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Infant - Week #20

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A 20-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  The Tooth Fairy
           Your baby may be at the very beginning of the three-year process of filling her  little mouth with teeth.  Teething is one of those things where the timing varies from baby to baby, but between four and six months of age is a good estimate of when your baby may cut her first tooth.  Signs of teething include drooling, gum swelling, crabbiness, sleep problems, loose stools and/or fevers.  Some babies exhibit none of these symptoms and others have many.  Pay attention to your child's moods and behaviors and try to keep her as comfortable as possible while these teeth break through!


  I'm Still Hungry!
           There is great debate as to when to move from solely liquids to some solids as well.  If your baby is no longer sleeping through the night or doesn't seem full or satisfied on liquids alone, this is a conversation that you should have with your pediatrician.  Keep in mind that regardless of the advice you may get from outsiders, you need to do what is right for you and your baby.  Happy eating!


  The Sound of Everything!
           The easiest and quickest way to get your baby's attention is to talk to her or make a sound around her.  She is entranced with noise and the different ranges of sounds that she is not only hearing but beginning to interpret.  Remember that as little as she still is, she is learning speech patterns from you already.  The more that you talk to her and interact with her, the more she is learning.  As important as words are, she is just as entranced with other sounds. Some favorites include jingling keys, tapping toys or spoons on the counter, and whistles or musical instruments.  Heighten your baby's sense of hearing by exposing her to as many noises as you can!


  Little Miss Personality
           How cool is it that your baby's personality is emerging right before your very eyes  You are probably starting to be able to see what kind of personality your baby at the ripe old age of 20 weeks will have.  Some babies are shy and quiet, others are social and outgoing, and some are just plain silly.  Keep your baby's personality in mind as you expose her to different experiences in the months to come. Different babies with different personalities will all have their own individual reactions to different experiences.


  DO Try This At Home!
           Your baby should be pretty proficient on her tummy these days, and if she's not, this activity will encourage her to improve in this area.  Gather some of her favorite baby toys and put them in front of her on the floor as she lies on her tummy.  Get her interested and really into the toys and then move them a little farther away from her.  Don't make them unreachable yet, but don't put them right in front of her either.  Encourage her to reach for the toys that she wants.  After she has been successful with this a few times, move the toys a little bit farther away and off to the sides.  This will encourage her to not only reach for what she wants but it will also start to develop the crawling motion that will be showing itself in the months to come!


  Get It Yourself With Max!
           This was an activity that I definitely had to do with Max when the other kids were asleep.  If it were up to them, Max would never have to move! They not only bring everything to him but insist that they put it IN his hands.  The thought of making him work for something would infuriate them...so needless to say, I waited till bedtime.  I laid Max on the floor with his favorite toy-- a vibrating grasshopper-- and just let him play with it for a few minutes.  When he was really interested in it, I gently took it away (mean, I know!) and moved it a little bit in front of him.  He looked at me at first like he was going to cry then saw that it was still right there and reached for it.  I can honestly say that during this session I didn't have the heart to take it away again.  A couple nights later we tried again, and I put it at an attainable reach away.  He got it and played with it for a few minutes and then I took it and moved it out to the side a bit.  This was a little harder for him, but after some grunting and squirming, he got it once again.  This is an activity that I will continue to work on with Max.  Not only is he still building those neck and stomach muscles but he is learning to reach for things and is in the early stages of gearing up for crawling.  As usual, remember to gauge your baby's mood and be careful not to overstimulate him or push him, but this is a good one...do try it at home!


  That's Questionable!
           Q -   How many hours is your baby sleeping at night?       

       Max was doing really great sleeping from about 7:00 p.m. till about 6:00 a.m..  This was straight uninterrupted sleep and it was heavenly.  Then about three nights in a row he woke up at 4:00 a.m. and wouldn't go back to sleep without a bottle.  This being my fourth baby in as many years, I recognized this as a sign that he was ready for solid foods.  I began feeding him cereal twice a day, and he is, thankfully, back to sleeping through the night, now from about 6:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.  Starting your baby on solids doesn't always improve his sleep habits.  I have a number of friends who had similar sleep problems, moved their babies to solids, and their sleep problems didn't improve.  I'm going to chalk this up to,"I got lucky!" and enjoy my sleep while I can!


     How Can I Prevent and Treat Diaper Rash?

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