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Infant - Week #3

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A 3-week-old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Take it or Leave it!
           One of the joys of having a new baby is showing her off, but beware. As the visitors come, the advice comes, too.  Keep in mind that you know your baby better than anyone else, and while many people claim to be experts on babies, you are the only expert on your baby.  Remember, you can take or leave the advice that you are given.  Always do what feels right for you.


  Intro to Tummy Time!
           Your baby may begin to briefly lift her head this week.  Make a point of giving her some time on her tummy.  It may not seem like she is getting a whole lot out of it yet, but you are preparing her for when her neck muscles develop and get stronger.  It's hard to believe, but tummy time now will ease her transition to crawling later.


Paci Power!
           Whether it's a pacifier or a thumb, infants love to suck.  This is a great way for your infant to learn how to self soothe.  Don't discourage it.  In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of a pacifier during sleeping times to help reduce the risk of SIDS.


Crabby Time!
           As exciting as it is that your baby is spending a little bit more time awake, it also means that she might start to develop some "crabby times." During these times of the day when she is fussy, try rocking her, patting her on the back or bottom, or using white noise to calm her down.  It may take a while to find what works for your baby. Be patient; you'll figure it out!


  DO try this at home!
           Babies are creatures of habit.  In about a month, our babies will be ready to begin to be weaned into a nighttime routine, so why not start now?  As a child, I had a cassette tape of all of my favorite songs that I played and played until it wore out.  To this day when I hear some of those songs, I am comforted.       

       I decided when I had my first daughter that I would make her her very own bedtime CD full of songs that were soothing and comforting.  When she was around 6 weeks old, I started playing her CD for her at bedtime.  After a few weeks of this, I could feel her body relax when I pushed the play button and her music started.  After a few weeks of holding her and listening together, I started laying her down and letting her fall asleep to her music.  She turned four in January and still plays her CD when she goes to bed at night.


  Max's Music
           When I was pregnant with Max, I began making a list of songs that I felt needed to be on his CD.  Some of his songs are  "A Whole New World," "Baby Mine," "Somewhere Out There," "You'll Be In My Heart," and "Wind Beneath My Wings."  Max's CD got completed just last week, and I decided there was no reason to wait, so every night as he finishes his last bottle, I rock him and we listen to his CD.  At this point it's simply an incredibly special bonding time, but experience tells me that as time marches on, it will become an important part of his bedtime routine.       

       Sidenote:  All four of my kids have their very own CD's.  A few of the songs are repeats, but many are exclusive to them.  One of my favorite things is driving in the car with them and hearing one of "their" songs come on the radio.  As a rule, they get excited and yell out that this is one of their songs.  So sweet!  Please DO try this at home!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - What piece of baby equipment could you not do with out?       

       I love going to baby showers and watching the mother-to-be open her stack of gifts.  I always sit back quietly in my seat, and as she opens each gift, think, "She'll never use that," or "What a waste of money that one was!"  While those thoughts are running through MY head, the girl next to me is looking at the very same object and saying out loud, "I loved that; I used it all the time!"  To each her own; that's why this is such a fun question.       

       For me, the baby swing is essential to my success as a mother and my piece of mind.  However, the only time it gets any use is first thing in the morning.  Max will wake up and take a bottle around five o'clock.  As he's finishing up this bottle, I'll look at the clock and see those five thirty numbers glaring at me.  Here's the dilemma...I have about 45 minutes more where I can lie in bed before the other three wake up and I have to get out of bed.  No problem right?  Just put Max back in his cradle; he'll be okay and I can get my sleep.  Unfortunately, this is never the case; he just had his two long bouts of sleep during the night, and I can't really complain because two long bouts for a 3- week- old is pretty good, but it doesn't mean I'm ready to wake up yet.  Enter the swing...I keep the swing in my bedroom in the corner near my bed.  I pop Max in and he's happy looking around the room for about 45 minutes and then usually dozes off for another 45 minutes. This gets me my extra 45 minutes of sleep, my first cup of coffee, and time to get the other three up and fed.. Therefore, I can't live without it!


Learning to Live with the Chaos.
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, edHelperBaby

           Mom, you are now about halfway through your six weeks of "recovery".  The endless trail of visitors bearing food has probably ended and your house is most likely a mess.  You are starting to feel pretty good physically, and if you have been following the rule of "sleep when the baby sleeps" you might not be completely exhausted.  So it is no big deal to clean the house, right?       

       If you are like me, you are looking around at the chaos and feeling very overwhelmed.  Do your best to ignore the mess. Clean up what you can, but please do not push. This part of recovery is the hardest part... you feel so "normal" that it is guilt inducing NOT to clean up, but overdoing it now will make things so much harder for you!  If you can, ask your family or friends to help. Even big brothers and sisters will help clean up if they understand that Mommy can not do it alone.       

       And if no one will help, try to take a deep breath and pretend it is not there. The mess will still be there in a few weeks when you are really ready to tackle it.

Helpful Hints For Your Three-Week Old Infant
By Jami Fowler-White, edHelperBaby

           Your baby will begin to recognize your voice and your touch this month. His or her personality will also become apparent this month. Watch them closely, so that you can determine what your child is like. This will help you take better care of your child. Remember to comfort your child this month.  Many babies become fussy during this month. It is just your baby's way of adjusting to his or her new surroundings. Below you will find a few more helpful hints for this month:
  • Talk to your baby as much as you can. Talking will not only promote listening and talking skills, but it will also be comforting to your child.
  • Play different types of music to stimulate your baby's hearing.
  • Making eye contact will help your baby's intellectual development. You might notice your baby looking at things for long periods of time. Remember that your baby is curious about everything!
  • Remember that crying is the only way that your baby can communicate. When your child cries, here are a few things that you should probably check:
  1. Wet, needs changing
  2. Bored, wants you to play with him or her
  3. Hungry, needs to be fed
  4. Has gas, needs to be burped
  5. Uncomfortable, needs more or less clothing
  6. Tired, trying to get to sleep
  7. In pain, needs your assistance
  8. Scared, might sense tension between you and other people around
  9. Frantic, try to calm down things around your child so that he or she can be at peace


But Mommy, I Don't Like Peppers!
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, About my child Julia

           You would think I would have learned with my first child, right? Josh had colic and no matter what I ate, he was always gassy and unhappy. So why did I think that a sausage and peppers hero was a good idea for lunch? Poor Julia is so uncomfortable.  I have tried the simethicone drops, massaging her belly, bicycling her legs and each of them offer temporary relief.       

       As much as I love nursing, sometimes I wish I had chosen formula. It is hard to know that the lunch I enjoyed so much is what is hurting my tiny baby girl!

The Wonders of Motherhood . . . .
By Jami Fowler-White, About my child DeVon

           DeVon is now one month old. It is shocking how much he is able to do. Today, I could have sworn that he was posing as my sister took photos of him in his new University of Tennessee pajamas. He is really strong too! I found that out when he got excited and accidently kicked me in the face. It is also really difficult to get things out of his hand when he grips them. I am still trying to figure out where all of his strength comes from.       


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