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Infant - Week #17

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A 17-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Double Trouble
           At a little over four months old, your baby may have doubled his birth weight by now.  As he grows physically, his tummy is getting bigger, too.  This is good news because he can eat more at a feeding and last longer between feedings.  You'll notice that he requires fewer feedings per day as he continues to grow.  Keep in mind that many factors including size and what kind of milk your little one is drinking play into this, and remember every baby is different!


  Who Needs Toys?
           Your little one found his fingers a few weeks ago, and now it's time for him to discover his toes.  Don't be surprised if you find your baby amusing himself with not only his fingers but his toes, too.  Make sure you get out your camera because what an adorable picture that makes!


  Strengthen Those Legs!
           While tummy time continues to be an incredibly important part of your baby's day, he is strong enough now to focus on other strengthening activities as well.  Shift your focus to activities that allow your baby to strengthen his tummy and his legs. This will help him with the transition to sitting and standing in the months to come.  Keep in mind that what seems like moments to us probably seems like an eternity to him. Limit the time of these activities until your little one gains strength.


  Tracking and Grabbing
           For a few weeks now your baby has been following or tracking things with his eyes.  He's also been reaching for things, namely your hair and earrings.  Watch out! Here comes trouble.  This week he'll be able to combine the two.  This means when he sets his sights on something, he will go after it.  This opens the door to lots of fun games, but it also means you have to be incredibly careful of what is left in his reach (red hot coffee, sharp items...)


  DO Try This at Home!
           Your baby has been recognizing your voice since the moment he was born and even in utero.  Over the past 17 weeks he has learned to not only recognize your voice but to match your face and scent to it as well.  Your baby is capable of seeking you out in a room which means that now it's time for the fun to really begin.  Challenge your baby by placing him in the middle of a room, maybe in his saucer or bouncy chair.  Hide behind couches or chairs or tables and pop up, calling out his name.  It may take him a moment or two and you may have to repeat his name over and over again, but he will find you.  The look of joy on his face when he finds you will be priceless and the giggles and grins you will get when he realizes that you are playing a game with him will be even better!


  Follow That Voice
           I played this stationary game of hide and seek with Max and had so much fun that I taught my older kids to play with him as well.  I tried it one night by myself to see how successful Max would be with this, and we both had a ball.  I put him in the middle of the room in his bumbo chair and hid relatively close to him behind a chair.  I popped out and called his name.  Instantly, when he heard my name, his little head started turning and his eyes roamed the room trying to find me. As long as I kept calling his name, he kept looking, and when he found me he smiled a HUGE smile.  I tried again, this time behind the toybox; same thing- he looked and was so happy when he found me.  We went a few more rounds before I sensed his fatigue, and we ended it for the night.  The next day I showed my four-year-old how to play with Max, and I think she had even more fun than he did.  This is definitely one for the video camera. Do try this at home!


  That's Questionable!
           Q -  Do You Keep A Baby Book?       

       So many moms have invited me to scrapbook shows and parties, and when I tell them that I don't keep a scrapbook or a baby book for the kids, I get a horrible look.  I'm really not that bad of a mom. While I don't keep scrapbooks per se, I do other things to preserve memories and document their lives.       

       As a tribute to each of them I try to write them a letter three to four times a year.  In the letter I express my love for them, tell them about the milestones that they have reached, new and exciting things that happened in their lives, and so on and so forth.  I file these away in a fireproof box and am holding on to them for when they are older.  I don't know when they will be ready to read these letters, maybe not until they have children of their own, but when the time is right, I will give them to them.       

       I also keep a baby box for them- nothing exciting, just a plastic shoebox-sized box where I keep all of their momentous items:  cards, invitations, first haircut hair...They each have a box marked with their names on the top of their closet.  Chances are when they are old enough to do something with these, they won't want them, but on the off chance that they find this stuff important, it is there for them.       

       As technology changes, some of what I've done for the kids as far as preserving memories has changed a little, too.  For Max I am using the journal on edHelperBaby to more specifically mark his milestones and accomplishments.  Unfortunately, this wasn't available for my older three, but I am using it now and will for their future happenings.       

       Don't let people tell you that you need a scrapbook or that you have to use a specific baby book. Do what works for you, and because you WANTED to do it, it will be special!


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