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Infant - Week #17

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Newborn Week Seventeen

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

Talking Up A Storm
           Your baby's goos and gurgles are probably going strong, but now he's also making consonant sounds, sputtering p's and b's and m's and l's. That's where the first "mama" and "dada" will come from. At first, he won't associate these sounds with any particular meaning (although you certainly will) - they're just easiest for him to make. Interesting fact: In any language, the equivalents of "mama" and "dada" are common first words.


           Parenthood can be tough on dads, too - more than two-thirds of dads in one study reported feeling down during their baby's first four months of life.


Father Bonding
           Take a Bath Together:One dad that I know dreaded the nights when it was his turn to give his son a bath. I think the combination of the slippery skin and the screaming baby made him nervous. One night, he simply stripped down himself and took the infant into the tub with him. Lo and behold, the baby was calm for the entire duration of the bath. Being snuggled against his father's chest made all the difference.


Q - When Do Babies Start To Remember Things?
           That depends on which type of memory you are talking about. The type that shows up earliest, recognition memory, is your baby's ability to recognize things after a delay or absence. He's born, for example, able to recognize your voice, which he heard in utero. Recall memory is the next to develop, usually by nine months, and with it your baby recalls specific information he can act on, like finding a favorite toy on the shelf or imitating an action he saw days before. Finally, the kind of memory adults rely on, called long-lasting conscious memory, likely won't develop in your baby until he's between fourteen and eighteen months old. It's usually not until preschool age - three to four years old - that children form memories that stick with them all the way to adulthood.


Four Month Checkup
           At four months, most pediatricians will recommend a four-month checkup for your baby. Here's what you can expect to be done at your baby's four-month appointment:
  • Weight
  • Length (Height)
  • Head circumference
  • Check over skin
  • Check range of motion in arms and legs
  • Reflexes
  • Shots: DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) shot, Hib (Haemophilus influenza type B) shot, polio shot, and pneumococcal (PCV7) shot. Some may also receive a hepatitis B shot at this visit.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your baby's eating and sleeping habits.


Some Four-Month Milestones
           While each child is unique and may develop new skills at different ages, here are some things that your child may be doing now or should be able to do soon.

  • Smiles and coos when talked to
  • Turns head purposefully in response to human voice

       Daily Activities:
  • Basks in attention
  • Acknowledges bottle gleefully
  • Just begins to realize objects exist even when out of sight
  • Laughs and giggles while playing and socializing
  • Is active, playful, and gregarious
  • Shakes rattle when placed in hand
  • Reaches and grasps some objects
  • Puts everything into mouth
  • Plays contently with fingers and hands
  • Usually sleeps through the night
  • Carefully studies objects placed in hand


Try This!
           Hold your baby in your arms in a darkened room. Move a flashlight and let your baby follow the light with his eyes. Shine the flashlight on the ceiling, on the floor, and on the wall. You could even try to shine the flashlight on your hands and feet. This is a great activity because babies need to have their vision stimulated to help build connections to the brain.


Dayvian's Experience
           Dayvian was unsure what was going on at first. In fact, he probably thought it was bedtime. However, after a short time when the flashlight was turned on, he became interested and began to follow the light all over the room. He was alert and content while following the light to the different areas of the room. It was a good activity to do for a few minutes outside the norm. I believe the activity helped Dayvian experience his vision in a whole "new light."


     How Do I Introduce a Cup?

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