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Infant - Week #13

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A 13-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Is That You Over There?
           Your baby's eyesight has continued to develop over the last 13 weeks.  Your baby can see up to about 20 feet away now.  This means that your baby can see you all the way across a room.  The good new is your baby can see you most of the time when you are in the same room.  The bad news is your baby knows when you leave the room and may not like it.


  Can You Grasp That?
           Your infant is now capable of opening and closing her hands tightly.  This means she may soon begin to be able to hold onto a toy.  This also means that she might pull things down on her so be careful where you put her and be aware of what is within her reach!


  Kick, Kick, Kick!
           Your 13-week-old has not only gotten much stronger over the last few weeks but her coordination has also developed considerably.  She is not only aware of her legs but has more and more control over them as the days go by.  You will notice that her kicks are more purposeful and at times can be quite strong!


  Touchy Feely!
           We live in a tactile world.  Help to develop your infant's sense of touch and her awareness of different textures by exposing her to them.  You can do this with different types of toys: soft stuffed animals, smooth hard rattles, textured balls.  In addition to toys, there are countless tactile books out there.  A favorite with most kids is Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Fuzzy!


  Item of the Week
           There is so much great baby gear out there that it's hard to narrow it down to one.  This month you can't go wrong with any of the kick and learn toys.  There is a whole array of toys that encourage your baby to kick, and when she does, she will be rewarded with lights and sounds, bells and whistles, or some other kind of pleasing positive feedback.  This is great because not only does your baby strengthen her muscles and learn cause and effect but she also learns to entertain herself for awhile which will be very beneficial to you in the months to come!


  DO try this at home!
           Would you believe that swatting at and eventually holding onto a toy is a developmental milestone?  It is and it is an important one at that.  It's not too soon to start encouraging your baby to start batting at toys that you hold out to her.  Make this more fun by using visually pleasing toys and positively encouraging her when she does what you want her to do.  Hold toys out 10-12 inches in front of her and see if she goes for them.  It is incredibly important to respond in a big way so that she understands what you want her to do.  Remember that all babies develop differently, and no two babies reach these milestones at exactly the same time!


  Swatting Toys With Max
           I have a whole bin of fun baby toys that I kept hidden from the older kids for exactly this purpose.   I wanted Max to have something fun and exciting that he hadn't seen before to reach for, so it was finally time to pull out this bin!  The first toy that I pulled out was a grasshopper that vibrates when you pull the string.  I pulled this toy out and dangled it in front of Max who was leaning upright in the middle of his boppy.  He looked at it and followed it for a while, but to my dismay, he didn't reach for it or grab for it or even swat at it.  I tried again a couple nights later with a different toy, a rattle with a mirror in the middle.  This time Max giggled as I waved it in front of him which made it so much fun for me that I forgot to be disappointed that he didn't reach for it.  The last night I tried a different rattle and moved his arm towards it three times; on the fourth try he made a move for it himself.  He was far from grabbing or grasping, but he definitely moved towards the rattle.  We'll keep working on this over here and in the meantime, do try this at home!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - When do you put your kids in an upright toy like an exersaucer?       

       As our three-month-olds get a little more aware of what's going on around them, they get  a little bit harder to entertain, so it's easy to want to rush and put them in the exersaucer.  It's important to listen to the manufacturer's recommendations for these items, but it's even more important to be aware of your own baby's abilities.  In order for a baby to be safe and successful in an exersaucer, he has to have some head control.  Max has decent head control, and I just brought up the exersaucer from its home in the basement.  I wouldn't put him in and go start a load of laundry yet, but I will put him in with a blanket propped up behind him and me sitting right there.  In my eyes, this is a great way to get him used to this contraption; it's good exercise for his neck muscles and a great way to tire him out!


Pools of Drool
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, edHelperBaby

           It is around this time that your baby will start sticking things in his or her mouth... your fingers, his or her fingers, sometimes the whole fist!  Along with the beginning of mouthing, comes the inevitable drool!       

       Yes, you could change your baby's clothes constantly or buy lots of adorable drool bibs. Another idea that may help, is to keep your baby in an extra layer of clothing which gives you some time before it irritates baby's skin.  Also, be sure to have lots of different teether toys. Even if your baby is not teething yet, it saves your fingers from feeling like prunes and stimulates baby's visual, touch and mental growth at the same time.       


Easily Bored?
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, About my child Julia

           Julia requires very frequent changes of scenery these days. I have a "rotation" that I am using to help her keep from getting bored. My stations are as follows: play mat, games with mommy, bouncer, tummy time.  We also take regular walks in the stroller or in the baby wrap as weather permits.  She is still in the "eat, play, sleep" stage of schedule, so I try to rotate through at least three of these options in each "play" cycle. I have to rotate the toys on the toy bar and the games she plays with me as well. She catches on too quickly!


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