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4 Months Week 3

Your baby

Was that a laugh? Of course mom, your baby can now laugh out loud. She squeals when she’s happy, she even smiles spontaneously.

Your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns become more predictable now, you’ll also notice your child discovering new ways to communicate with you and discover the world … touching, feeling and grabbing everything within reach!

Take baby out. She’ll enjoy being out and about plus you can show her to your friends or go to a mall to do some shopping.

You may notice that your baby’s gums are swollen when she begins teething; There is no set pattern on when it will begin, how long it will take and how painful it will be.  For one baby cutting a tooth might happen overnight without pain, while another child might have to go through a long, drawn out and painful experience.  You may sometimes visibly see a rise or lump in the gum for several weeks, while sometimes there may be no visible clue at all until the tooth actually appears.

The process of teething often follows hereditary patterns, so if the mother and father teethed early or late, your baby may follow the same pattern.  On average the first tooth comes in during the seventh month, although it can arrive as early as three months, as late as a year, or in rare cases even earlier or later.

Your life: Balancing your time-You will never get out of the house at the time you expected.

How ever long you think it will take you to get ready, triple it. As a rule your child will either have a poop as you are walking out the door or you will drive five miles from home before you realise you forgot the diaper bag. BABIES ARE NOTORIOUS FOR MESSING WITH YOUR SCEHDULE. So don’t let it rattle you-try to go with the flow whenever possible

If you weren’t those people who believed in making schedules and preparing for tomorrow, well let’s just say things are about to change-this baby is making her presence known and felt.

Now you’ll learn the benefits of packing baby’s bag and preparing her clothes the night before and taking every stolen moment to catch up with friends and family or relax. You learn to treasure time.

Concerns: Starting baby on fluids and Growth spurts

Ok ok, the grandparents say you are starving baby by giving her breast milk/formula only and she should be started on solids and you are starting to feel she may need "something more" than formula or breast milk.  Maybe she is beginning to awaken more often at night or eat more often than usual and you wonder if introducing solid foods may be what she needs. The best way to deal with this is to consult your pediatrician who may advise if baby is ready for solids and possibly what you can start feeding baby if she seems ready.

A Growth spurt may be confused with readiness for solid foods

Please keep in mind that a growth spurt will occur between 3-4 months of age. Your baby may begin to wake more frequently at night for a feeding and/or may begin to eat non-stop (cluster feed) as she once did as a newborn.  This growth spurt often accounts for the increased hunger in your baby and it should not be taken as a sign that your baby needs solid foods added to her diet.

Try offering your baby more frequent nursing sessions and/or bottle feedings instead of solids; you will find that within a week or two, your baby is often times over the growth spurt and back to feeding "as usual".

Here are a few hints which may suggest that baby may be ready for solids

  • Loss of tongue-thrust reflex - This allows baby to drink and swallow liquids with ease; with the tongue-thrust reflex still present, baby may simply drink in liquid purees or push the food back out, in the first four months the tongue thrust reflex protects the infant against choking. When any unusual substance is placed on the tongue, it automatically protrudes outward rather than back. Between four and six months this reflex gradually diminishes, giving the glob of cereal a fighting chance of making it from the tongue to the tummy
  • Ability to let you know she is full from a "meal" with signs such as turning away from the bottle or breast.  This is important so that baby is able to self-regulate the amount of food being eaten.  This helps stop baby from accidentally overeating as parents may continue to feed baby thinking that she is still hungry.
  • Ability to sit up and hold head up unassisted.
  • She is double her birth weight.

Despite what some new parents might think, crying is a late sign of hunger. You should try to feed before your baby gets so hungry that she gets really upset and becomes difficult to calm down. It's also important, however, to realise that every time your baby cries it is not necessarily because of hunger. Sometimes babies just need to be cuddled or changed. Or they could be over stimulated, bored, or too hot or too cold.

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