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Infant - Week #14

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Newborn Week Fourteen

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

Use Your Ears!
           Your baby is an excellent listener. He recognizes your voice, and he'll show you his pleasure by smiling at the sound of your greetings. He's also excitedly using all five senses to learn about the world. You can actually see how hard he's working to assimilate the new information he's exposed to every day. If something grabs his attention, notice how hard he focuses on it and stares. He's taking it in on many levels.


           In a study, new parents reported that sexual activity dropped to almost nothing in the first three months after birth then started to pick up steam.


Father Bonding Time
           After I began to supplement breastfeeding with formula, my husband offered to get up for the middle-of-the-night banquet. Okay, so maybe I forced him into it at first, but before long he told me he enjoyed having that time with the baby. No one else around, crickets chirping outside, and bizarre shows on TV. Once, I overheard my husband having a 3 A.M. conversation with a sound-asleep Dayvian. "You know what, buddy?" he was saying. "We're the only two people in the universe who know that they aired that same show about Wilt Chamberlain four nights in a row."


Roll Over
           Once your baby has head control and about the same time that he learns to sit on his own, he'll learn to roll over. He'll eventually learn to flip over from his back to his tummy and vice versa, and he'll use his newfound skill to get around a bit. The incentive for those early rolls is often an elusive toy - or you.       

       Your baby may be able to kick himself over from his tummy to his back as early as age two to three months. It may take him until he's about five or six months to flip from back to front, though, because he needs stronger neck and arm muscles for that maneuver.       

       At about three months, when placed on his stomach, your baby will lift his head and shoulders high, using his arms for support. These mini-pushups help him strengthen the muscles he'll use to roll over. He'll amaze you (and himself!) the first time he flips over. (While babies often flip from front to back first, doing it the other way is perfectly normal, too.)       

       At five months your baby will probably be able to lift his head, push up on his arms, and arch his back to lift his chest off the ground. He may even rock on his stomach, kick his legs, and swim with his arms. All these exercises help him develop the muscles he needs to roll over in both directions - likely by the time he's about six months old.       

       While some babies adopt rolling as their primary mode of ground transportation for a while, others skip it altogether and move on to sitting, lunging, and crawling. As long as your child continues to gain new skills and shows interest in getting around and exploring his environment, don't worry.       

       Your baby developed his leg, neck, back, and arm muscles while learning to roll over. Now he'll put those same muscles to work as he learns to sit independently and crawl. Most babies have mastered sitting up by six or seven months; crawling comes a little later.


Q - When Should I Start Feeding Solid Foods?
           You can introduce solids any time between four and six months if your baby is ready. Until then, breast milk or formula provides all the calories and nourishment your baby needs and can handle. His digestive system simply isn't ready for solids until he nears his half-birthday. Waiting until your baby is ready greatly reduces the risk of an allergic reaction and shortens the transition time between spoon-and self-feeding.       

       The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for at least six months - though parents will attest that some babies are eager and ready to eat solids earlier.       

       Your baby will give you clear signs when he's ready to move beyond liquid-only nourishment. Cues to look for include:
  • Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position.
  • Losing the "extrusion reflex." To keep solid food in his mouth and then swallow it, your baby needs to stop using his tongue to push food out of his mouth.
  • Sitting well when supported. Even if he's not quite ready for a highchair, your baby needs to be able to sit upright to swallow well.
  • Chewing motions. Your baby's mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow. As he learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling. He may also be teething around the same time.
  • Significant weight gain. Most babies are ready to eat solids when they've doubled their birth weight (or weigh about 15 pounds) and are at least four months old.
  • Growing appetite. He seems hungry - even with eight to ten feedings of breast milk or formula a day.
  • Curiosity about what you're eating. Your baby may begin eyeing your bowl of rice or reaching for a forkful of fettuccine as it travels from your plate to your mouth.


Try This!
           Put your baby on his back and gently move his arms and legs to the beat of your favorite nursery rhyme. Sing the nursery rhyme to him as you move his limbs with the music. Try choosing one song for the arm movements and one for the legs. Say, for example, "Hey, Diddle Diddle . . ." as you move his arms in a circle. Then say, for example, "Humpty Dumpty" as you move his feet in a circular motion. This game will help tone your baby's muscles and develop his sense of rhythm.


Dayvian's Experience
           I tried this game with Dayvian after his morning bath while he had just a diaper on. I began to move his arms in a circular motion as I sang "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" to him. He did not like this at all. He started screaming within the first minute of the game. After I stopped moving his arms, he stopped crying. I decided to try it again with his legs. I moved his legs around in a circle while I sang "Hey Diddle, Diddle." At first a confused look came across his face. The confused look turned into a sad lip then into an all out scream again. This was not the game for Dayvian!


     When Will My Baby Start Sitting Up?

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