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Infant - Week #22

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A 22-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Sitting Up!
           Some 22-week-olds are capable of sitting up for short periods of time by themselves.  Definitely encourage this in your baby but be sure not to leave him alone.  These muscles are still weak and developing, and more likely than not, he will topple over at some point.  Keep the area around him clear of hard toys so that when he does tip he doesn't hurt himself on these toys.  If your baby isn't sitting yet, don't fret; his time will come.  In the meantime, prop him up with pillows, boppys, or bumbos to work those muscles.


  Okay...Hold It Yourself!
           Surprisingly, your baby may be able to hold his own bottle now.  It's okay to encourage this, but always keep safety in the back of your mind.  Never prop the bottle and walk away. This poses a choking hazard.  Also try not to allow your baby to fall asleep with the bottle in his mouth.  Not only does this start a bad habit but it allows formula to pool on his teeth.  This is okay from time to time, but if it happens often, it could cause tooth decay.  So while little signs of independence are a plus, make sure to continue to monitor feeding times closely!


  Eyes On Me!
           Your baby's vision continues to develop, and as the days go by, his sight gets more and more superior.  It is important to watch your baby's eyes.  Monitor if it seems like he is not able to focus on objects for any length of time.  Your baby's eyes may cross from time to time, but if this is a phenomenon that is occurring regularly, it is important that you consult your pediatrician who can check it more thoroughly.


  What Are You Eating?
           In addition to not seeming satisfied after bottles and increased tongue thrust control, another big indicator that your baby may be ready to start solids is an interest in what you are eating and your behaviors at meal times.  Your baby may start to reach for items that you are eating and even try to transfer them to his mouth.  Encourage your baby's interest by seating him with you during meal times and narrating your movements and excitement with your meals from time to time!


  DO Try This At Home!
           Your baby is developing rapidly and the educational activities that you can engage him with are multiplying tenfold.  Your little one has been hearing you speak and sing and make sounds around him for the last five months, and he has been busy taking it all in.  He is beginning to understand and recognize intonation and inflection as well as rhythm and even rhyme.  This is a great time to start really focusing on those songs and finger plays.  There are thousands of them out there to choose from but why not start with the basics?  Patty Cake and Itsy Bitsy Spider are two classics that are always winners.  Introduce one every few days and watch as your baby responds to them after a few times.  There is nothing like the first time you start singing Patty Cake and his fat little hands start to clap along with you.  Have fun with this activity and encourage the whole family to join in.


  Rhyme Time With Max
           As a kindergarten teacher, I know oodles of finger plays and rhymes, but to keep things simple and to make it so my little ones could work with Max, I took my own advice and started with Patty Cake.  For three days straight, every time I had a few quiet moments with Max I would start singing Patty Cake while moving his hands along with me.  The first few times he had a perplexed look on his face but was mesmerized nonetheless.  After the first few times, as soon as he heard the first syllable come out of my mouth, he burst into grins and giggles.  It's been about a week, and I'm getting kicking and swinging arms...no clapping yet, but it's just around the corner- I can feel it.  My older kids love getting in Max's face and singing the songs with him.  I'm pretty sure that he doesn't know what song they are going for because all three of them do the tune differently (That doesn't attest to my abilities as a singing teacher does it?), but regardless, he is thrilled to be spending these special moments with his sisters and brother.  We continue to have fun singing and doing finger plays with Max and will for years to come.  Do try this at home!


  That's Questionable!
           Q -   What kind of thermometer do you use?       

       This question came to me last week when my two-year-old began running a fever.  I immediately reached for my trusty thermometer, got a reading, and then wondered if this was the best thermometer to be using.       

       Not so long ago, your only choice in a thermometer was the traditional glass variety that worked best rectally.  Today you have options.  That type still exists in the old school mercurial reading as well as with a digital output.  You can also take an axial temperature with that same thermometer.  In addition, you can use ear thermometers, thermometers that work by swiping the temporal lobe and getting a reading that way, pacifiers that act as thermometers, and even more innovative ways to get a reading.  So the question arises...which is best?       

       The most common answer is that the array of digital thermometers available today is just as accurate as the old school ones.  In some cases they are better because they work faster, they beep when they are finished, and they are definitely easier to read.  The general consensus was that, except for in very small infants (under 3 months) where you should use a rectal thermometer, it really doesn't matter.  Use whatever you are comfortable using, and if you report it to your doctor, inform him of how you got that temperature.  The way you got it isn't the important part; the important part is the temperature itself. All in all, a half a degree usually doesn't make a difference in the course of action your doctor wants you to take.       

       That being said, for those of you who are waiting for the answer to my original question,  I use a tympanic thermometer, the ear kind.  My kids traditionally run high fevers (I've seen up to 106.2.), and I like to be able to take their temperature over and over to make sure that the meds are working to get it down.  Having easy access to their ears makes this possible for me, and I've had great luck with my thermometer thus far!  Hopefully, you won't need your thermometer any time soon!


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