It's the 25 week mark (6-7 months), and for the first-time mom she's probably wondering, “How did this happen?” While many new moms are probably experiencing the biggest change in their lives, aside from dealing with a surge of different emotions, their newborn baby is also going through some of the biggest changes of her life. The newborn is likely starting to crawl, babble or putting everything she comes across right in mouth.
What can you do help your baby develop her curiosity, and help develop her skills during this stage? There are many things you can do to help your baby learn and grow. As the mom, you don’t have to devote entire hours to this. All you need to do is pay close attention to. The key is to enjoy your time with the baby. Also, it would be even more fun if you got others involved such as your partner, family and friends. It's also important to keep in mind that at times, there is nothing you have to do, but taking notice of these developments is enough. You shouldn't feel like you have to follow your baby around like a helicopter. Sometimes your baby also needs to explore the world on her own without your company. But, this is a special time that only happens once and it is filled with exciting changes, milestones and and a ton of curiosity. There are a ton of things you can do to help and guide your baby.
And along the way, don't forget to take out a pen and paper and record these precious moments.
15 Rolling Over
It is more likely that your baby will roll over between 4-7 months of age. If your baby is not rolling over yet, don't worry. Some babies take a little longer than others and that is perfectly normal. You should not try to force this happen, but you can encourage your baby in many ways.
It's all a process. If your baby has good head, neck and upper body strength then she's probably ready to roll! Tummy time is great for a baby’s upper body strength, however some babies don’t like tummy time. Here are some tummy time tips and tricks.
It's going to happen eventually. And it's really up to you if you want to help your baby. Some encouragement, like clapping and a loud and proud "good job" or "yay" will inspire your baby to keep going for it. Just so you know, some babies skip the rolling all together, so if you don't see signs of rolling, then sitting or crawling is probably what she is more interested in.
14 Sitting Down
According to Pediatrician, Kurt Heyrman, M.D,. your baby might start sitting as early as 4 months old or as late as 9 months. Your baby probably already accomplished this motor skill. And if not, that is okay. There are many ways you can encourage your baby to accomplish this big milestone.
Dr. Heyrman recommends looking out for other motor skills which signal that your baby is ready to sit on her own. Can your baby hold her neck up and have some balance? Plenty of tummy time is also important. Dr. Heyrman recommends supervised tummy time because it helps strengthen your baby's neck, stomach and back muscles. If she can lift his head off the floor to look horizontally, that's a good sign she's ready to sit. It's normal for your baby to feel uncomfortable with tummy time so Dr. Heyrman recommends to start tummy time on your or your partner's stomach first.
13 Crawling And Creeping
At this stage, your baby is likely ready to begin crawling or has already started. If you have not seen any signs of crawling or creeping, don't worry. Some babies start sooner than others for no apparent reason. If you wan to help your baby start moving, you can try placing a toy away from her so that it's not within her reach but close enough where she can see it. This encourages her to go after it and whatever cost even if that means moving their entire body across the room. This also may be frustrating for her, and she may decide not to bother. Keep trying. But, try not to help when your baby is reaching for the toy.
As mentioned, give your baby some tummy time. Tummy time strengthens the muscles necessary that come in handy for crawling. It's a good idea to this every day. This means you'll need to reduce the the time they are on their walkers and bouncers so your baby can find motivation to move on her own.
12 Eye Sight
One of the joys of being a parent is looking into your baby's eyes and watching her face light up with joy. Your baby is now capable of 3D vision and since her fifth month of age she has already been seeing in color according to the American Optometric Association. Their vision will continue to develop naturally, but there are a number of things you can do to make sure she has something interesting to feast on. For example, babies love looking at faces, and respond best when your wearing clothes with contrasting colors.
Taking your baby to new places will open up a new world for her. Visit zoos, parks, malls, and just about any new place (a new grocery store). This all will be something your baby will be delighted to experience.
