than never’ on every envelope.
“For those new parents looking to commemorate their baby’s arrival–even if it has been a few months or more–the pressure is off. You can give yourselves a one-year grace period and instead create a personalized keepsake that celebrates the first 365 days of their little one’s young lives.”
Thank you Talking Walnut!
Inspiration typically comes from a few places for us.
First, living with a child and experiencing the world through her fresh eyes, her profound wonder. The unadulterated joy she shows when even a single leaf floats down from the tree to her feet or even how much amusement she gets from a fly buzzing around our house—it’s the most enlivening jolt to a tired, atrophied adult imagination.
Taking time in our day to color with crayons, get messy with paint or collect pinecones outside—all of these things we partake in as parents to such a curious-minded child are the perfect antidote to routine boredoms.
Second, for a year or more now, we have had the pleasure of designing dozens of Paloma Posters for customers. Through conversations with our customers and different requests they’ve had to make their poster more unique to their child, we’ve gotten a ton of inspiration and ideas. We also received requests from many stores to wholesale the product or requests from customers to make a fill-in-the-blank version…another customer even said “this would be so perfect if it was in a mailable, card format!”
We’ve learned from all of the custom posters and from being a parent ourselves that part of parenting involves not taking yourself too seriously. That we should celebrate the good with the bad. Which is why you’ll see on our My First Year posters and cards as well as our Milestones Poster that we leave room to cherish the bittersweet or amusing (usually in retrospect) alongside the sweet:
Number of unnecessary calls to the pediatrician (in our first days as new parents there were too many to count)
and first foods…
And in our My First Year Poster, under miscellaneous milestones, we have confidence most parents (especially those with boys) will be checking the box: pees on parent.
and then our “year in hair” which was a huge milestone in our own house as well as many other parents we know. Our daughter was born with dark hair which promptly fell out—she spent the next seven months bald only to suddenly sprout golden ringlets.
We hope you enjoy the products of our inspiration as much as we have enjoyed being inspired to make them!