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Infant - Week #16

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Newborn Week Sixteen

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

Sitting Up
           Your baby is probably able to sit upright when propped up by pillows or blankets. If he can do this for short periods of time without flopping over to the side or falling forward, by all means let him do so. Allow him time to enjoy the new views that he is now able to see. Remember not to leave a propped up baby unattended though!


           Babies tend to cry most during their first three months, so the worst should be just about over. Any time now you're likely to notice a big drop-off.


Q - Why Does My Baby Scratch Himself?
           To some extent, it's because he can. Around this age, your baby is developing the coordination that allows him to actually get his hands to where he wants them - for instance, to scratch an itch. If your baby is scratching a lot, there could be a particular culprit, like dry skin or a rash that needs attention. If he's leaving visible marks, make sure his fingernails are trimmed.


Read To Your Baby
           Reading to your baby, even at this young age, will pay off. Hearing you read helps your baby develop an ear for the cadence of spoken language. Varying the pitch of your voice, using accents, and singing will make the connection between you and your baby that much more interesting. If your baby looks the other way or loses interest while you're reading, just try doing something else and give him time to rest. Take your cue from your baby's responses.


           It's practically a given that your baby will catch a cold during his first year - the numerous viruses that cause colds are nearly impossible to avoid. In fact, it's estimated that children catch up to eight colds a year. Viruses are spread through airborne droplets and by touching contaminated objects, such as doorknobs and toys. Your baby can't fight them off as easily as you can because his immune system is less well developed.       

       On top of this, your baby is constantly putting his fingers near his eyes and in his mouth, giving any viruses lurking on his hands easy passage into his body where they can set up camp. If your baby is in group daycare or has older siblings, he's even more likely to come into contact with some of the hundreds of different cold germs. Common symptoms of a baby's cold include sneezing, watery eyes, stuffiness, coughing, runny nose, fussiness, and low-grade fever. These symptoms usually last for about a week.       

       To help ease the effects of the cold you can suction stuffy nostrils with a rubber bulb syringe and use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in the room where he sleeps. These steps help keep his mucus thin and moving so he can breathe more easily. Remember that babies like to breathe through their noses instead of their mouths, so a clogged nose can make for an unhappy baby. You might also try giving him smaller and more frequent feedings since it may be harder for him to breathe comfortably while eating.       

       Raise the head of your baby's mattress by a few inches if possible to ease his postnasal drip. Never use pillows for this purpose, though. If his crib mattress can't be elevated, try putting him to sleep in his car seat in a semi-upright position.       

       Don't give your baby over-the-counter cold remedies. Doctors don't recommend them for children under six years of age because they haven't been shown to help, and they can have serious side effects. Since most colds are caused by viruses, antibiotics don't help. Your baby's body should fight off the infection on its own. If your baby's cold is accompanied by a fever, your doctor may recommend that you give your baby acetaminophen.


Father Bonding Idea
           Play Kangaroo: My firstborn was a colicky baby who was only happy when someone was holding on to her. My husband, Scott, would strap on the baby carrier and go about his daily business: raking the leaves, setting the table, taking the dog on a walk, etc... all while having Daysia strapped to his chest.


Try This!
           Play this game with your child when he is awake and content. Lay your child on the floor on his back. Put a piece of wax paper in his hand. Allow him to grasp the wax paper and observe his reaction. Babies love to hear the crinkling noise that the paper makes. If he is not eager to play with the paper, try crinkling it yourself near him. This game must be done under close supervision only as the wax paper could be a choking or suffocation hazard.


Dayvian's Experience
           I played this game with Dayvian after he had just woken up from his afternoon nap. I laid a blanket down on the living room floor and placed him on his back on the blanket. I lay down next to him and handed him the wax paper. He immediately got an interested look on his face. I showed him how to crinkle the paper, and he let out a scream of excitement. Dayvian absolutely loved this game! In fact, he like it so much that we ended up going out to get a book and a stuffed animal that have the wax paper type material inside of them. This way he has a much safer version of the toy that he likes so much. Now when he is having a fussy time, I lay the crinkly turtle on his chest and he is as happy as can be looking at and crinkling his turtle.


     What Do I Do If My Baby Gets a Cold?

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