11 Growing Teeth
Most babies get their first tooth at around 6 months, but some can get teeth as early as 3 months. For some babies, this can be painful, and for others it's not. Some signs to look out for are fussiness, drooling, swollen, sore gums and baby putting toys in her mouth to ease the pain. Some babies don't want to eat or drink because their mouths hurt.
To help alleviate the pain try rubbing a clean finger on the gums. You can purchase teething objects that your baby can chew on to help sooth the pain. If your baby can't sleep or is crying non-stop, you can get an over-the-counter pain reliever for infants. Make sure you read the instructions before you use the pain reliever.
After the teeth come, it's great to start getting your baby used to the healthy lifelong routine of brushing. Buy a soft toothbrush with a small head and large handle, according to the medical staff at WebMD. Simply wet the toothbrush and brush all around.
10 Transitioning To The Big Bathtub
At 25 weeks (6-7 months) your baby is probably too big for the baby tub. Although there is no advice out there that says you have to, this is the perfect time to start the transition from baby tub to big tub. There are many ways you can go about this. For example, if your baby is not sitting on her own yet, you can actually place the baby tub inside the big tub. This helps with two things. First, it helps her recline so you don't have to worry about falls. Two, if your baby is anxious about the change, the baby tub inside the big tub until can ease the anxiety. Bring in new toys, bath books, foam numbers, and you can even join in the fun together! Having company will make the transition all about rather than intimidating.
9 Sleeping Through The Night
Or not! Your baby is probably NOT sleeping through the night at this point. If she is, congratulations, you can skip to number 8. But, if you're still getting up in the middle of the night to breastfeed or bottle-feed, read on.
The day will come soon. In fact, it is very early on for a baby to put herself to sleep. If you want to do something about this, there are many methods you can try to get your baby to sleep through the night.
Once you've decided what you'll approach will be, make bedtime a ritual. There are countless things you can do for your baby to get her body an mind used to the idea that night is for sleeping. You can try giving your baby a massage by using baby lotion right before bedtime that will sooth and calm her. Reading a bedtime story will do many things for your baby. Aside from all the fantastic benefits reading, you or your partner can use this time to bond with your baby. Read more advice here to get some ideas you can start using today.
8 Hello Personality
At 25 weeks, your baby's personality will start to pop. But how do you notice it? When you open up to your baby and begin paying attention to what she is doing and what she is communicating with you through body-language, you'll be able to identify her dominant traits, says writer Jennifer L.W. Fink in her article, "What's Your Baby's Personality" in Parents Magazine.
Fink outlines the following personalities: The active, mellow, sensitive and fussy baby. Knowing which closest describes your baby makes it easier for you to keep her happy. Of course, your baby will not always be smiling and laughing, but embracing her personality rather than guessing her wants or assuming she is just like you or your partner, will make for a happier and comfortable baby which in turn, makes everyone else around her happy too.
Jot down some of the things your baby does throughout the day. For example, is your baby already crawling? That's probably a sign that she is an active baby and enjoys to be on the go. Encourage this. Sign her up for gymnastics, visit the park frequently and buy toys that promote physical activity.
7 Develops New Interests
This 25th week is bringing a lot of change not only for you but also for your baby. From begging solid food, transitioning to the bug bath, perhaps sitting and crawling, and growing teeth, this means your baby is ready for new stimulation, activities and experiences.
For example, you're probably noticing that your baby is reaching out for everything near her sight. That means she's interested in exploring the world around her. You'll also notice babbling and new sounds. She is trying to communicate with you. A great way to encourage your baby's new interests is by following her lead. If your baby is babbling away, talk back to her, read books together, ask her questions. The point is to take notice of these new interests and encourage them. If she is putting everything in her mouth, think about getting sage chewy toys that make funny noises. "Mouth toys provide numerous learning opportunities that introduce children to the sensory world, and prepare the mouth for more complex feeding skills", says Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D. These toys will no doubt surprise and amuse her.
