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Infant - Week #3

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Newborn Week Three

By Angela Sawinski, edHelperBaby

Time Flies!
           Wow, how time flies! Your baby is three weeks old now. So much has changed since you first came home from the hospital with him. You should be feeling pretty much back to "normal" (whatever that is) physically, emotionally, and mentally.


  Helping Your Baby Sleep
           Initially, your baby does not know the difference between night and day. His stomach only holds enough food to satisfy him for three to four hours at a time. This means that there is no escaping the round-the-clock wakings and feedings for the first few weeks of life. But even at this age, you can begin to teach him that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is for playing. Do this by keeping nighttime feedings as mellow as possible. Keep the lights low and make the diaper changes quick. Instead of playing, put him right back down after feedings. If the baby naps longer than three to four hours during the day, wake him up to play. This will train him to save the extra sleeping for at nighttime.


  Sleeping Positions
           Historically, it was recommended that infants, particularly those between birth and four months of age, be placed on their stomachs for sleep. This was thought to be the best way to avoid choking in case of vomiting or spitting up. We now know that the back is a safer sleeping position. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is responsible for more infant deaths in the United States than any other cause during the first year of life. Infants who died of SIDS more often slept on their stomachs.


Tummy Time
           Between the ages of two weeks and two months, it is recommended that babies get 15 to 30 minutes of time on their tummies daily. To do this, lay a blanket or use a Boppy pillow and lay your baby on it face first. There are two main reasons to do this: 1) babies' heads may get flattened in the back from always lying on their backs, and 2) it helps strengthen muscles in the arms and neck.


  Try This!
           Play a game with the baby as you dress him or change his diaper. Say, "I love your tummy, tummy, tummy, tummy." Then kiss his tummy. Say, "I love your toes, toes, toes." Then kiss his toes. Continue to do this as you name and kiss other parts of the body. This game can help the baby become aware of his body and of the love that you share.


Dayvian's Experience
           I tried this game with Dayvian after his bath (not advisable without a diaper on). This is the time when he seems to be the most awake, alert, and content. I started with his toes and worked my way up his body. His eyes watched me with anticipation to see what I would do next. He seemed to enjoy listening to my voice. I made it up to his fingers when I began to feel a warm sensation on my chest. Ahhh! He was peeing on me! This ended the activity that kept us both engaged for 25 minutes.


  Older Sibling Adjustment
           Daysia is doing well adjusting to her little brother. Due to the fact that I had a c-section and am unable to lift Daysia, I've always had someone here to help me. This has worked out well, as this extra helper has been able to give Daysia a lot of special attention. I really feel that this has helped her adjustment.


Notes On Dayvian
           Dayvian is now 8 pounds 15 ounces (We have weigh-ins twice a week because of the problems we have been having breastfeeding). He is awake and attentive more of the time, approximately three hours a day. He looks toward my voice when I talk to him.       

       For the most part, he is a happy baby. He did have one extremely fussy day. He cried for nearly seven hours straight, and we were unable to console him no matter what we did. He was not hungry, had a clean diaper, and had just woken up. We tried putting him in the swing, rocking him, walking with him, taking him for a car ride, giving him a pacifier, burping him, etc... I finally tried holding him in a football hold (on his belly, with my arm between his legs and up through to his neck) and walking him around the living room. After seven hours, he quieted and fell asleep. I still do not know what was wrong with him, but I will remember how I was finally able to console him.


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