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Infant - Week #12

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A 12-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Sleep, Glorious, Sleep!
           As your baby develops from a newborn to an infant and her tummy grows bigger and is able to hold more, she is able to sleep for longer stretches of time without feedings.  Your baby may sleep for six to eight hour stretches.  Enjoy your own longer bouts of sleep as well!


  Narrate Away!
           Research shows that the more you talk to your baby the higher her IQ may be in later years.  For some, the problem becomes what to say to them.  Narrate your life away; explain to your infant everything that is going on around her.  This verbal exchange between you and your little one not only will help her language as she develops but it will also continue to strengthen the bond you share.


  Say Cheese!
           Your baby has changed drastically in appearance over the last three months.  If your child's last professional portrait was her hospital picture, it may be time to visit the photo studio.  Make your appointment at a time when your baby is usually awake and go prepared with everything you might need.  Don't be afraid to bring your own props or to ask for a different pose than your photographer suggests.  You are the one who has to be happy with the final outcome!


  Social Butterfly!
           Your baby is getting more and more social as the days go by.  She may have even figured out by now that flashing a grin at someone usually gets her a reaction and may start to do so for that reason alone.  Don't worry, she will most likely save her whole body smiles for the special people in her life and will even seek them out in crowded situations!


  DO try this at home!
           Three months is the perfect age to begin playing games with your little one.  She will for sure surprise you with what she is capable of.  Try playing an imitation game with your baby.  Make noises with her and give her a chance to imitate your sounds and your facial movements.  Start with coo's and ooh's and ahh's and move on to vowel-consonant-vowel patterns in the months to come.  Make sure that when your baby does imitate your sound that you give her all kinds of positive feedback.  She will flourish under your excitement and enthusiasm and continue to try to please you!  Get out the video camera and videotape these sessions too.  How much fun will it be to watch a few years from now?


  Playing "Games" with Max
           I can already tell that Max is going to be a "pleaser" as he grows up, so I knew that this was going to be a game that Max loved.  I started playing this game with Max accidentally the other night over a poopy diaper.  I made an ooh sound and a funny face as I opened up his diaper and instantly Max started screwing up his mouth trying to imitate me.  I giggled and encouraged him because it was cute and funny, and he giggled and kept trying to do it.  I made some easier sounds and he was able to imitate some of them.  He definitely reveled in my excitement and was thrilled with the attention that he was getting over his accomplishment.  How sweet they are at this age.  Do try this at home and enjoy every little coo and ooh!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - I'm scheduling my little one's three month portrait session. What are your favorite poses?       

       I have to admit that I was much better at getting my earlier kids' professional pictures taken.  I wasn't going to be that mom who had a million professional pictures of her first kids and a lot less of the subsequent ones, but...here I am!  With my first daughter, I took her every month simply because I had nothing else to do.  With my second, we went about six times a year.  With my third and now Max, I am GOING to make a point to go every three months, which sounds easy but can be the biggest hassle ever.       

       With Max's three-month appointment right around the corner, I started thinking about what I want done.  Three-month poses are tricky because the babies are still a bit unpredictable in their schedules and also in their posture.  My favorite three-month pose is the traditional on your tummy with a blanket over the head.  Photographers have gotten away from this, but a good photographer will do whatever you ask.

       I'm also a huge fan of dressing them in something different.  We all take a million of our own pictures when our kids are dressed up, so I very rarely put them in "dressy" clothes for pictures.  I more typically do props like wings or hats, sometimes bathing suits, and I bring cute summer props to go with it.  Do some research ahead of time, know what you want, and go prepared, and you are more likely to walk out with a picture you are happy with.


Successful Shoot
By Lindsey Hill, edHelperBaby

           Photographs of your children and family are so precious and hold memories for years to come. Capturing all valuable moments for each child through the years can be tough as more children join your family, so hiring a professional to do the job can be effortless. However, as you prepare for your scheduled appointment with the photographer and your family in tow, always keep a few important things in mind so you will not lose your mind.
  • Schedule your photo session at a time of day when you and/or your children are normally well rested and relaxed.
  • Ask your photographer for a minimum of a one hour session to allow time for breaks.
  • To prevent unnecessary distractions, only the family should be present for the photo shoot.
  • Indoor or outdoor photos? Give them both a try and you will be surprised at how differently you react to the results!
  • Shoot your priority poses in the beginning, just in case your children lose interest.
  • Feed your troop with a light snack and bring easy and quick snacks along with you for short breaks in between poses, if needed.
  • Dress your family in solid colors or simple patterns without writing. Even casual clothing makes great pictures.
  • Bring your children's favorite toys to distract them or to get their attention.
  • Think of a few funny phrases to use just before taking a photo if smiling is needed.
  • Bring important props for your pictures to add a personal touch.

