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Infant - Week #9

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A 9-Week-Old At A Glance

By Amy Salatino, edHelperBaby

  Wide Awake!
           For the first two months of life, your baby spent the majority of his time sleeping.  After the two month mark, your infant might spend as much as ten hours awake.  Make the most of his awake time by talking to him, stimulating all of his senses, and enjoying his company.  Don't feel bad if you're not playing with him all the time; it's wonderful for him to learn to entertain himself some, too!


  17,000 Words A Day!
           Research shows that the more you talk to your baby, the better grasp he will have on language, and surprisingly, this will affect his success in school down the road.  By the age of four, your child should have heard 25 million words. This breaks down to 17,000 words a day!  So...get talking!


  Yuck, Drool!
           Your baby's salivary glands have been working for some time now, but as your baby figures out how to get his hands in his mouth, those glands may kick into overdrive.  Get the bibs ready for the long haul.  The drooling starts out slow but will increase as your child begins to be able to grasp toys and get those in his mouth, too!


  Read, Read, Read
           It's a great time to get out all those books that you've been collecting and begin reading to your baby.  Do it at the same time every evening and make it part of your bedtime routine.  Not only is it a great habit to get into, but the words in your stories can count towards your 17,000 words a day!


  DO try this at home!
           It's relatively early for your 9-week-old to start rolling over, but it's not too early to start teaching him how.  In order to do this, continue with tummy time so that your baby's neck muscles continue to strengthen and so that he can hold his head up for longer periods of time.  The next step is teaching him to pull one of his arms across his midline in front of him.  Once that arm comes over, a gentle push will help him to roll over.  Doing this a few times a day will increase your child's muscle development and help him to roll over sooner.


  Roly Poly
           I'm incredibly lucky this time around because Max loves to be on his tummy.  He spends a lot of time on his tummy time mat "watching" his brother and sisters play.  During our quiet time together in the evening this week, I started pulling his right arm in front of him and then pushing him over.  I wish I could say that he loved this but love isn't the right word...tolerated might be a better choice of words.  I would only recommend doing this a few times a night because he gets frustrated and crabby easily.  Although, on the third night I pulled his arm in front of him, and he rolled himself the rest of the way!  Way to go Max!  It definitely isn't Max's favorite activity, but it is strengthening his muscles and teaching him the motions.  Do try this at home with your baby. Maybe it WILL be one of his favorites!


  That's Questionable!
           Q - What is your child's crabbiest time of day, and how do you survive it?       

       Max's crabbiest time of day is definitely between four thirty and five thirty in the afternoon, which also happens to be, without a doubt, the craziest time of the day in my house.  Around four thirty at my house is incredibly chaotic.  The kids and I have just gotten home and dinner needs to be made and served.  Of course, this is when Max (actually all the kids) starts to demand the most attention.  Who can blame them? They are tired, hungry, and haven't seen me for much of the day, so let the chaos begin.  In order to successfully get through this time of day, I set the girls up with an art project or some other kind of activity at the kitchen table, Joey gets his first course (usually some kind of canned vegetable) in his booster seat, and Max either ends up at my feet by the kitchen counter in his bouncy seat, in his high chair (which reclines back), or on REALLY bad days in the baby pouch.  Before dinner gets on the table, I make a point to give Max his bottle or at least half of it.  Not only does this get us through dinner without him fussing, but it also makes his next bottle around eight thirty, which is a good time for his last bottle before bed.  Lucky for me, I thrive on chaos, and as insane as it gets sometimes, we always make it through it!


Sleep, Sleep and More Sleep
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, edHelperBaby

           We all know how critical it is for our babies to get the right amount of sleep! The health effects have been well-documented. But what can we do to make sure that baby's sleep is as restful as possible?       

       Room-darkening shades have a multitude of uses beyond just promoting darkness as they regulate a room's temperature, block out noise as well as light and can actually help to regulate the amount of allergens in your room's air! Yes, they are fairly unattractive but it is a simple matter with two screws to install a double curtain rod. Then, you can have your baby's  pretty curtains in front of the highly beneficial shades.       

       Much has been made of "white noise". In this, I have found that each child is different. Soft music, nature sounds and even guided meditation CDs have the same effect. Try a few different things out with your baby and you will soon find something that really works.       

       Finally, do not discount the usefulness of aromatherapy.  Whether you choose to buy a manufactured comfort item such as the "lavender lab" or use a scent infuser originally designed for cold and flu relief, PediaCare and Vicks each make one, the result can be the same. SAFETY NOTE: Do not use anything with an open flame while the family is sleeping!!!  Essential oils of lavender, chamomile and vanilla all have purported relaxation and sleep-inducing properties. Experiment until you find a scent you like that does the trick.       


Happy Mornings
By Trisha Fusco-Dennis, About my child Julia

           Julia tends to be grumpy in the mornings, just like her parents and big brother! I have found that even though she is not awake long after that 7 a.m. feeding that she really likes to be dressed and downstairs with the family for the short time that she is awake. There is nothing sweeter than watching Daddy give her a kiss goodbye as he leaves for work in the mornings!


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