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Infant - Week #24

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Newborn Week Twenty Four

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

No Guilt Allowed
           Too many parents today say they feel guilty for trying to balance their lives between work and home. Don't get wrapped up in the time that you're not at home; rather, make the time that you spend at home together special. Leave work at work and focus on your family at home. And be proud that you have the ability and opportunity to have a family and a career.       

       Take advantage of weekends and holidays as a time to focus on family. Try some of these activities with your family to create quality family time together:
  • Set aside a day for a regular activity, such as movie night or game night. Let your children pick the activity.
  • Turn dinner time into family time. Tell each other about your day or what you'd like to do this weekend. Even if you're a first time parent with a six-month-old, your child will love hearing your voice.
  • Bedtime is perfect for winding down the day together with a story, lullaby, or snuggle time.
  • Take a walk through the neighborhood or local park after dinner.
  • Play a game in the backyard together and invent your own rules.
  • In the spring and summer visit an amusement park, water park, pool, or zoo.
  • Take advantage of other seasonal activities, like a fall pumpkin patch or a winter festival of lights.

       No matter how you divide your time between work and family, don't let guilty feelings drag you down. Your family loves you more than you could ever know!


           By five months, your baby's weight has approximately doubled from his birth weight. If he kept this up, by age ten he'd be 10 feet tall and weigh over 200 pounds!


Father Bonding Idea
           Be A Texture Board: One of the greatest attributes of men is that they feel great (or they probably wouldn't be daddies in the first place). From the rough shadow of beard to a silky moustache to a crew cut hairdo, a father is a tactile delight. Beware: Little fingers can get a punishing grip on chest hair.


Q - Will He Ever Sleep Through The Night?
           Keep in mind that your baby's sleeping patterns may be disrupted during growth spurts and mastering new skills, like learning how to pull himself up in his crib. A change of scenery can also disrupt the pattern, like spending the night at Grandma's house or moving to a new house. But for the most part, a baby aged four to six months is capable of sleeping six to twelve hours straight.       

       The best way to solve sleeping problems is to create a routine. Babies (and toddlers) are creatures of habit and respond well to the same simple tasks repeated over and over again. Repetition is a signal of security. Create your routine carefully to include all adults who will regularly put your baby to sleep. If Mom's and Dad's roles are interchangeable, your baby won't associate bedtime with just one parent (thus creating a problem when one parent is unable to put the baby to bed).       

       Be consistent; set up a predictable order of events and perform your routine in the room that the baby sleeps. Offer only one small stuffed animal to sleep with. Don't keep the lights on or offer your baby a bottle in bed.       

       When he does wake in the middle of the night, it can be hard not to run and pick him up, but avoid doing it if there's nothing wrong. You can go into the room to sit by his crib or pat him gently, but do not pick him up. Your baby needs to learn to settle himself back to sleep. Help him learn by putting him in bed while he's still awake but drowsy.


Baby Skills
           Your baby is naturally curious and eager to learn, and playtime helps him to develop his motor and cognitive skills. He learns from everything he sees, hears, and feels. These experiences are transmitted and stored in his brain cells. As his motor skills develop, your baby will gain an increasing ability to control movement in his limbs and body. For instance, he's now able to grasp his little rattle with his fingers and wave it around. His developing cognitive skills become more evident during playtime. For instance, when he reaches for his toys, he has to figure out how to best reach them: does he roll over or cry for help? Playtime is becoming more fun as your baby explores his toys in greater detail. He'll also find ways to make them more interesting. Are you noticing that peek-a-boo is a favorite with your baby? That's because by about four months, he begins to understand that objects don't vanish into thin air, and he'll anticipate the reappearance of the object.


Try This!
           Turn a round container, like an oatmeal canister, into a book for your baby. Cut out simple, brightly colored pictures from magazines and glue them onto the canister. Select things that are familiar to your baby, such as animals, people, cups, balls, or other toys. You could even use real photographs! Cover the pictures with clear contact paper. Lie down next to your baby on the floor. Play with him by rolling the canister back and forth in front of him. This will encourage him to reach out after it. Point to different pictures and talk about them. "This is a dog."


Dayvian's Experience
           Dayvian's big sister, Daysia, helped me pick out photographs to put on the oatmeal canister. We used many of our family photographs: pictures of our dog, Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins all went on the "book." We also included a few simple animal pictures and some black and white designs that we found in a magazine. After Dayvian woke up from his nap, I laid him face down on a blanket. I put the canister in front of him and watched as he reached out for it full of excitement. He seemed a bit puzzled as the canister rolled away. Daysia was a big helper and rolled it back to him. The two of them went back and forth with the canister for ten minutes or so. Then I held both of them on my lap, and we looked at and named the pictures together. It was a great activity to do with both of the kids!


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