Congratulations! You are now a proud parent of your new born baby! All the pain has been paid off as you hold your little creation. With an overwhelming sense of emotions ranging from exhaustion to excitement, your life has changed forever as you stare at your little bundle of joy and admire the gentle movements of its tiny fingers and toes, watching it twitch smiles in sleep as you cuddle it.
During the first week, your baby will be asleep most of the time because it is as exhausted as you are after making it's journey into this world. Ensure that you focus on getting all the rest and sleep you need during this week.
Attention, new moms and dads! You have finally made it back home after the hospital stay. Hopefully, you are prepared to feed the baby, change diapers, nap, and repeat this day and night. However, your baby is still getting used to the surroundings as this is a sudden change from her cozy little bubble.
During the baby’s first check-up, ensure that you mention if the baby is colic or cries unexpectedly. Babies may be sensitive to food other than the breast milk and may require a change in formulas. All babies have different needs.
The baby's second week at home is very similar to the first. Your baby will be asleep most of the time even with loud noises around. It's eyesight is yet not developed and can only see things that are near.
Becasue the baby is lying on its back, it is important to turn the baby over on its tummy to help strengthen her back and neck. This helps the development of motor skills.
Your baby may not like being on its tummy. Make tummy time more enjoyable for your baby.
-Be with your baby and ensure your baby can see, hear, or feel you.
-Provide your baby some entertainment with a book or toy.
-Keep siblings nearby to monitor the baby's tummy time.
-The baby may feel hungry again, so feed it on demand to keep the baby energized. A breastfed baby might take 30–45 minutes to eat, and then want to feed again after only a 30 minute nap. Other babies will be happy to eat, and then take a nice long nap, and you wake them to eat 2-3 hours later. With about 10 to 12 feedings in a 24-hour period and plenty of wet and dirty diapers, know that you are on the right track. Consult a pediatrician in case you have any doubts.
Your baby is entering its third week. It may have slept the first two weeks off. But now it will be more alert and spend more time awake as days pass. You might now be an expert in diaper changing and you may have experienced crazy sights and smells. You now have a routine and have also been to the pediatrician to ensure that everything is progressing well.
Ensure routine check-ups and regular feeding. Your doctor will weigh your baby to check for optimal weight gain. If your baby is crying continuously for upto three hours a day, three days a week, and for at least three weeks, it has colic. Certain medications can help severe colic if it is caused by acid reflux or gas. In addition, sensitivity to certain foods can cause colic. Cutting down on these and switching formulas is advisable by the pediatrician.
A baby will reach new milestones everyday. Babies may show their first smile or make their first cooing sounds at three weeks. Babies may also hold up their neck during tummy time growing stronger each day.
Week four is similar to week three. Your baby now has its own schedule and will let you know when it needs food and to be changed. If your baby is premature, whether at the NICU or home, the added stress necessitates care for the mom as well. You may connect with support groups and online communities to share advice and concerns. Take good care of yourself, so you can take care of your baby.
Your baby will now make eye contact more frequently. Furthermore, you may see a first genuine smile, usually seen between four and six weeks. You baby may now hold its head up high during tummy time.
When you take your baby out, there may be a greater risk of your baby catching a cold or flu. If you want to take your baby out, avoid big crowds, wash your hands frequently, and encourage people handling your baby to do the same. You can use a baby wrap or sling to protect your baby from other people and have enough mobility. Breastfeeding provides the baby with antibodies that boost its immunity and can help decrease the risk of your baby getting sick.
By week five, your baby will smile back at you when you play with it or smile. Also, your baby now turns it head to respond sounds and can now hold its head up for longer periods of tummy time. However, remember that each baby takes its own time because every baby is different.
There is no rule regarding how much a baby must eat daily. Breastfeeding moms should try for approximately 8 to 12 feedings in a 24-hour period. Formula-feeding moms should schedule at least 5 to 7 feedings a day, aiming for 24 to 32 ounces of formula. If your baby has regained its birth weight and is gaining approximately half to one ounce every day, going through at least six diapers a day, with two to three soft bowel movements, then it is eating optimally. Breastfed babies can have decreased bowel movements between six and eight weeks, ranging from immediate bowels on feeding to bowels after few days.
Babies commonly develop “cradle cap” which are white or yellow-orange flakes resembling dandruff by their fifth week at home. In this case, do not use shampoo because shampooing on a daily basis can further dry its little scalp. Ensure that the baby's head is cool and dry as sweat can increase flakes.
A healthy infant gains about 1½ to 2 pounds per month, its head circumference grows about 2 centimeters a month, and it will grow approximately 25 centimeters (10 inches) from birth to the end of infancy (12 months). Check with a pediatrician in case of doubts.
At 6 weeks, your baby will flash an adorable grin that is its first genuine smile. By smiling back and cooing to it, you will teach it that actions cause a reaction, with pleasant results.
