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Infant - Week #20

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Newborn Week Twenty

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

Wiggle Worm
           A bigger, stronger baby is also likely to be a wigglier one at diaper changing time. Be sure to keep one hand on your baby at all times during changes. Some parents like to place a musical mobile above a changing station so their baby will have a distraction. A basket filled with toys you rotate or make available only during diapering may also help your baby lie still long enough for you to get the job done.


           Don't lose heart if your baby's not yet sleeping through the night. Most infants make it a habit sometime between two and six months, and some not until much later.


Q - Do Babies Need Exercise?
           Babies don't need exercise in the way adults do to stay physically fit. But at this age, your baby is busy developing motor skills, and she needs plenty of opportunities to do so. Physical stimulation is just as important for babies as mental stimulation. By six months, most babies are rolling over and learning how to sit up, and parents need to allow them the space and opportunity to do those things. Some suggestions: Spread a sheet in the center of the living room floor and put your baby in the middle of it, surrounded by her favorite toys, then watch her get active. Be careful not to leave a baby for long periods in confining situations, such as a car seat or crib, which can delay her motor development. And don't put a baby in front of the TV. It's one of the worst things you can do because it's so passive.  Instead, think of floor time as gym time - by giving your baby plenty of opportunity to test her newfound skills, she'll get all the exercise she needs.


How To Make Your Baby Feel Loved
           How do you raise a child to show him that he's loved? Show him your feelings in concrete ways:

       Demonstrate your affection: The idea that you can't spoil a baby is indeed true. Give your baby hugs, kisses, and hold him. Your baby doesn't need a lot of fancy toys and gadgets, but he does need the attention and affection of loving parents.

       Talk to your baby: Your soothing voice will become a familiar touchstone for your baby and a reassuring reminder of your comforting presence.

       Respond to his needs: It sounds basic, but it's the foundation of raising a secure child. When your baby cries, try to figure out his needs. A new diaper? More milk? A nap? Sometimes babies just cry and you can't help them, especially when its bedtime and they're supposed to be sleeping. If there's no reason why he is crying, still respond promptly, and he'll feel more secure knowing that you are paying attention to him.

       Touch your baby: Skin-to-skin contact is comforting and relaxing. Many babies enjoy infant massage, which is easy to learn.


Where Can I Find A Good Babysitter?
           Word of mouth is a good way to gather names of teens and adults in your area who like to babysit. Ask your friends, neighbors, relatives, fellow parents, and your child's doctor if they know of any trustworthy candidates. Also, some urban areas have a nonprofit childcare referral service - ask fellow parents if such a service exists in your area.       

       Or try calling the student employment service at your local college or high school and posting fliers at gyms, youth centers, churches, or synagogues. You could also place an ad in the newspaper or on a local online bulletin board and then interview prospective candidates. (Always ask for lots of references in such cases.)       

       Some people have good luck tacking signs on bulletin boards at stores and restaurants around the neighborhood, though this is certainly riskier because you never know who you'll get.       

       Another route is to check the yellow pages for a babysitting agency - a good source for prescreened sitters. Agency employees are usually older and more experienced than your average teen. That added wisdom might cost you a bit more, though.       

       There are also a number of online services that connect parents and potential sitters. These can be a great way to find college students and other local young people looking for work.       

       Services may be free or may charge a fee for posting a parent profile in which you specify what you're looking for, and they maintain databases, searchable by zip code, of babysitters looking for employment. Allow enough time to be able to post your profile, screen responses, and check references.


Father Bonding Idea
           Change a diaper. Talk about bonding at the earthiest level - with babies, the bottom line often involves cleaning up a mess. During a change you get to touch the baby and talk to him, but it's sometimes hard to see a silver lining when a soggy lining is so much more evident. Still, fair's fair. My friend Jen's husband once asked her what she did all day with the baby, so she lined up 18 dirty diapers in neat, plastic piles on the front stoop for him to see when he came home.


Try This!
           Sit the baby in your lap facing you and say boo three times. When you say the first and second boo, move your head towards the baby's. On the third boo, bump noses with your baby. If you say the last boo a little louder, it makes the game even more fun. Repeat this game over and over. Change the tone of your voice each time. Sometimes use a high voice, sometimes use a low voice. Try whispering the first and second boo, and then say the third boo in a normal voice. Be careful not to say it too loud as this may scare the baby.


Dayvian's Experience
           I played this game with Dayvian after he had his nightly bath and was snuggled into his pajamas. I held him on my lap and said boo three times and then bumped noses. He let out a big laugh after I bumped into him. I did this again with a different voice and it really got him laughing. The next time I said three boos, I bounced my knees (which his butt was resting on) up and down with each boo and then on the third boo we bumped noses. He really got a kick out of this. He especially liked the bouncing up and down. I could tell that he was beginning to anticipate the bumping of our noses. We played this game for 10 minutes and he had an absolute blast.


     Is My Baby's Hearing Normal?

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