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Infant - Week #15

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A 15-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Separation Anxiety Already?
           Your baby definitely knows who you are these days and may even begin to show signs of unhappiness in an unfamiliar setting without you in sight.  Ease her into situations like this by allowing others to hold her while you are nearby.  This will help her to feel more comfortable in new surroundings with new people.


  Roll Over
           All your tummy time workouts may come to fruition this week as your baby develops enough strength to roll over from tummy to back.  This is something that happens for babies at different times but could be coming soon.  As incredibly exciting as this developmental milestone is, it's also so important that you remember to never leave your baby unattended on the couch or any other elevated surface.  She may choose that moment to test her rolling abilities.


  Laughing Up A Storm!
           Smiles are a dime a dozen these days but, nonetheless, so wonderful to see.  Even more wonderful are the full out belly laughs that are going to be music to your ears any day now.  Your baby's adorable laugh will be infectious and will leave you giddy with excitement and the need for everyone around you to hear it, too!


  Item of The Week: Exersaucer
           You have been strengthening your infant's neck muscles for the last 15 weeks and her hard work is paying off.  Many infants are ready to spend short amounts of time in their exersaucers.  This apparatus allows your baby to be upright using those neck muscles that she worked so hard to develop. This upright position provides her with a whole new view of the world around her.  Keep in mind that as exciting and fun as this is, it is still challenging for your baby.  Stay nearby and watch for signs of fatigue, start with short increments, and see how she does!  BEWARE...dirty diapers in exersaucers can be a laundry nightmare. If your baby is on a "pooping schedule," save yourself and don't put her in the exersaucer anywhere near pooptime!


  DO Try This at Home!
           Your baby is interested in everything around her.  She not only entertains herself but learns from everything that she is given to hold, touch, smell, and look at.  Give her the most beautiful thing ever to look at this week:  herself.  There are all kinds of babyproof, non-glass mirrors out there that are made for infants.  Some stand up in front of them, others attach to the sides of their cribs, and some are in books.  Spend time showing your baby herself in the mirror.  This is a great activity to videotape because her reactions can sometimes be priceless!


  Mirror, Mirror on the Wall with Max
           I chose to do this activity with Max in the evening after the other kids were asleep.  This is an activity that is stimulating enough without three other kids to look at in the mirror.  I started in the bathroom with the real mirror after I gave Max a bath.  He was clean and naked and as happy as a clam.  I sat him on the counter and tapped the mirror in front of him.  I had the hardest time getting him to focus on himself; he was more entranced with me.  Eventually, he found himself, but that didn't really hold his attention.  He still was more interested in the movements that I was making trying to get him to see himself.  I tried again the next night with a foldout mirror that was designed to lie on the floor in front of an infant during tummy time!  This was much more focused with a lot less extra stimulus.  He's my baby so, of course, I'm going to say he was adorable, but he REALLY was!  He saw himself and smiled and then giggled.  How sweet he was to watch!  That lasted for a couple of minutes and then he spit up on the mirror and that was the end of it.  Keep in mind that they are infants and their attention span is slim to none; at this age it is all about the experiences!  Do try this at home with your baby!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - Does your baby have a lovey or a special item that he is attached to?       

       Many babies have special objects that they are attached to that help them sleep or soothe themselves.  I've heard nightmare stories of moms searching high and low for exact replicas of stuffed animals, baby blankets, or favorite toys.  Max doesn't have a specific lovey at this point although he is incredibly fond of burp cloths or fuzzy receiving blankets and has a hard time falling asleep without one of the aforementioned.  This is partly my fault; from birth I would wedge a burpcloth or soft, lightweight blanket between his face and my body slightly covering his eyes after his last bottle before bedtime.  I started this with my oldest as a way to help her keep her pacifier in her mouth, and it has become something that always helped my kids to fall asleep.  Max is no exception.  My three-year-old has about 50 "burpees" that she insists on carrying around the house, and breaking her of this "burpee habit" is proving to be more difficult than I ever could have imagined.  One would think that I would have learned my lesson and not taught Max to be a burpee baby, but getting him to sleep in those early sleep deprived days far outweighed my concerns of breaking him of this habit years from now.  The good news is, he isn't fussy and will take any burpcloth or receiving blanket that comes his way, and it has helped him learn to fall asleep on his own.  Right now it's worth it; we'll see if I feel the same way three years from now!