       Keep in mind you picked your photographer for a reason. You have done your research, checked out the samples and possibly checked out the studio or photo site. Therefore, let the photographer do her job. Be sure to tell her ahead of time what your priorities are for the photo session.       

Milestones for Your Three Month Old Baby
By Jami Fowler-White, edHelperBaby

           Look forward to these new developments this month:
  • Smiling suddenly.
  • Raising up on forearms when lying on his or her stomach.
  • Hold his or her head up when on their stomach.
  • Using both hands to grip things.
  • Accidentally putting their hands in their mouths.
  • Look towards a sound.
  • Follow an object that is moving from left to right.
  • Sit with support for a few minutes.
  • Begin to get fussy after feeding-shows that they may be ready for solid foods, such as baby cereal. Be careful not to over feed them since they are just beginning to eat these foods.
       Things to DO with your child this month:
  • Hold a toy about 10 inches from your child's face. Slowly move it from left to right.
  • Check to make sure that your child can follow it with their eyes.
  • Place a toy such as a rattle in your child's hands. Watch as your child begins to grip the toy for longer periods each day.
  • Place your baby in a sitting position surrounded by pillows for support. Be sure to always keep an eye on your child so that they do not fall.
  • Make sure that you and the sitter check on your child when they cry. Growing is a stressful time for your child. When you respond to them, it helps to let them know that they are protected and you are always close by.

Meal Times
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, edHelperBaby

           It never fails.  Just as you are about to sit down to dinner as a family, baby either wakes up, has gas, needs to be fed or needs to be changed!  How can you deal with this and still enjoy dinner?  A good trick is to try to plan meals that can sit on the stove for a few extra minutes while you tend to that last minute need. Then SAFELY place your baby in a bouncer or swing near the table and enjoy dinner as a family... until the next last minute need!


Camden's Corner
By Lindsey Hill, About my child Camden

           Being the amateur photographer in the family, I am constantly snapping pictures of our family's precious moments and therefore, find I am rarely photographed with my kids and husband. For that reason, I am first to schedule professional photos with my photographer. The feelings I experience when I view the candid photos of my family interacting are indescribable.       

       Since Camden is my second child, I was determined to take as many pictures of him as I did my oldest child, amateur and professional. So far, I will have to say I have done well. After scheduling each of his professional appointments, I am filled with a desire to find just the right clothing. I begin researching poses that work for his age, clothing that works well and other ideas for getting the most out of my sitting fee for the professional photo shoot. I usually keep the clothes to solid colors or a few simple stripes. Also, rather than going into the appointment with my expectations too high, I just enjoy the time with Camden, watching him smile and do new things in front of the camera. We always capture amazing pictures, even if he never looks directly at the camera and have to force ourselves to replace the old ones. Some of my favorite photos of both boys and my family are candid and outdoor shots. Keeping the experience as relaxed as possible creates remarkable photos to treasure evermore!       

The Wonders of Motherhood
By Jami Fowler-White, About my child DeVon

           It is hard to believe that DeVon is now three months old. He can now hold his bottle and hold his head up. He is even trying to kick and punch. He constantly smiles. DeVon is so alert and so much fun. Motherhood is so much fun! This week, my mom put him into the swimming pool for the first time. She put him inside of the floating tube and began to spin him around. He looked over at her and gave her the strangest look. It was as if he was saying, "Where did all of this water come from?" Needless to say, I do not think that he enjoyed that experience as much as we enjoyed watching it.

Baby's Day Out
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, About my child Julia

           Julia is not a fussy baby on the whole, so when she does fuss it is truly heartbreaking.  Thank heaven for the beautiful fall weather up here in New Jersey!  Julia's favorite thing to do when fussy is to lay in the backyard on a blanket and watch the wind in the trees.  I take my book outside and lay beside her. It is a little piece of heaven for twenty minutes every afternoon and she never fusses when we are out!


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