Activities

When your child is indulged in some games that he may find enjoyble or full of fun is known as activity. The activity may be organised or unstructured.

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Fun Godh Bharai Games

7 reasons why you can't get sleep at night

One of the best things you can do to manage insomnia while you’re pregnant is to have a good sleep routine. Begin by trying to go to bed at the same time every night. Start your routine with something relaxing to help you unwind.  Avoid screen time at least an hour before bed. Blue light from the TV, your mobile phone, or tablet can have an impact on your body’s circadian rhythm. Try reading a book instead. Taking a soothing bath might also make you sleepy. Just be careful that the temperature isn’t too hot — that can be dangerous for your developing baby. This is especially true during early pregnancy. Being pregnant is the best phase of your life, this is the common term everyone says, but no one tells you about the challenges. There are also a lot of sleepless nights that a woman has to face. As, the reasons can vary as per your body but the most common ones are discussed below: Frequent visit to the bathroom: Holding a life inside you is not easy. As you eat you eat for two, similarly as you drink your water intake also increases. The more you drink the more you want to pee. Your bathroom visits can make you stay up during nights. Indigestion: The hormones play a major role in here, increase in hormones can lead to indigestion. Avoid eating spicy food and opting for a healthy diet can be of help here. On the other hand, avoid eating two hours before going to bed can be of help. Baby’s movement: Baby’s like to move in the womb when mothers are lying still. Movement in the rib cage is uncomfortable for mothers and can make you stay up for all time.   Even if you are not able to sleep after adequate efforts, see your doctor and get help rightaway. Feature Image Source

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What to get when you are Expecting

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What is Godh Bharai and 5 exciting Godh Bharai (Baby Shower) ideas

WHAT IS GODH BHARAI? Godh Bharai also known as the Baby shower is an auspicious occasion which is celebrated during the last trimester of pregnancy and is one of the most awaited occasions for the family members. The phrase “Godh Bharai” literally means filling the lap of an expecting mother with abundance. The rationale behind the celebration of a Baby shower is to bless and welcome the unborn baby and to wish the expecting mother with a lot of joy and abundance. WHEN IS GODH BHARAI CELEBRATED? This occasion is usually celebrated after the completion of your seventh month when the baby and you are considered to have entered into a safe zone. Some people prefer to have a puja after the baby is born rather than having Godh Bharai in between. However, Godh Bharai is getting increasingly popular and a lot of friends and families are opting to celebrate it to cherish these wonderful memories later. HOW TO CELEBRATE GODH BHARAI? The rituals for this special occasion vary from community to community, however, the logic remains the same which is to bless mom-to-be and shower her with gifts. The moms to be are anointed with oil and are made to wear a beautiful saree. In many communities, the men including the father are not a part of this event. But then times have changed and the dad to be is quite involved in planning. The event is usually planned by close family members or friends. FUN GODH BHARAI GAMES 1. RIBBON GAME Get a few rolls of ribbons or threads of different colours. Each participant is required to cut the length of the ribbon of the same length as would be the size of the mom-to-be’s tummy. The closest match is the winner. DIAPER CAKE: Make a cake with diapers and place it on the table as a decoration. 2. GUESSWORK Make a list of traits like: • Nose……………………………… (eg. Mom) • Ears………………………………..(eg. Dad) • Eyes……………………………….(eg. Mom) • Hair………………………………..(eg. Mom) • Face……………………………….(eg. Mom) • Complexion……………………....(eg. Dad) • Nature…………………………….(eg. Dad) • Intelligence…………………….....(eg. Mom) • etc Now the mom-to-be will write down her answers (which possible traits the child should inherit from the father and which possible traits the child should inherit from the mother). Let the guests guess each trait’s resemblance to mom or dad. The answers need to be matched by mom-to-be’s answers and the one with the most matches is the winner. 3. DRAW THE BABY This is going to be a fun game. You will need some sketch pens and square pieces of paper/card (big enough for a forehead). Ask the guests to take paper and sketch a pen each. Keeping the paper on their forehead such that they cannot see it, blindly draw an image of the baby. Most of the time the images come out shapeless, which adds to the humour. The mom-to-be has to decide the winner among the badly drawn images. Keep some wipes ready in case the guests get colour on their face. 4. CLAY BABIES Another easy-to-arrange game, you’ll just need to buy a few packs of clay (different colours if possible). Give a portion of clay to each of the guests and ask them to make a baby from it. This is a messy and fun game, a sure hit at the party. Again, the mom-to-be has to decide the winner. 5. PASSING THE PARCEL Play some music and let the cushion or a pillow be passed from one to another. Stop the music randomly; whoever is holding the pillow in the hand when the music stops is the loser. The loser is then made to either sing or dance or do some activity of choice.

