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Infant - Week #7

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A Seven-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Your Seven-Week-Old.
           Your seven-week-old is becoming more and more alert as the days go by.  Make a point to put down whatever it is you're doing during these awake and alert times and spend time with your little one.


  Colors, Colors Everywhere!
           For the last six weeks, your infant was drawn to black, white, and reds.  As his senses start to develop, he is much more interested in brightly colored objects.  So get rid of those flat black and white toys and move on to the colorful multi-dimensional ones!


  Hanging Tough!
           Not only is your seven-week-old more interested in colorful things, but as his eyes develop, he is more interested in dangly, hanging objects.  He is better able to follow objects, which makes these dangly toys and shapes even more appealing to him.  Mobiles, baby gyms, and keys on key chains are infant favorites!


  Sleep, Glorious, Sleep!
           Typically, babies start to sleep better when they hit the seven week mark (sorry, no guarantees with this one).  This is a great time to begin to put a nighttime routine in place.  There are no "set" rules as to what a bedtime routine should look like, but it does have to work for you.  Be careful not to get your baby too dependent on lots and lots of steps because once the routine is established, it is hard to break.


  DO try this at home!
           Your seven-week-old is starting to develop more control over his arms and legs.  A great activity to strengthen this awareness is to lay your infant on the floor and very loosely tie a helium balloon around his ankle.  As he moves his leg, the balloon will move around.  A very well-known soccer coach in my area insists that doing this with your infant will increase his eye foot coordination later on in life.  I'm a bit skeptical of that, but I am a believer that it will be your child's very first lesson on cause and effect.  Cause:  he moves his foot; effect: the balloon moves around.


  Max's Opinion
           This is an activity that I did with all of my kids and they all loved it. Max was no exception.  He smiled instantly when he saw the balloon.  I tied it on his leg and even before he began moving his leg he continued to be enthralled with the balloon.  He started to get crabby being on the floor; as he began to cry, he reflexively moved his leg and the balloon moved sharply.  He forgot that he was going to cry and became interested in the balloon again.  It took a few more times of this before he realized that he was moving the balloon.  As much as I love interacting with Max, it was also really fun to sit back and watch him entertain himself.  This really is a fun one!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - Where does your infant sleep?       

       Where your infant sleeps is another one of those truly subjective topics.  Again, different things work for different people.  I know people who put their children in their own cribs in their own rooms from the moment they bring them home from the hospital.  I know other people who co-sleep, baby in the bed with them, for the first year of baby's life.  This time I fall somewhere in the middle.  Max sleeps in a cradle in our room and will until he's about three months old.  I do this for a few reasons.  First, the way our house is laid out it's too far to walk from the master bedroom to the kids' rooms for nighttime feedings.  Second, I don't want to risk him waking the older kids.  Lastly, and a little selfishly, I like having him close to me.  My husband and I have a rule that unless they are sick, no kids are allowed in our bed.  This rule stems from us just about ruining Sophia, our four-year-old.  We caved when she was about six months old and thought we would never get rid of her!  So for now, Max is next to our bed in a cradle and that's home for him until he starts sleeping consistently through the night.


Traveling With An Infant
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, edHelperBaby

           Imagine a long car trip with your family. Scary, right? Now, imagine that same car trip with an infant when you are stopping to feed him or her every two to three hours, dealing with diapers and colic and crying etc.       

       It can be done!  It just requires patience and TONS of planning. Here are some tips:
  • If at all possible, drive at night. Most babies sleep longer stretches at night so you can cover more ground that way. Added bonus, older siblings are sleeping too!
  • Carry tons of small trash bags for those stinky diapers.  Carry more bottles, formula, diapers and wipes than you think you will need.
  • Have a stash of plush toys you can dangle from the car seat handle so baby can reach the toys.
  • Carry extra pacifiers in plastic baggies.
       Above all, bring your sense of humor as you will be grateful for it!


Smiles, At Last!
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, About my child Julia

           Every parent waits for this, the first real smile! It is the first one that you can say was not gas or random muscle contractions, but a real, responsive smile!  Julia's first true smile was at her big brother, Josh. He was thrilled, and now every time she smiles, he says "Her's smiling at me! Her loves me!"       

       It has been fun to count who gets the most smiles. Josh wins by far, followed by Daddy, then Mommy, then Great-Grandma and the rest of the family. What a joy!  We react so much that now we only say the word "smile" and Julia smiles for us.


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