Solving the Problem of Cradle Cap
By Laura Delgado, Ph.D., edHelperBaby

         Cradle cap is nothing more than dry, flaky skin on your baby's scalp.  Less frequently, it may appear on your baby's forehead or around her eyes and nose.  It is not contagious and more than likely, it will not in any way irritate your baby, although in severe cases, it may cause your baby to itch slightly.  In most cases, cradle cap disappears on its own, usually by the age of six months.  For many parents, however, a baby's cradle cap can be slightly maddening, like a problem that simply must be solved.  If nothing else, it is somewhat unsightly on your otherwise perfect baby.  For the slightly compulsive parent (who, me?), the cradle cap calls out to be rubbed off of the baby's scalp but there always seems to be more. For parents bothered by their baby's cradle cap, there are several solutions ready at hand:
  • Perhaps the easiest resolution is simply to brush your baby's scalp gently with a baby brush while you shampoo it.  This brushing should loosen any dry skin which can then be washed away.
  • For more severe cases, using a pure oil which many doctors recommend olive oil but I always have had particular success with baby oil and it smells much nicer. Massage the oil into the baby's scalp and it can further loosen dry skin and provide overall moisturizing.  Just be sure to wash your baby's hair after performing an oil treatment as you do not want to exacerbate the problem by clogging your baby's pores with oil.
  • Finally, if your baby's cradle cap still persists, try treating it the way you would a case of irritated skin on any other part of the body! That is, apply Vaseline or Aquaphor.  These super moisturizers can quickly clear up even severe cradle cap.  Pick a day when you do not have to go anywhere and gently massage some ointment into your baby's scalp.  Allow it to remain on the scalp for 15-20 minutes and then shampoo out.

       As always, check with your doctor if you have any questions about how best to treat your baby's cradle cap.  Just rest assured that this problem is a common one and it in no way suggests that your baby is guilty of poor hygiene or that he has some kind of illness!       

Diapers, Diapers Everywhere!
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, edHelperBaby

           With all the advertising, coupons, and arguing, you would think there were VAST differences between brands of disposable diapers.  Guess what? At this young age, there is not! (Just a note, this is not about disposable vs. cloth diapers. Someone more knowledgeable would have to write about that!)       

       When your baby is crawling, rolling, and scooting, you may find that one brand of diapers fits better than another or has less tendency to leak. But at this point, when baby is still stationary, it truly does not matter. Now is the time to buy whatever you have a coupon for, whatever is on sale, or whatever you find in bulk!  After all, baby is still going through eight to ten diapers a day!


Success with Scalp Massage
By Laura Delgado, Ph.D., About my child Therese, Nicholas, Mary-Catherine, Michael

         All four of my children suffered from cradle cap when they were infants.  They had dry, flaky scalps that looked for all the world like dandruff.  On the advice of my mother-in-law, I studiously applied baby oil to their scalps which would immediately remedy the situation.  An added benefit was that they truly seemed relaxed by the scalp massages! An informal survey of mothers reveals that most babies suffer from this problem at one time or another so do not feel self conscious about it.  If you have trouble conquering it on your own and you are truly bothered by it, just talk to your doctor who will undoubtedly be happy to advise you.

Julia's First Cold!
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, About my child Julia

           What a rough week we have had.  I should have known that first night. She had no symptoms but was up every 90 minutes crying! That is so unlike her, so I was worried. The next day it showed up... congestion, runny nose, cough, sneezing! Julia had her first cold, and according to the pediatrician it was "the mother of all cold virii!" Lucky us!       

       I am a big believer in throwing schedules and rules out the window when an infant is sick. So Julia slept in her swing, since semi-upright positioning helped her breathe. We had a cool mist humidifier and a menthol plug-in in her room. She got warm baths twice a day and I rinsed and suctioned her nostrils with saline every hour...And it still took five days for her to start feeling better!


     How Can I Remove Stains From My Baby's Clothes?

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