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Infant - Week #19

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Newborn Week Nineteen

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

Look At Me!
           Babies love to check themselves out in the mirror. In fact, faces are your baby's favorite things to see right now. Hold your baby in front of a mirror and watch his delight. He won't understand that this is his reflection until he is about seven or eight months old, but he'll still enjoy the view for now. The motion of his hands in the mirror will also capture his attention.


           If you're breastfeeding, your body needs about 25 percent more calories a day than usual - that's a total of 2,500 if your norm is 2,000.


Mom Hair Loss
           All new moms experience hair loss, though some lose more than others.       

       During pregnancy, changes in your hormone levels cause your hair to stay in a resting phase for longer, so you lose less hair on a daily basis. (You may have noticed that your hair seemed thicker than usual.)       

       After you've given birth and your hormones have settled down - usually at about 12 weeks after delivery - more hair shifts into a shedding phase. You may be alarmed to find hair coming out by the handful.       

       Normally, you lose about 100 to 125 hairs a day, but after delivery, you may be losing about 500 a day. This can be very disturbing, but try not to worry too much - you won't go bald!       

       There's little you can do about the shedding, other than to be patient. The shedding tends to be most noticeable when you're shampooing or brushing your hair, so you may find that shampooing less frequently or letting your hair dry naturally instead of brushing and blow-drying helps slow the loss.       

       On the other hand, it's going to fall out at some point, and you might prefer that it happen in private. Regular washing and brushing may help you avoid leaving a trail of shedding hair behind you all day. Try using a thickening shampoo if you feel your locks are getting too thin.       

       Within another six months or so, your hair should be back to its normal pre-pregnancy thickness, but you may find that the texture of your hair is never exactly the same. It may be wavier or straighter or more dry or oily than it was before pregnancy. This is probably due to the hormonal upheaval you've just been through.       

       If the hair loss doesn't seem to be slowing and you're still losing lots of hair six or so months after delivery, check in with a dermatologist or your healthcare provider. It may be a sign that you're low on iron, which is not entirely uncommon for new moms.


No Set Schedule
           Babies under three months of age follow internal cycles of sleeping and eating. By around three months old, though, they begin to be influenced by the combination of this internal wiring and the external world - the routines you create. Some babies naturally and easily fall into the rhythms of their household. Other babies have a more irregular sensibility and are more resistant to the cues you provide.

       You can help settle an erratic baby's temperament by building a daylong schedule of feeding, playtime, bathing, and other activities that's consistent. Try to work around your baby's natural inclinations. Keep a diary to see whether there are certain times of the day when he exhibits certain behavior. For example, if he's fussy in the afternoon, make that the time you give him extra cuddling and help him settle before he grows frantic. Match the number and timing of naps to when he most often seems tired, but let your schedule, not his, determine when things happen from day to day. Don't try cramming in errands at a time when he should be napping, or you'll undermine the schedule you're trying to create.

       Finally, let go of ideals of perfection: If you have a baby who resists a regimented schedule, the best you can hope for is more regularity in your household - not a complete absence of disorder.


Q - Why Does My Baby Like To Bang On Things?
           Now that your baby can bring both hands together, banging is the next logical step. In fact, experts consider it "developmentally appropriate," a time to unlock the relationship between cause and effect. At this age, your baby is exploring the world and making discoveries, and one of those discoveries is that if you hit one thing against another, you get a satisfying noise. You'll see a smile on your baby's face: He's happy because he's made something happen. You may notice that once your baby discovers a game - such as clanging pot lids together - he's happy to do it over and over. That's because babies this age like predictability. They find it reassuring to repeat an action and see that it brings the same result. If your ears need a rest, try introducing your baby to the old-fashioned game of patty-cake.


Father Bonding Idea
           Set a table for two. If your baby is eating cereal or other solid foods, eat a meal together. Sit down to eat with your prepared meal as you normally would. Slide the high chair up next to your seat and feed your little guy while you feed yourself. Use the old "one for you, two for me" method! Food has also been an excellent basis for bonding time.


Try This!
           Babies at this age are always reaching for things. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce a physical activity that will help him grow. Sit your baby on your lap and give him a favorite toy to hold. Play with him by talking to him, jiggling the toy, and making the entire experience very pleasant. Now, take the toy and hold it up a little higher than his hand can reach. Encourage him to reach for the toy. This will strengthen his muscles. Be sure to praise him and give him the toy after he reaches for it.


Dayvian's Experience
           I played this game with Dayvian after he had just woken up from his afternoon nap. This time has become his general happy-go-lucky playtime. His favorite toy is a turtle that is brightly colored with red, blue, green, and yellow. The area beneath the turtle's shell is the crunchy wax paper type material. Each one of the turtle's four legs has a squeaker in it. I let Dayvian crunch the turtle in his fists and chew on it for a little bit. This always puts a smile on his face. I then made each one of the legs squeak one by one. After that, I held the turtle up out of his reach. He whimpered a little and then raised his hand up towards it. It was hard to keep it away from him because I could tell that he was sad to see his favorite toy taken away. I let him have it back to crunch it and chew on it for awhile. I then held it up again and encouraged him to reach up with his other arm. I praised him with "Good job, Dayvian!" for doing what was requested of him.


     Is Listening to Music Beneficial For Babies?

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