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Infant - Week #2

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A 2-week-old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Your Two-Week-Old
           You've been home from the hospital long enough now that you are settling into some semblance of a routine.  Your baby is continuing to grow and change daily.


  Your First Outing!
           Most pediatricians like to see your baby at two weeks old for his first well baby checkup.  Be prepared to answer questions like how much and how often is he eating, how much total sleep is he getting in a day, and how many bowel movements and wet diapers is he having.  These well check-ups are perfect opportunities for you to ask all your questions too; you might want to write them down so you don't forget to ask.


Innie or Outie?
           During the second week of life, it is likely that you will have an answer to this question.  Your baby's umbilical cord stump may still be attached but not for much longer.  Until it falls off, sponge bathe your baby every other day and try to keep the cord dry.  Once the cord falls off, you can clean his belly button with a q-tip and hydrogen peroxide.


  Mime Time!
           It may be hard to believe, but your little one is capable of imitating your movements and even some of your sounds.  Experiment with your baby during his awake and alert periods by sticking out your tongue, cooing and oohing, and opening and closing your mouth.  You might be surprised to see that your baby can do it, too!


  Mellow Yellow
           Your baby may still have tinges of yellow in his skin coloring or on the whites of his eyes.  This is jaundice and it is fairly common in newborn babies and usually corrects itself.  You can help it along by making sure your baby is getting enough fluids and even placing him in a sunny window for a few hours if weather permits.  If your infant does appear to have a yellow tint, watch it closely, and if it seems to get worse, contact your pediatrician.


  DO Try This at Home!
           Reading Stories to your Newborn - It's never too early to begin reading to your baby.  He may not get a whole lot out of the words you are saying, but research shows that babies who are talked to or read to throughout their first few years usually learn language skills more easily than those who are not.  In addition to hearing your voice and exposing him to new words, you are spending important bonding time with your baby.


  Max's favorites!
           As a kindergarten teacher who preaches early intervention regularly, reading to Max is something that I did from the get go!  I truly love spending nights reading stories to Max.  I know that he can't possibly understand the words that I am reading to him, but at times when I look down at him, it really does seem as if he's following along.  Max's favorite as a two-week-old are the Olivia books by Ian Falconer.  He might love them because of the cute little pig, or the black and white contrasting pictures with a little bit of red thrown in, or maybe it's just the special time with Mommy!  Regardless of the reason, reading to Max is something that I will continue to do from here on out!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - How Do You Bathe Your Two-Week-Old?       

       Once that cord falls off and sponge baths are a thing of the past, bathing your two-week-old becomes a whole new ball game.  I've walked the baby bathtub aisle at Babies R Us and even tried some of the infant tubs with my oldest daughter.  Unfortunately, none of them did it for me.  They either hurt my back, were awkward to use, or the baby slipped all over the place.  Four babies later I've got it all figured out; I bathe Max directly in the kitchen sink.  I fill the sink directly with water, place a wash cloth on the bottom so he doesn't slip all over, squirt in a little bit of baby shampoo, and put him in.  I cradle him in my left arm and wash him with my right arm.  I like to keep the water running at a good temperature so that I can give him a final rinse when the bath is over.  The whole process can take as little as three minutes and as long as ten, depending on what kind of mood Max is in and how much he is enjoying his bath.


Your toddler and your newborn...
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, edHelperBaby

           It is amazing to see the change in a toddler when you bring home a new baby... and sometimes not amazing in a GOOD way! Be prepared for anything.  He or she could be happy, sad, jealous, angry, silly or regress to earlier behaviors.  Just be ready to make sure that the first child knows you still love and care for him or her just as much as you did before the second child was born.       

       Some toddlers want to help with babies all the time. But their versions of help sometimes are not all that helpful. Imagine a toddler rocking a baby in her bouncer, but it is more like rock-and-roll than rock-a-bye baby!  Also, the toddler might want to keep her warm by covering her with a blankie... from head to toe!       

       Just try very hard to let your toddler know that you appreciate his assistance in helping while stressing how careful you need to be with a new baby.  Fortunately, there is always lots of love to go around!

You Can't Spoil With Love
By Samantha Knapp, edHelperBaby

           "Don't pick that baby up every time she cries or you will spoil her!" Sadly, those words are often heard by new parents, usually said by well-meaning relatives.  This advice can cause a lot of confusion for new mothers because their bodies are designed to respond promptly to their babies. Sometimes a mother's milk will even start dripping just from the sound of her baby's cry! This tid-bit of advice that so many friends or relatives give is actually completely wrong.  Love and comfort can never spoil a baby.  In fact, studies have shown that babies thrive best when they are given lots of attention, touching and carrying.  Responding promptly to a baby shows the baby respect and love.

       Babies and children cry to express their feelings and you will not spoil a child if you take their feelings seriously.  Responding to a baby helps the baby learn, love, and feel loved.  As your child gets older, he will still have to learn that other people have needs too, and that he will not always get what he wants all of the time.  Children will learn and understand things better if they are listened to and starting at the beginning is the best way to start.

       As your baby gets older, you will naturally teach him or her about other people's feelings, sharing, and setting limits.  Help your child by first showing your love and not limiting it.  This will set the stage for the toddler years when your child will be learning how to think of other people's needs and feelings.

       So, next time your baby is fussy, do not feel guilty about picking her up and calming her.  Ignore the advice you have received about spoiling your baby.  On the contrary, spoiling really means going bad...like fruit left on a shelf at the grocery store.  Children do not spoil. Follow your heart and pick up that sweet baby.  Love has no limits as it just keeps flowing.  Use this love and let it flow.       


Julia's favorite things!
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, About my child Julia

           You would not imagine that a two week-old would show preferences, but this little girl definitely knows her own mind!  She has already refused two different types of pacifiers, preferring the Soothie we brought home from the hospital. Fortunately, you can get that kind in stores now! When Josh, my son, was born, I had to order them on the Internet.       

       She is also showing a definite preference for who soothes her. She hates it when I change her diaper but does not cry when Daddy does. Guess who her favorite person to look at when she is awake and alert? Her Big Brother Josh!

Your Baby Needs Nursies!
By Samantha Knapp, About my child Corey

           Years ago when my now fourteen year old was two, we were at a library program.  There was this sweet newborn baby sleeping in a car seat and the mother was sitting next to the baby with her toddler daughter on her lap.  Suddenly, the baby woke up from her slumber and started to cry.  The mom tried endlessly to soothe the baby by rocking the car seat, sticking a soother in his mouth, and softly saying "shhh" in the baby's ear.

  The library program was in full swing and it was obvious that this mother did not want her baby's cries to bother others.  All of a sudden my son got up and walked across the room and in his squeaky little voice he said, "Your baby needs nursies".  Everyone in the room laughed and the mother picked up her baby and nursed him.  I was so proud of my son that day.


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