The do's and don’ts of hosting a baby shower

Baby showers have come to represent more than just a day where you and your closest friends get together to have tea and cake to celebrate your impending arrival. Now they require meticulous planning, games, a theme and even little keepsakes for the guests; it’s starting to become more like a wedding.   If you are planning on hosting a shower either for yourself or a friend, keep it stress-free with the following dos and don’ts.   Do: 1. Invite the dad-to-be It is easy to forget about the dad-to-be when it comes to baby showers, but they might want to get in on the action as well.   2. Go for finger food rather than a sit-down lunch Cakes, sweets, buns, scones, and sandwiches are all easy to prepare foods that taste delicious. They also mean less clearing up and people can come and go as they please.   3. Have it close to the due date You don’t want to have the party too far away from the due date, nor do you want it the day of. Two weeks before is usually a nice time as it can offer the mum-to-be a distraction from the discomfort that comes with the third trimester.   4. Open the presents Nobody can resist cooing over teeny, tiny baby clothes so open the presents while the guests are there.   5. Keep it short and sweet Two hours is long enough to have a catch-up, open the gifts and eat some nice food. Any longer and the expectant mother might become too tired to be able to enjoy herself.   Don’t: 1. Don’t make it a surprise If you are hosting the party, try to avoid throwing a surprise one. The last thing the mum-to-be will want is to show up looking tired and feeling exhausted.   2. Don’t invite lots of people just for the sake of it Keep it small and intimate. There is no point inviting people just for the sake of it, it will be exhausting trying to entertain everyone and it will be hard for the mum-to-be to relax.   3. Don't give gift suggestions on the invitation It is not a wedding so don’t ask for certain gifts or give a registry. Most people will bring something anyway and a gift list might make them feel uncomfortable.   4. Don’t play embarrassing games Games are a good way to pass the time but bear in mind that this is not a hen party so try to keep the embarrassing games to a minimum.   5. Don’t serve alcohol Remember, this is a baby shower so try to avoid serving alcohol. The last thing the guest of honor will want is to have to deal with drunk and loud guests.  Content Source

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Mobile usage during pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time when a woman needs to observe extra safety measures to ensure the well being of her child as well as herself. By now you must be well aware of why you should eat healthy foods and give up junk food during pregnancy, but do you know that little things that form a part of your daily life can also harm your pregnancy? Radiation from a mobile phone, computers, and wireless routers can also affect your pregnancy. A pregnant woman is exposed to various environmental influences that may be tough to pinpoint one thing that may affect her pregnancy. The use of electronic devices emitting radiation, like WIFI routers and smartphones, has remarkably increased in recent times. This implies that a pregnant woman may be exposed to enormous quantities of radiation even if she is not using a mobile phone. Does mobile usage really affect your pregnancy? However, researchers advocate that mobile phones emit radio waves, a type of non-ionising electromagnetic radiation, which is not likely to affect the health of the mother or of the growing fetus. Though some studies suggest that long-term use of a mobile phone can trigger insomnia, reduced bone density, and brain also. But exposure to lower and limited levels of mobile radiation may not be harmful to your health. Therefore it makes sense to limit your exposure to a cell phone during pregnancy by curtailing the usage time. These emissions are low levels of energy waves that may not infiltrate deep into the human tissues but can harm your eyes. Mobile phones are usually rated based on the frequency of radiation it emits. This rating is known as SAR (specific absorption rate) value, which informs you about the maximum quantity of radiation your body may absorb when using a mobile. The SAR of different phones may vary as per the model and brand. The higher a mobile phone’s SAR value, the more is the radiation absorbed by the person using that phone. Using a mobile continuously during pregnancy can expose you to greater radiation absorption which may interfere with your brain activities causing disruptions in sleep patterns, fatigue, or decreased memory. Numerous studies have been conducted to ascertain if mobile phone usage poses a serious health risk. But till date, no study has established any adverse health effects from using mobile phones for less time. However, when you are pregnant, it is best to be overcautious than to be sorry in the future. content source