Your baby is busy this week and can now look at a rattle and associate it to the sound it makes. Your baby is developing a liking for bright colors and three dimensional objects. An interactive toy can keep your baby busy as it indulges its senses and smiles.
By week 8, your baby's head is still wobbly, but neck muscles keep getting stronger by the day. Your baby can now lift his head at 45 degrees. Tummy time can help it practice this. The baby may even try to do mini-pushups. Encourage your baby to look up by placing a mirror or dangling a toy before it.
By this week, your baby will be fascinated by sounds of high tones and pitches. It will also be interested in hearing you talk and will stare at your mouth when you speak. It may even reply with coo back at you. Start reading to the baby as it will help associate to sounds.
Your baby can now recognize you as a parent. You will see its eyes widen and shine and it will wiggle with glee when someone familiar comes near. It is ready and willing to acquire social skills, so make your baby participate in family get-togethers and put it in a carrier sling while you work.
At 11 weeks, your baby will sleep less and be awake for longer hours. The baby wants to learn about its world and family. Now, your baby may not always be interested in your choice of game. If it turn away, move on to something else. At only 11 weeks, it has ideas of its own
During week 12, your baby will discover the use of hands, realizing that those fingers and thumbs are separate objects. Bringing its hands together, looking at them, then putting them in its mouth to taste. Experimenting with its very own hands, offer the baby different textures to feel, e.g., a clean velvet scarf or a rubber toy.
At week 13, you will realize that all your sleepless nights were worth it. Your baby will now be laughing, chuckling and babbling apart from cooing and smiling. Because you have talked to your baby all along, it can figute out your message broken into syllables. Soon your baby will start using these syllables making up words.
At 14 weeks, playing with rattles and dangling toys while seated on a bouncy seat amuse your baby. This will help your baby develop hand and eye coordination skills. Ensure that the baby has different textured toys to teach it different aspects. Your baby will grasp these toys or even put them in the mouth.
Your baby can now move around. Your baby may accomplish rolling over. In the next few weeks, your baby will master rolls in a particular direction. Ensure that you never leave the baby alone on a bed or high surface. Praise your baby when he flips and rolls so it keeps trying.
Your baby is now four months old and is getting stronger by the day. It may protest tummy time, but it is required every day for exercising torso muscles, as they are necessary for rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Talk outside the range of the baby's vision so it is distracted just to find you.
By now, your baby is the star of the house, entertaining everyone. The baby will laugh when you tickle his belly and mimic your words by making similar sounds. Boost the baby's ego and skills by talking to it and making eye contact with it while playing or changing a diaper. You will notice he is very responsive to your voice and actions.
If the crib appears quiet, your baby has been peacefully playing alone. The baby's eyesight is sharp with improving depth perception. The baby is busy playing with its hand. The baby needs few rotating toys at a time.
Your baby's father says that the baby said "daadaa." However, at 19 weeks, your baby does not know what these sounds mean. You can help your baby associate sounds with meanings by pointing at pictures in books or showing them to the baby.
It's been 20 weeks. Your baby now knows exactly who you are and is beginning to know itself. The baby now recognizes itself in the mirror and now displays distinct personality traits. Observe your baby's face, and you will probably detect different emotions.
By week 21, your baby is moving all over the house and can turn in your direction. Your baby can now play all by itself and may not need you to play wirth. Give your baby space to play and entertain itself. Keep your eyes on the baby at all times.
Week 22 will be full of experimentation as your baby experiments as it puts everything in its mouth. Furthermore, your baby is testing objects by dropping his toys to the ground and comparing the different sounds they make when they land. You can help your baby by drawing its attention to various sights and sounds.
By week 23, babies develop muscle control, coordination, and strength in the upper body. The baby is ready to put its legs to test. You can now pull the baby into standing position.
By week 24, your baby is storing memories. It can recognize names, basic words and familiar sounds. It will look at things you point to, known as receptive language which is a step before speaking. The baby remembers daily rituals, so greet it each with the same phrase.
A baby's main milestones can occur differently for every baby. Your baby may appear to be steady, but the baby still needs help. Use pillows to cushion any falls. Also, you may tempt the baby to move in directions by planting its favorite objects.
At week 26, your baby is halfway through the year. Your baby will now be wary of strangers and may be afraid to be away from you. To get the baby used to separation for some time, leaving shortly after a feeding. Make a schedule and establish a "goodbye" routine to so the baby feels secure.
Be prepared. Your baby is playing drop everything to the floor this week. It may be a pain to you, but your baby is learning about cause and effect. When the baby receives the response she expects, this reinforces its understanding of how the world works.
By this week, your baby is using his hands to clap or imitate you. Your baby can now start feeding himself. Supply the baby with soft finger foods that it can eat. However, beware of choking hazard.
Your baby is now capable of socializing. The baby is now fond of peek-a-boo and finding objects you hide. You can teach your baby fun sharing games such that the baby is prepared when it meets other kids at the playground.