6 Ready For Solid Foods
How can you tell if your baby is ready for solid food? Perhaps your baby's pediatrician already told you to start feeding your baby solid food. But, if you haven't had that conversation with your baby's pediatrician, here are some key signs. When your baby is ready to eat solids, she:
- Baby is able to sit with support, reaches and grabs, and mouths hands and toys
- Baby watches you eat, following your fork as it moves from plate to mouth
- Baby tries mooching off your plate
- Baby mimics your eating behaviors. For example opening their mouth when you open your mouth. Grabbing their utensils is not a reliable sign of the baby being ready to eat. The baby may be more interested in the noise the spoon makes, it's shape an feel rather than the food on it.
- Baby can show and tell. Around six months of age babies have the ability to say “yes” to wanting food by reaching or leaning toward the food and “no” by pushing or turning away. The baby can sometimes give mixed messages as he/she is learning to communicate.
Make sure to purchase bibs that properly fit your baby. You can find plastic, or cloth bibs whatever you prefer.
5 Sounds And Babble
At this age, your baby will start to produce sounds like, "aaa" and "ooo." Or perhaps she's already babbling away trying what is called, canonical babbling which are well-formed syllables.
According to a study done by D. Kimbrough Oller, a professor of audiology and speech-language pathology at the University of Memphis, babies who go on vocalizing without many consonants, making only aaa and ooo sounds, are not practicing the sounds that will lead to word formation.
To encourage more babbling there are a number of simple language activities you can do. It's important to talk with your baby, sing to her, read often, name the parts of her body, point out what's on sight and name them, and tell stories.
4 Touching Everything
At this age you'll notice that your baby wants to touch and grab just about everything. Experts say that baby's first toy is her body. She will put her fingers in her mouth and stretch out to grab her toes. Her mind is in search for as much information is possible. Knowing this, it's a good idea to introduce toys with different textures (rough, smooth hard) or simply find safe items your baby can play with. For example, you can introduce differing textures such as a silky scarf and say, "soft" while your baby plays with it.
You can find toys that make sounds when and different types of toys such as lightweight rattles, board books, squeaky rubbery toys and plush toys. Taking your baby outside an safely exposing her to leaves, rocks and other natural objects helps too.
3 Fear Of Strangers
According to Dr. Sears who has been advising parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years, "At the age of 4 months, babies begin studying people in an attempt to discern, among other things, who can be trusted." This depends on your baby's temperament and personality.
For example, laid back babies may feel comfortable going into the arms of strangers, while fussy babies may be bothered by this new experience. If you're baby is experiencing stranger anxiety, Dr. Sears suggest you "move gradually" into new situations with new people. He also suggests that babies get vibes from us as parents, so if we approach people in a cheerful manner, our babies will likely not feel a threat.
2 Hearing And Recognizing Sounds
Your baby's been hearing since she was born, but not until now (6-7 month mark) she will realize where sounds come from, and she'll turn quickly towards new ones. She'll also be able to respond to very quiet noises, as long as she's not distracted according to an article by BabyCentre's Medical Advisory Board.
There's a lot of activities you can do with your baby to encourage your baby to pick up and learn new sounds. You can sing songs and introduce her to all sorts of music with different beats and sounds. You can introduce a music set that is age appropriate, and toys with soothing and relaxing tunes, as well as more upbeat ones.
1 Self Care
A drastic change in life brings many challenges and stress. While your likely getting back into the groove of things, there is still a lot going on. How are you taking care of yourself? It's important you set some time to exercise. Yoga, Pilates, or jogging just twice a week can provide that extra boost you need. A healthy diet and proper rest are crucial for getting a proper nutrition. If you are staying at home with your baby, it's normal to feel lonely and you may even be going through post-partum depression (PPD) Talk to a friend who has been through something similar or your partner about what your going through. If you think you need help, don't hesitate to reach out to a therapist.
You are doing an amazing job. And in order for your baby to thrive, you need to make healthy priorities for yourself. The better your mind, body and soul the better your baby.