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Infant - Week #24

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A 24-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  The Dropsies
           Your baby has more and more understanding of cause and effect as the days go by.  He has figured out that if he drops a toy or any kind of object, he will be rewarded with some kind of sensory feedback whether it be a noise or some other kind of sensation.  He will also figure out fast that not only does he get the noise but he gets you to bend down and get it and give it back to him!  He'll do this over and over again for weeks and maybe even months, so let the games begin!!


  Everything Goes In!
           Over the last few weeks your baby has developed the coordination to pick things up.  In addition to picking things up, he has also developed the hand eye coordination of getting the item from the floor into his mouth.  EVERYTHING goes straight for the mouth.  For some babies this is soothing on their gums as they begin to teethe.  For other babies it's just the natural thing to do and it allows them to get oral stimulation by sucking and chewing.  There is no way around it, but you can keep your baby safer and healthier by keeping a close eye on what toys are in his reach and by keeping clean those you deem safe!


  Going Backwards
           Crawling is in the near future for your baby but don't be alarmed if before he goes forwards, he goes backwards.  It's a perfectly natural and normal part of the crawling process for your baby to scoot backwards first.  So when you put him on the floor to play, try to give him plenty of room in front AND in back.  Don't be shocked if you leave the room for a minute only to find when you return that your baby is a few feet back from where you put him.  Enjoy the predictability now; in a few months he is going to be all over!


  Item Of The Week - Jumping Seat
           Your baby has great head control now.  Sitting in a sitting position in a bumbo or an exersaucer is old hat.  Now's a great time to introduce the jumperoo or some other similar kind of baby gear.  This allows your baby to be well supported in a standing position and have the ability to jump and exercise his legs.  Get out the video camera, especially for the first time.  This is so much fun to watch!  Keep a close eye on your baby though, as much fun as jumping is, it is also exhausting. Remember to give him a break if he starts to get fatigued!


  DO Try This At Home!
           Your baby has been trying to imitate basic consonant sounds and facial expressions for some time now.   Now's the time to bring out the big guns:  raspberries and "zerberts."  Some of you may ask what a zerbert or a raspberry is.  It's that delightful sound and sensation that is made when you stick out your tongue and blow.  As  grownups we can do it quite gracefully and minimize the spit; as an infant the grace is gone but the charm is multiplied.  Why on earth do we want to encourage spitting at such a young age?  Not only will it help your baby's speech in the long run by forcing him to begin forming new shapes with his mouth but it will also give him great oral feedback.  Beyond the developmental reasons for encouraging this - it's just plain adorable to watch.  Have fun with this one!


  Raspberries With Max!
           I knew this was going to be a fun one and couldn't wait to teach Max how to blow raspberries.  I started on this like I always start imitation or oral games - during a good old diaper change.  It's the perfect time; he's lying right in front of me, I've got his undivided attention, and if the diaper is poopy, you can pretty much guarantee that no one else will be near by!  So as I was changing Max, I started blowing raspberries at him.  The first time I just blew raspberries over and over and enjoyed his smiles and giggles.  The next diaper change I blew a few raspberries and gave him a little bit of wait time before I did some more to see if he would try on his own.  No luck yet!  The third time I blew some raspberries and then encouraged him: "Your turn Max..."  I could see him moving his mouth around, but he couldn't quite figure out how to do it.  It took a few more diaper changes before he got it.  Now I can't stop the raspberries from coming!  I love the raspberries, but they quickly lose their charm when they are paired with a mouthful of carrots!  Have fun and do try this at home!


  That's Questionable!
           Q -   As you start your baby on solids what kind of changes do you notice in his bowel movements and diaper patterns?       

       There are definitely changes in bowel movement patterns when you begin introducing your baby to solid foods.       

       In the past I always started my babies on rice cereal because it seemed like the logical place to start.  Inevitably, they would end up constipated, which is normal but a little bit stressful.  With Max, because of the recommendation of a friend, I started him on oatmeal instead. I did have less constipation problems but not enough to make a noticeable difference.       

       Before solid foods, Max was for sure a once, sometimes twice, a day pooper.  After solid foods, his poop became more formed and instead of once a day, it's changed to every other day.  Constipation has been an issue from time to time, and in order to alleviate this, I just water down a bottle or two and this has gotten things going again.  I recently began introducing fruits and vegetables. I am a believer in introducing veggies first for fear of the baby getting used to sweet foods and not eating vegetables.  Even though this makes sense to me and I try to follow this logic, I have one exception.  After introducing all the grains, I tend to move towards pears because they have always kept things "going" for my kids.  I did the same with Max and he is now back to pooping once a day.       

       What has worked for me most likely will not work for everyone and, of course, every baby and every baby's digestive system is different, but it helps to have some insight on what has worked for others.  As always, do what's best for you and your baby, and if you are overly concerned or have lots of questions, be sure to contact your doctor!


Starting Solids
By Jennifer L Ruiz, edHelperBaby

        Wow, it seems just like yesterday when your baby was born and now it is time to try out baby food.  Of course there is much debate over when to start but whether you start at four months or six months there are a few things you should know.  Solids come second to breast milk and/or formula.  It seems strange to think of the solids as the side item, but doctors say that breast  milk and/or formula is where your baby gets the majority of the necessary nutrients.  It is important that your baby still gets the recommended 24-32 ounces of breast milk and/or formula.

    When you introduce solids you should introduce one new food at a time.  Typically, you should start with rice cereal mixed with breast milk and/or formula.  Once your baby is accustomed to the cereal, then you can introduce other baby foods.  It is best to introduce a new food at least two days after the last food you introduced.  This way you can keep a close eye on whether your baby has an allergic reaction.  To make it easy on your baby's stomach, you should start with cereal, then vegetables, fruit and finally meat or poultry.  A good rule of thumb would be to start with the yellow vegetables like squash and non-acidic fruits like bananas and applesauce.  These types of foods are easier on the stomach.  Beware of bananas! If you feed your baby too much at first, bananas can cause constipation.  After that you can introduce foods like sweet potatoes, pears, peas and mashed ripe avocados.  A good rule of thumb is to keep a food journal of what your baby is eating so that you will know what he or she likes and dislikes and what your baby's body likes and dislikes.  Most importantly, your baby's stomach and digestive system need to get used to the new foods that you introduce to your baby.

       Do not let your worries about allergies make this a stressful time.  This should be a joyous moment for both you and your baby.  Have fun with them.  Put your baby in their high chair and let them feed themselves.  Make sure you have your camera nearby because these are the memories you never want to forget.       


My Experience with Starting Solids
By Jennifer L Ruiz, About my child Isabel

           When it was time for Isabel to start solids I drew a blank.  Even though she is my second child, it had been five years since my first child, Olivia, started eating solids.  When Olivia was a baby, I started her with oatmeal cereal instead of rice cereal and now she has an allergy to oatmeal.  Since I learned my lesson with Olivia, I started Isabel with rice cereal.  All went well.  Next I gave her squash, which she loved.  I was on a roll.  Now, it was time for some fruit.  Isabel really loved her bananas.  She liked them so much I just kept giving them to her.  Big mistake!  She became constipated quickly.  I felt horrible.  Isabel is your typical child when it comes to green vegetables.  She does not like them and I have to trick her.  I feed her one bite of fruit and two bites of green vegetables.  By the time she realizes she is eating green vegetables, she gets a nice bite of fruit.  It works and it keeps her balanced.  When she gets older, I will have to find a new trick to sneak in those greens.


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