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Infant - Week #4

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A 4-Week Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Show Me Those Baby Blues
           Depending on your nationality, your infant was probably born with dark blue eyes or dark brown eyes.  As the weeks go on, your baby's eye color may start to lighten or darken.  Usually, the color that the eyes have at six to nine months of age is the color that they stay with, but some babies' eye colors may change for up to a few years.


  Dream On!
           Your 4-week-old is spending more time in REM sleep, which is when dreaming occurs.  You may notice him squirming, squinting, grimacing, and even smiling in his sleep.


  Growing, Growing, Growing
           In addition to dreaming while he is asleep, your infant is also doing a lot of growing.  Around the fourth week of life, your little one becomes capable of deep sleep which is when somatotropin, a growth hormone, is released.  So if you think he looks a bit bigger when you get him up than when you put him down, it might not be your eyes playing tricks on you.


I Didn't Mean To Startle You
           Have you noticed your little one quickly fling both arms out and then bring them back in tight to his body?  This is a natural reflex that all infants are born with called the Moro reflex.  If your baby feels himself falling, this reflex kicks in and often times is accompanied by crying.  Hold him tightly to let him know that he is safe and the crying will quickly subside.


  It's Never too Early to Start Working Out
           Your 4-week-old is a little young for a trip to the gym, but as your infant's eye sight continues to develop, it's not too early to get out those baby gyms.  Your little one will love lying on the floor and staring at the brightly colored toys that adorn these gyms.  Get down there with him; I can guarantee that it'll be easier than your usual workout!


  DO try this at home!
           In the next week or so, your 4-week-old will start to discover his extremities.  Why not make this discovery a little easier on him by doing some simple activities that will encourage his awareness?  Simple finger plays that are typical for older children will really help to promote awareness of his hands and feet.  Keep in mind that all babies develop at a little bit different rate, so it may be a few weeks before he is finding his fingers and toes on his own.  In addition to encouraging this, you are spending time with your baby and letting him hear his most favorite thing in the world: your voice!


  Max's Little Piggies
           In order to encourage Max to help find his fingers and toes, I did some finger (and toe) plays with him.  I started with the classic "ThisLittle Piggy" game.  I laid Max on the floor and did this with him over and over again. I bent his feet up in the air so that he could not only hear what I was saying but see what I was doing.  He looked at me like I was a bit crazy but, nonetheless, seemed to enjoy the interaction with me.  I also took his arms and raised them in the air and asked, "How big is Max?" and then answered, "So Big!"  Again...he looked at me like I was nuts.  His all time favorite, though, was a game that for lack of a "real" title we'll call "YAY Max!"  This one guaranteed a smile EVERY time.  I would take his hands and clap them really fast in front of his chest and then open them up wide and say, "YAY Max!"  He smiles every time.  Definitely try that one at home!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - Describe the contents of your diaper bag.       

       This question came to me the other day when I was at my girlfriend's house.  She does daycare for a few kids, and while I was there, one of their diaper bags spilled.  I was completely surprised by the difference in what she had in her diaper bag compared to what I have in mine, hence the question.       

       Her diaper bag was this beautiful, trendy, over-the-shoulder diaper bag with lots of compartments.  Her daughter (a six-month-old) spends about five hours at a stretch at my friend's house, and her diaper bag held two diapers (in a cute little compartment), a teeny-tiny little container of wipes, three already measured out servings of formula (in a cute little dispenser), a pacifier (you guessed it, in a cute little holder), a change of clothes, a bib, an empty bottle, and two jars of baby food.  All was neat, clean, and perfectly organized.       

       Mine, on the other hand, was completely opposite.  I did try those cute over-the-shoulder diaper bags with my firstborn but found that every time I went to go pick up the infant carrier, the bag would slide off my arm and hit the baby in the face.   So I switched arms and that helped a bit, but when Emma was born fifteen months after Sophia, I needed that arm, too.  Enter my trusty backpack diaper bag that I've had ever since.       

       Now for the contents:  probably five size 1-2 diapers for Max, five size 4 diapers for Joey, a full sized package of wipes, three sippy cups of water, a small can of powdered formula, a bottle filled with four ounces of water, an assortment of food (raisins, fruit snacks, animal crackers, granola bars), my wallet, my keys, a spiral notebook, a baggie full of crayons, and a wide array of crumbs.  Needless to say, in mine I'm not sporting cute containers; mine is just jammed in there, but...it works for me!


When Will My Baby Hold His Head Up?
By Emilee Rogers, edHelperBaby

       At about one month old, babies normally begin to hold their own heads up, although not for very long. They should be able to lift their heads to look at you when you put then on their tummy. One great way to help your baby with this is for the two of you to engage in tummy time. What in the world is tummy time are you asking ? It is exactly what it sounds like. Time for you and your baby to play on your tummies.

  It is important for you to stimulate your baby because the muscles in her neck need to be exercised to get strengthened. The more tummy time she has means the more her neck muscles will be worked. A good way for you to help her is to get in front of her and talk to her. You can sing to her. If she has a toy she finds fascinating, try putting it in front of her. She will lift her head slowly at first to see what you are doing. In a couple weeks, she will be able to look at you for more and more amounts of time.

  This is all new to her so there is a very good possibility that she might get flustered. If she starts to whine, cry, fuss or show any other sign of distress, pick her up. She is telling you she has had enough. It might be time to cuddle with her and give her a bottle. Maybe she is sleepy. It is hard work to strengthen muscles and she will let you know when she needs a rest.


When My Baby Held Her Head Up
By Emilee Rogers, About my child Keianna Rogers

      When Keia was a baby, we used to spend a lot of time on a blanket on the floor looking at each other. To me, she was the most beautiful thing in the world. To her, I was fun to watch. At first, she would pick her head up only long enough to make sure I was still there. When I would talk to her and sing to her, she would hold her head up a little longer. I learned that the more time she spent on the floor meant the more time she was able to interact with me without getting flustered. I brought one of her toys to play peek-a-boo. She not only started holding her head up but she was soon able to turn it. After a month or so, she was a pro.


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