These popular 20 games will boost development of your baby

Your baby's attention span will vary a lot, depending on his age, his temperament, and his mood. Sometimes he'll enjoy a game for as long as 20 minutes, but more often you'll need to modify the game every five minutes or so. You'll know your baby's loving your antics when he's turning toward you, smiling, or laughing. But if he squirms away from you, looks away, or cries, it's time to change the activity. Not every baby will catch on to every game. Don't allow this to freak you out, but of course if you have concerns about a possible developmental delay, talk to your baby's doctor. Birth to 3 months To the outside observer, a newborn basically seems like a pooping ball of protoplasm. Your baby will mostly just lie there, except when he's crying. So how can you connect with him and have fun? Your best chance of doing this is to engage your baby's senses: touch, sight (remember, your baby is still very nearsighted), smell, and hearing. (Let's leave taste out for now.) By the end of his first three months, your baby may reach out and try to grab things and will be fascinated by sounds, smells, and patterns. Note: It may take your newborn several seconds to respond to you or he may not respond much at all. Be patient – you may need to keep trying or wait a while for him to enter an alert, responsive state. 10 games your baby will love: Newborn to 3 months old Newborns constantly take in new sights, sounds, smells, and more. Help your baby learn about the world by trying these 10 fun games. Dance, Dance Revolution In the afternoons when my own baby got grumpy, nothing worked as well as dancing with her. I'd put on some music – she preferred soulful tunes from Stevie Wonder and James Brown – and either put her in the sling or hold her in my arms. At first she preferred soft swaying. Later on she liked me to swing her in the air or bump her up and down rather rudely. (Just be sure to offer neck support and don't shake your baby.) When your arms get tired, put your baby down and keep up the dance. Silly exaggerated movements like jazz hands or shaking your butt are particularly funny to babies. Close the drapes so the neighbors won't see. Let's Look at Stuff Most of your early playtime will be spent showing your baby stuff. Any object in the house that won't poison, electrocute, or otherwise hurt him is fair game. Babies love egg beaters, spoons, wire whisks, spatulas, books and magazines with pictures, bottles of shampoo or conditioner (don't leave your baby alone with these!), record albums, colorful fabrics or clothes, fruits and vegetables, and so on. Keep a little stash of objects beside you and sit with your baby. When the moment's right, whip something out like a magician. "Look, Kyle, Daddy's bicycle bell." Hold the object still about a foot from his face and stare at it yourself. Hey, now that you look at it, that bicycle bell is kind of interesting. Congratulations! You're thinking like a baby! Oh, and don't expect babies to really "get" books at this age. You'll know they're enjoying them by their way of getting still and watchful when you bring a favorite book out. Babies don't tend to sit through a whole story, though, and when they're a few months older they'll grab the books from you and close them. This is all developmental stuff. Babies love looking at books and cuddling close to you, but they usually don't care about the plot. Journey Into Mom's Closet You haven't spent a lifetime accumulating a closetful of bright, slinky, tactile clothing for nothing. Dig into your closet and show your baby your cashmere sweater, your cottony-soft favorite jeans, your brilliant plaid skirt. Run soft or silky fabrics over her face, hands, and feet. Lay fuzzy stuff down on the floor and put your baby on top of it. In a few months, your baby will want to run her hands over anything beaded, embroidered, or otherwise embellished. But for now, she may just be content to gaze in wonder. Hey! What's Over My Head? You'll be amazed at how much fun you can have with the simplest stuff around your house. Here are three ideas to start you off: Tie or tape some ribbons, fabric, or other interesting streamers onto a wooden spoon and dangle them gently over and in front of your baby's face. Take a floaty scarf and fling it into the air, letting it settle on your baby's head. Tie a toy to an elastic string (like the kind used for cat toys) and bounce it up and down in front of your baby's face, saying "Boing! Boing!" every time it descends. Remember, never leave your baby alone with strings or ribbons that could encircle his neck or that he could get into his mouth. The Diva Within You may have a terrible voice – but your kid doesn't know it! Now's the time to sing at volume 10, so set free that opera voice inside you. Your baby may like absolutely anything you sing, but there are some classics you should know. "Itsy Bitsy Spider" was the only song that made my baby stop crying when she was on a jag. And most kids like any song with movements – "The Wheels on the Bus," "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," and "Patty-Cake," to name a few. (If you don't remember the words to a favorite song, just look online.) You may feel silly at first, but as your child gets into it, so will you. Try adding your baby's name to the song: "Old Mac Ethan had a farm," "Kate is my sunshine, my only sunshine," and so on. Try songs with silly sounds or animal noises in them, like "Witch Doctor" or "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" Try singing a song in a low growly voice and then in a high squeaky voice, to see which gets the most reaction. Try singing the song breathily