In conversation, I found the most difficult to be able to look at the topic from the perspective of the other person, to learn to listen and see the other one positively. It’s called assertive communication and it has fascinated me for a long time. It’s difficult to learn but I have to say that Olivia is the perfect trainer. She cannot speak, so in this sense I cannot misunderstand her or be offended. She follows only her own needs and wishes and she tries to let me know about them. In spite of this fact, she sometimes canmake me angry respectively I’m angry because I don’t understand her. When she should sleep but she cannot, I can say she is naughty, but more likely she is undergoing one of the growth spurts or she just needs me to stay with her a little bit longer whispering something nice. After all, I also cannot fall asleep in a second. And when I have a carrot in my hair while she is eating and the floor and table are covered with an overview of lunch, I can get annoyed about the idea of cleaning and changing her clothes, or I can see it as an absolute eating experience (appropriate to her age) with shining eyes like Olivia. Well, sometimes it’s a matter of compromise, but in any case, it requires the ability to understand.

And so I read books and try to understand to our baby. I came across some interesting pieces I would like to share because I found quite difficult to choose a decent book from that quantity of books on the market (the titles are in the language which I read them in). I still read most of them, because it makes sense to read them continuously as Olivia grows.

Babys in Bewegung (Babies on the move), Birgit Kienzle-Müller and Gitta Wilke-Kaltenbach - book focused on musculoskeletal development of a child. It was written by two physiotherapists working with the babies. The book is divided into 12 parts (not necessarily months, but rather developmental steps), that should be achieved by a child in the first year of their life. There is always description of the physical abilities of a child with a number of tips for games and exercises with many illustrative pictures.

I read a lot of books about baby feeding because of my thesis, but nevertheless I found something totally new Einmal breifrei bitte! ( Once not puréed please! ), Loretta Stern and Eva Nagy. The idea of this book is that a baby doesn’t have to start eating only puree on a spoon. Olivia is more likely to try new food when she can touch and feel it (cooked broccoli, risotto, soft pear or banana) and then put into her mouth by herself. Teeth coming out within the first year are not for chewing anyway, so there is no reason to wait.

Recently I’m reading a book Oje, ich wachse! (Oh, I’m growing!), Hetty van de Rijt, Frans X. Plooij. I can only recommend this one to all (together with the book about movement mentioned above). It is basically a list of all the brain growth spurts a child is going through in the first 20 months. It’s an excellent guide describing what a child goes through and what is going on in their little head. Each growth spurt is described; how and when it is reflected and what it actually means for the child together with the experiences from other parents. There are new skills the child gains described as well as games for their development. It’s really easier to expect and overcome the changes in sleep, appetite and so on (I know this already from my personal experience).