Your baby will now be crawling and creeping on it belly. The baby may put pressure on its hands and knees and rock. Keep encouraging your baby and give it time to practice.
At week 31, your baby's hands are no longer clumsily grabbing things, and it is learning to pick up and hold objects. The baby's "pincer grasp" will develop further over the following weeks. Be careful about choking hazards and keep them away from the little hands.
Your baby is now a step closer to standing. Your baby is too young to pull itself up, but it can lean against furniture without using hands. Although it tumbles, the baby is determined to conquer gravity. Place soft pillows and bumpers in case of falls.
Your baby is now forming its own opinions and will let you know what it likes and does not. Be patient as the baby is experimenting with its emotions and learning to control its environment.
Your baby has developed more coordination and strength in its legs and feet and conquers gravity to pull itself up to stand. Encourage the baby to stand by placing favorite toys on the seat of a sturdy chair, point to the chair, and cheer to get it.
This week, you can hear your baby babble away prospective words. Your baby is experimenting with vowels and consonants forming syllables. Furthermore, your baby understands words you say. Ensure you show the baby new words by labelling and pointing out things.
At week 36, a baby can create memories from his experiences. It can recognize a ball, remember how it moves, and push it. The baby can now set goals for itself and play with plastic bowls, pans, and other utensils to make music.
Keep all hazardous and dangerous objects out of your baby's way because it is curious and can now move around quickly. Keep the bathroom door closed to prevent the baby from getting into danger. Be patient and teach the baby self-management skills.
At week 38, your baby will leave a trail wherever it goes. Your baby may now throw books off shelves and things off cabinets. Your baby will happily tip over dustbins. Let the baby be and clean up the mess as this is all a part of your baby's development.
Now your baby will be putting everything in its mouth. Babies at this age spend most of their time gumming, turning over, or banging small objects. Your baby is filled with energy and curiosity. Be careful for the baby's safety.
Your baby is now watching and imitating you. Give your baby a toothbrush or a comb and see for yourself. Mimicking your actions is an important way for your baby to learn. Toys representing real-life objects such as phone toys are a big hit.
Your baby now focuses on objects on each page of its favorite book and feels comforted by seeing the same images and hearing the same words over and over. So be patient and read that story to your baby again. Agree to your baby’s requests as it helps build self-esteem. Slip in a new story once in a while.
Your baby is going to make you run around. The baby is now
constantly on the go and discovering new and faster ways to move. The baby is playing and cruising by holding furniture and making wobbly unassisted steps. The more practice using legs, the stronger and more coordinated the baby will be.
Your baby now knows that objects exist even when it cannot see them. Your baby will look for books or play games by hiding a toy and finding it. You can play hide n seek with your baby to reinforce this.
Do not let your baby out of your sight. Your baby now knows that there's more to than what meets its eye level. Stairs and furniture is irresistible to the baby. Ensure that there are safety gates installed. Teach the baby how to descend by standing behind him and gently pulling him down to the closest step. Stay close for safety.
By week 45, your baby wants to be independent and do things for itself. The baby may grab the spoon from your hand to feed itself. The baby also needs to practice fine motor skills. Your encouragement helps the baby's self-image and esteem.
Your baby's personality is at the peak of its development. The baby has its own opinions and expresses its preferences. Diaper changes may turn into wrestling. However, note that the baby is developing and exercising its knowledge.
Your baby is moving all around. However, lay down the ground rules. Limits and boundaries are important to be set. Give the baby simple directions and demonstrations and reward the baby with a hug or kiss when it does as told for reinforcement.
Your baby may or may not be walking yet, but is constantly on the move. The baby now cruises on furniture, holds your hands while taking steps, and may not even want to sit down. This is an important milestone. Babies may take their first unassisted step between 8 to 15 months. You can encourage the baby's walking by planting favorite toys to make the baby take its unassisted first step.
Your baby's newfound independence may come with some insecurity. The baby realizes that it is apart from you and its anxiety around strangers may increase. Reassure your baby by staying close when you are needed and give her attention when the baby asks for it.
You may want to crash on the bed, but your baby might be excited about all the new achievements during the day. During the baby's final feeding, hold it in your arms in a darkened room and gently rock the baby while singing. Establishing such a relaxing bedtime ritual, the baby will expect and appreciate the break from her energy-filled day.
Your baby is learning how much it can handle. The baby discovers multitasking such that it can hang on an item, tuck something under its arm, and pick up another item. Encourage your baby's reasoning and motor skills by offering him new and different objects. You will see that he figures out how to hold them all.
Happy birthday! It's been a year already. Your baby now gives you the much-deserved return gift: Calling its parents mama or dada. The baby is now on the brink of using more words. Encourage the baby's interest in language by speaking slowly and clearly. You have prepared your baby for a lifetime of learning and communication.