into your baby's ear, or use a hand puppet (or a napkin or sock willing to play the part of a hand puppet). And get used to singing, because this could begin to eat up a significant portion of your day. 4 to 6 months At this age, your baby will become a lot more physical, learning how to roll over and even sit up. She can now hold, handle, and mouth objects, and she'll spend a good part of her busy days doing so (meaning extra vigilance is needed on your part). Games can get more physical now. Your baby might enjoy knee rides or tickle games. She's also more responsive to you, making noises and meeting your eyes. Smell the Spice Rack You're in the kitchen, trying to throw some kind of dinner together when your baby starts wailing. Take him over to the spice rack and introduce him to the intoxicating scent of cinnamon. Rub some on your hand and put it up to your baby's nose. (Don't let it get in his eyes or mouth.) If he likes it, try others: Vanilla, peppermint, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, and many other herbs and spices have intriguing fragrances that your baby might love. Other household goods are fragrant, too: Dad's shaving lotion, Mom's hand cream. Sniff out everything yummy – just be careful not to let your baby eat it! 10 games your baby will love: 4 to 6 months old Now that your baby is more alert, make him smile with these 10 fun games that are perfect for bonding and developing new skills. Bubbles, Bubbles Everywhere There's something magical about bubbles, and at this point your baby can see far enough away to focus on them. Blow bubbles when she's getting fussy waiting for the bus and watch the tears dry up. Blow bubbles in the park to attract older kids who'll caper nearby and entertain your baby in the process. Blow bubbles in the bathtub or out on the porch when it's late afternoon and your baby is cranky. Bubbles are unbelievably cheap, easily transportable, and endlessly fascinating for babies. I'm Gonna Get You! Your baby is old enough to have a sense of anticipation now. And no baby can resist your coming at him mock-menacingly with a threat of hugs, kisses, or tickles. Here's what you could say: "Hey, Sweetpea! I see you over there sitting up! Well, that just makes you closer to my lips and I'm going to come over there and kiss you! I'm going to steal a kiss, baby! I'm coming! I'm coming! I... gotcha!" Then cover your baby in smooches. In our house we threaten to eat the baby and punctuate our advances with lip chomps on her fat little feet. A delicacy! When your baby's older you can modify this game to include a chase around the house – this works wonderfully as a way to get your child out the door when you're in a rush. This Little Piggy Touch your baby's toes in turn, starting with the big toe. Say, "This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none. And this little piggy went wee-wee-wee all the way home." As you say that last part, run your fingers up your baby's belly. This game is useful for putting on socks and shoes or distracting your baby during diaper changes. You can also play this game in the bathtub with a squirt bottle targeting your baby's toes. Find two perfect, development-boosting activities for every week of your baby's first year. Tummy Time It's important to have your baby spend time on her tummy, even if she protests vociferously. Get down on the floor with your baby. Look her in the eye as you lie on your own belly. Lay your baby down on a towel and use it to gently roll her from side to side. Try saying, "Oops-a-daisy, Oops-a-daisy" as you roll her. Fly, Baby, Fly! Now that your baby can hold his head up, it's time to hoist him into the air. You can play that he's a rocket ship, flying him over you and making realistic rocket noises. You can play that your baby is in an elevator, which advances up floor by floor before sinking quickly to the bottom (my husband likes to bump noses with our baby and say "Ding!" at this point). Or pretend that your baby's doing a helicopter traffic report. 7 to 9 months Your baby's becoming an expert at sitting and may soon be crawling as well. Encourage these physical feats by celebrating each new milestone with claps and a cheer: "Yay, you sat up! Amazing baby!" The ability to transfer objects from hand to hand and the fabled pincer grasp are part of your baby's increasing hand control (which means you'll be forced to carry a container of O-shaped cereal with you at all times for the next year). Your baby also begins to understand that when an object moves out of sight, it hasn't disappeared from the face of the earth. This discovery makes games like peek-a-boo a favorite. Touch It, Hold It, Bang It If your baby has one object, she'll bang it on the table. If she has two objects, she'll bang them together, hold them up to the light, squint at them, bang them separately on the table, hit the table with both at the same time, see if the object sounds different when hit using the left hand rather than the right hand, and on and on. Help her out by handing over objects that make interesting sounds: hollow containers, metal spoons, bells. Pay attention to tactile sensations as well: Your baby will be fascinated by an embossed greeting card or the slickness of Mom's enameled jewelry box. A baby with strands of cooked spaghetti to play with will be thoroughly entranced. I Can Control the World Babies love cause and effect at this age, as in: I do this, the light comes on. I do that, the light goes off. Showing your baby how to work light switches, faucets, doorbells, and more will thrill him – but can make life more difficult for you when he insists on being held up to work the lights yet again. Instead, you may want to