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Infant - Week #18

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Newborn Week Eighteen

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

Exercising The Mind
           Your baby loves to reach out and touch anyone and anything that he can get his hands on. With increasing coordination, he can reach for and pick up things that pique his interest. You can help him practice his grabbing skills by outfitting his crib and play yard with fascinating toys, especially ones that squeak and rattle. Spending time in an activity saucer or under a floor gym offers the same benefit.


           If you're feeding your baby formula, you can expect to pay between $1,300 and $4,000 for a year's supply.


Father Bonding
           Read the Sports Page: Aloud. What a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone! Let's face it: Goodnight Moon can get you only so far. After the 1,500th reading of the classic book, my husband finally threw in the towel. I walked by the nursery at bedtime to hear him very sweetly crooning the details of a Packers game to Dayvian. The baby loved every minute of it ... it didn't matter what his father was reading, just so long as he was.


Raise A Good Sleeper
           A typical newborn sleeps between sixteen and eighteen hours a day, and your baby should be physically able to sleep through the night- that is, sleep for at least six to eight hours straight - sometime between six weeks and six months of age. In fact, by three months, more than ninety percent of babies can and do sleep through the night, although they may still have weeks of night waking due to growth spurts or developmental changes. Exactly when this magical milestone happens can vary greatly, depending both on your baby's individual development and the healthy sleep habits you establish. Some hints:
  • Create a Consistent Bedtime Routine: Doing things in the same way every evening at about the same time helps your baby, who can't tell time, get the idea that sleep is expected soon. Example: Bathe, dress for bed, feed, rock until drowsy but not asleep, place in crib.
  • Set the Scene for Sleep: When you put your baby to bed, the lights should be off and curtains drawn. Use a crib light or a nightlight to give you just enough light to see by. Keep the room quiet or use a white noise machine or lullaby CD to block out sounds from the rest of the house.
  • Don't Wait Until He Is Asleep in Your Arms: Put your baby down to sleep when he is drowsy but still awake. This will teach him to fall asleep on his own without being rocked or fed to sleep. If he awakens on his own later, he'll be better able to go back to sleep without needing to cry out for you to rock him.


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.

       Motor Skills:
  • Rolls from side to side
  • Sits with support for longer periods of time
  • Enjoys using the legs in a kicking motion
  • Holds chest up when lying on tummy
  • Supports head while held in a sitting position

  • Fascinated with mirror images
  • Focuses clearly on objects


Try This!
           Put a brightly colored sock on your baby's foot. Move his foot so that he can see the sock. When he sees the color, he will get very excited. At first, the baby will see the colors accidentally, but he will soon learn to concentrate on a color for a longer period of time. Change the sock to his other foot, or try putting socks on both of his feet. Move them around to different areas of his visual range and see his reaction. Try putting the socks on his hands. He should begin to hold his hand in front of his eyes and really concentrate on what he is seeing. This game will help your baby learn about colors as well as stimulate his vision. *They do make brightly colored socks with different patterns, rattles, and even balls on them especially for this activity.


Dayvian's Experience
           Dayvian did very well with this activity because he loves the individualized attention. He knows something funny or amusing will happen when his parents lay him on his back and start to tickle him. However, this time wasn't like most as we did place bright colored socks on his feet and flashed those socks every twenty or so seconds. Every time the sock passed in front of his vision his eyes got really big and after a few times of doing that sound effects were added. This activity became more than just visual stimulation as his hearing also got into the mix. That's when the laughter came about in him. After all, any activity that makes your child smile or laugh is always worth doing and should get you to smile as well.


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