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Infant - Week #15

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Newborn Week Fifteen

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

Handy Man
           Your baby is becoming very handy. Although he's already aware of his hands, he's now inspecting them like Sherlock Holmes. He turns them around, the better to look at his fingers from all sides. He opens and shuts his fists, watching each finger as it moves up and down. To help your baby develop his blossoming hand-eye coordination, try dangling a toy just out of reach so he has to grab for it.


           While your head is probably twelve percent or so of your body's total height, your baby's is closer to twenty-five percent.


Q - Can I Spoil My Baby?
           No. Young babies are completely spoil-proof. Your baby needs all the care and attention you can give. Ignore the advice of well-meaning relatives who think babies need to learn independence. Instead, listen to your parental instinct - that inner voice that tells you to comfort your baby when he cries.       

       "Spoiled children" have learned to use negative behavior to get what they want. But your baby is too young to purposefully manipulate or annoy you. He cries to communicate his needs, whether they're for a snack, a dry diaper, or a little cuddling with Mom or Dad. When you respond quickly to your baby, you're building his sense of self-worth. You're also establishing a foundation of trust that can last for years to come.       

       If you give your baby prompt attention, he'll feel more secure and less anxious, giving him the courage to explore the world on his own. And once he understands that you take his cries seriously, he'll be less likely to cry for no reason. In the long run, responding quickly to your baby's needs will make him less clingy and demanding, not more.       

       By the time your baby is six to eight months old, he'll be paying close attention to cause and effect - noticing, for instance, that his bowl falls when he drops it from the highchair. He'll also start to see a direct link between his actions and your responses. At this point it's okay to set some limits. If your baby starts crying to get something he doesn't need, hold your ground and give him a hug when he calms down. Similarly, give hugs and praise for good behavior and gently redirect him when he's doing something hazardous.       

       The right blend of love and guidance will eventually help your child understand his place in the world. But for now, your focus should be on giving him as much attention and comfort as you can. No matter how much you give, it's not more than he needs.


Father Bonding
           Have a staring contest: Prowess is a guy thing, right? Lest you believe that little baby of yours is a pushover, engage him in a time-honored ritual of seeing who'll blink first. He may surprise you. Babies love to contemplate faces, and chances are that before he gets bored, you'll have dropped your gaze, wondering where he got that incredible dimple or whether her ears look like your mom's or your wife's.


Try This!
           Lie on your back and put your baby on your tummy. Call his name and raise his head slightly to encourage him to lift his head to see your face. Repeat this over and over, praising the baby each time he lifts his head a little bit. Try the same game by putting the baby on the floor on his tummy. Hold a brightly colored object in front of his face to encourage him to lift his head. Praise him each time he lifts his head. Say things like, "Good boy" or "You did it!"


Dayvian's Experience
           I tried this game with Dayvian after he had just woken up from his afternoon nap. I first place him on my stomach and called his name. He lifted his head without any assistance from me. I said, "Good boy, Dayvian!" He grinned from ear to ear after I praised him. We did this little game of peek-a-boo for about five minutes. I then laid out a blanket on the floor and placed him on it. First I held up his bright colored rattle. He lifted his head up to see the rattle. I praised him by saying, "Good job, Buddy!" He again smiled after I praised him. I repeated this game with a bright block and his stuffed doggie. He lifted his head both times to look at the objects. When we were about finished with the activity, I placed his bottle slightly above him. When he looked up, he immediately got excited because it was time for him to eat.


     How Can I Beat New Mom Boredom?

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