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Infant - Week #21

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A 21-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Decisions, Decisions
           Your baby now has her own very definite opinions about what she likes and doesn't and people that she wants.  Don't be surprised if you see her reach for something that is farther away and less convenient simply because she wants it.  This goes beyond toys as well; your baby may surprise you and even show favoritism between you and your partner.  Don't be offended or upset; she will go through phases of favorites over the next few months. Remember: you can't win them all!


  Jeepers Creepers
           Twenty-one weeks is a great age to lay your baby down on her tummy with a few of her favorite things to play with and entertain herself for a while.  It's even a good idea to walk away and get something done so that she can get used to being by herself.  But don't be surprised when you come back and she's not exactly where you left her.  Between rolling and creeping, your baby can cover quite a bit of ground now.  This is exciting, but it also means that you need to begin thinking about really babyproofing your house to keep your baby safe!


           Let's all face it...our little newborns are little and newborn no more.  Your 21-week-old could weigh anywhere from 14-20 pounds-- not so easy to carry around anywhere.  The good news is that your baby's muscle control is strong enough now that you can shift her to your hip.  You'll find that this is a lot easier on your arms and back, and that once again, it allows your baby a whole new view of the world around her.


  Item Of The Week:  Babyproofing Gear
           How did it come to this so fast?  Just yesterday you were bringing home a stationary newborn that you could swaddle up, set down on the bed, and walk away from.   Your baby is stationary no more, and it's time to break out the babyproofing gear.  Start with the basic, like outlet covers, padding for fireplaces and sharp corners, latches for cabinets and brackets to fasten shelves to walls so that your baby can't pull things down on herself.  Visit the aisle of your local baby store to get ideas and see what other items are necessities for your home.  As tempting as it is, don't put this off.  You may feel that your baby isn't mobile enough for these precautions yet, but it can happen overnight and you want to be prepared.


  DO Try This At Home!
           It's a given that your baby is trying to mimic and imitate the sounds and noises that you make.  The latest development is that your baby will try to mimic your facial expressions as well.  This includes furrowing your eyebrows, scrunching up your nose, making fish faces, and other silly facial expressions.  Not only is this an incredibly important part of your baby's development but it can also produce hours of entertainment for you and your baby.  This is a great one to get the whole family involved in.


  Monkey See, Monkey Do!
           Max is an incredibly expressive baby, sometimes too much so (i.e. when I'm feeding him and someone walks by and he cracks up and gets food and formula all over).  This being the case, I knew that this was going to be a fun one.  I sat down with Max, and Joey (almost two) happened to come over and sit down with us.  I just talked to Max for a few minutes to get his attention and get him interested in what I was doing.  I started simply and just started opening and closing my mouth.  I would open really big and wide and exaggerated and stay that way for a second and then close my mouth loudly.  Immediately Joey got the game and did the same thing at Max.  Joey and I went back and forth a few times making the same open and closed mouth face, and I watched as Max looked on intently.  Over and over again we kept saying, "Okay Max, your turn!"  I was just about to give up for the day when Max seemed to figure it out and opened his mouth!  I know it's going to sound silly, but it was so exciting to see.  All of these activities are things that will happen naturally on their own, but when you go out and seek them and they happen because you were working with your baby, the excitement is tenfold!  I couldn't wait to tell my husband about Max's accomplishment but didn't have to just tell him.  Max showed him...in fact, for the next three days anytime I went near Max he would open and close his mouth at me and then burst into a big smile!  Definitely time for a new expression...do try this at home. I hope you have as much fun as we did!


  That's Questionable!
           Q -   Now that you have started your baby on solids, what is your baby's feeding schedule like?       

       I love this question because even though I have had four kids in just over four years, this is something that I always really have to think about.  Again it falls in the category of every baby is different and you have to find a schedule that works for you, but I also think that it is a great idea to hear what works for others so that you have a starting point.       

       Max wakes up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. (he is going to sleep around 6:15 p.m. these days) and has a 4-6 ounce bottle right away.  About 2 hours later, I mix 2 ounces of formula with some kind of baby food (oatmeal, rice cereal...).  Max eats that and then an hour later he has another bottle.  After that bottle, he'll usually sleep for about 2 hours.  He gets another regular bottle at around noon and another at around 3:30 p.m.  Then at 5:00 p.m., he gets 2 more ounces of formula mixed with baby food and at 6:00 p.m. he gets his last bottle before he goes down for the night.  I will continue this schedule until Max is about six months at which time I will begin to add fruits and veggies to the menu!  Play around with a schedule and see what works for you.  Watch for constipation and other feeding issues and talk to your doctor if anything concerns you!  Happy feeding!


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