New Mom Survival Guide - Baby’s Development
At birth your baby is tiny and helpless and you can’t believe that she is going to grow. Just give her your finger and feel that grip. It’s amazing isn’t it? Yes, your baby is very strong and she is going to grow very fast. If you move your finger in front of her eyes the eyes can follow that finger. So baby is responsive and just needs to grow and soon you will be able to play together. You are going to enjoy every stage of your baby’s development.
Attend your baby’s well-baby clinic check-ups where your baby will be checked and weighed and you have a chance to ask questions.
The following developmental stages are for the average baby. Each baby is unique so if your baby is faster than average, enjoy! If your baby is a bit late never worry; all babies eventually walk.
You will notice that your baby knows you and she knows that she can rely on you. She also knows your voice which is why you should talk to her. She obviously does not understand the words but she will look at you as you speak and can feel your love. The baby spends a lot of time sleeping and she needs that to grow.
Your baby spends a lot of time sleeping. She looks at you during feeding time so focus on her as well and talk to her. If you move your face notice that baby’s eyes will follow your face as well.
Your baby is more alert and spends more time awake than the last two weeks. When you hold your baby she snuggles closer to you meaning that she understands and enjoys your closeness.
You can feel baby’s weight gain. Baby will be babbling at you. Just talk back mommy! You may see the hint of a smile but if you don’t you will soon. The baby will also hold her head up more frequently, higher and for longer periods. She engages more and more in eye contact. By now the baby has settled to a certain routine and you have perfected your mothering techniques after all the feeds, baths and diaper changes.
Baby smiles at you! Smile back to teach your baby that her actions get reactions. Continue to talk to her and enjoy! She also turns her head in response to sounds. Her movements are smoother.
Baby is playing with her fingers and continues to make a lot of sounds. If you lay her on her tummy she raises herself on her arms this week. Enjoy your growing baby.
More smiles and sounds. The baby can now connect sounds to their sources. She also reacts to bright colors. It’s time for a musical mobile in the crib if you don’t have one yet.
More smiles and sound and playing with the hands. Baby is more fun now and bigger and easier to handle. The head is still wobbly, but the neck muscles get stronger by the day. Around this age, your baby can lift her head about 45 degrees. Put her on her tummy for brief periods every day so she can practice. She may even try to do mini-pushups! Encourage her to look up by placing a mirror or dangling a toy in from of her.
Baby is more interested in sounds now so talk and sing more. Your baby can pick out her parents' faces in a group. Her eyes widen and shine and she wiggles with glee when someone familiar comes near.
Baby is quite big. You might want to supplement her feed with formula if breast milk is not enough. Your baby plays more with the fingers. She can put them together, separate them and taste them. That is all part of growing up and discovering the world.
Most babies start sitting at this stage. If you lay baby on the belly she can raise herself up. Teething may start too if your baby is an early teether.
Baby babbles quite a lot. She can now pick up toys or pass them from one hand to the other. Now you can play hide and seek with baby as she looks for things that you hide behind you. This is the best time to introduce solids.
Your baby laughs a lot and reaches out for objects so your hair will be pulled quite a lot. Baby has great head control.
Your baby can sit without support, can roll over and move forward and backwards. She may start to crawl during this period starting with dragging herself on her tummy, or moving around on her bottom and eventually proper crawling on hands and knees. Language develops too around this time and baby will respond to her name by looking at you. This is the time to baby-proof your house if you haven’t done that already.
Baby can move around on her feet holding on to furniture and some babies can walk any time during this period. She can grab food items and feed itself. She can say “mama” and “dada” at least but some will say more words by their first birthday. Your baby will copy a lot of your actions like talking on the phone.
When You Should Worry
As long as your baby is developing don’t worry if she is a bit behind other babies. You should be attending baby clinic regularly anyway so the nurses or pediatrician will tell you if there is anything to worry about. Still, if there is a problem, e.g. your baby still can’t sit up at 8 months then that is something that you and your pediatrician must worry about. Early intervention will take care of the problem.
So enjoy motherhood. It can be challenging for a few months but it is all worth it as your baby will reward you with unconditional love. Remember to join Jinga Life where you can learn a lot about your baby’s health and keep a record of all the major milestones.