offer a other dangers (dressers with drawers pulled out can turn over on a child) and then let your baby go to town. Obstacle Course If your baby's crawling, scooting, or walking, she may enjoy the challenge of having to move over things. (This is great for developing her motor skills, too. Pillows, tired parents, and laundry make good obstacles. Sleeping cats do not. So Many Variations on Peek-a-boo The classic: Hold up a towel between your face and your baby's and ask, "Where's Sam? There's Sam!" over and over again. You can vary this game in a million ways. Hide behind a door and make your baby push it open to see you. Hide behind a chair and pop out first from above then from the sides. Go behind a corner with another person and alternate who jumps out and yells "Boo!" Keep a selection of hats behind the couch and pop up wearing a different one each time. A surefire laugh-getter is to put a hat on your head, low enough to cover your eyes, and let your baby take it off, saying "Oh!" in surprise each time he does it. (This will also guarantee that you'll never wear a hat in peace again.) Roll Play Babies are fascinated by balls and how they move. You'll get a big laugh by juggling or tossing balls up in the air and letting them hit the floor while you make a silly sound effect: "Whoops!" Roll a soft ball toward your baby and watch her grab and squeeze it. Eventually, with encouragement, she'll roll the ball back toward you. And someday she'll be able to kick and toss the ball or drop it into a big bowl or bucket. For now, bounce and roll. 10 to 12 months Developmentally, your baby has suddenly morphed into an almost-toddler. Games that allow him to practice so-called gross motor skills such as standing, pulling up, and climbing are important for him now. Your baby will also like to work on his fine motor skills by fiddling with the tag on your shirt or the pages of a book – and maybe your breasts or bra if he's still nursing. Rearrange and Re-rearrange Your baby is figuring out the connections between objects in the world. She'll love to stack and arrange objects, as well as fill and empty them. Give your baby a box that's easy to open (like a shoe box) and show her how to put things inside and take them out. At our house, this game quickly evolves into "Take everything out of Mommy's purse and fling it wildly around the living room," which is why I no longer carry change or pens. Another way to play this game: Get a bunch of cups (maybe even stackable measuring cups – ooh, two toys in one!) and show your baby how to pour water, sand, or cornmeal from one to the other, or into a larger container. The Endless Cruise Once your baby is up on his feet, you can encourage cruising by placing a favorite toy at the far end of the couch or over on the coffee table. Try enticing your baby by putting one of your toys, such as your or sunglasses, a distance away and cruising on your knees toward it. Your baby may find this amusing and attempt to join you. Encourage your baby to push an object around the room. Push toys and large empty boxes work well. Avoid folding chairs, which can fold up unexpectedly. Top That Kid Babies this age love to imitate. Encourage this behavior by making a ridiculous noise and then nodding at your baby to go ahead and try a noise. She may imitate you or make her own noise, which you can imitate. Or you can make up a new noise of your own. You can also play this game with faces or movements – our kid likes to raise her arms in a V shape and wave them around. When we do it back, her expression is of someone witnessing magic. The Bath Is Fun No longer is your baby content to sit in the tub and be washed. Older babies want to stand up, splash, grab your hair, pat the shower curtain, and so on. (Note: Never leave a baby unattended in the bath, not even for a minute.) Encourage the fun by adding lots of toys to the tub. Plenty of stuff around the house can be endlessly filled, drained, poured from or into, and floated. Pile up some plastic cups, yogurt containers, funnels, and squeeze bottles, and bring them into the bath along with any of your baby's plastic toys. Poke holes in the top of a plastic bottle with a flat cap to make a homemade watering can. Let your baby feel the sensation of the water dripping onto him and show him how to cut off the flow by blocking it with his hand. Use your homemade toy to give his rubber ducky a shower. At the end of the bath, drain the toys in a plastic colander or a net bag suction-cupped to the side of the tub. Hopefully your baby is clean, happy, and ready to sleep. Wasn't that fun?

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2-month-old, first week: Growth, care and more

Your baby at two months old Drum roll please... It’s the moment you've been waiting for since you met your tiny little baby all those weeks ago. Around now you should be getting your first lopsided smile – not wind, but a perfect little smile. Hopefully it will make all those sleepless nights worthwhile, or at least bearable for a bit longer. Maybe your baby smiled at six weeks old, or maybe you might have to wait another month – it’s not an exact science, so don't worry. Read on below to find out more about the developments you might expect to see from your 2 month old baby. Your baby’s senses at two months old Vision Colour differences are becoming clearer to your baby, and they start to distinguish between colours. Your baby will still prefer bright primary colours and clear, bold designs and shapes but they can now see around 60cm from their face. Encourage your baby by showing them bright pictures. Hearing At 2 months old your babies hearing will be becoming a better listener and they will be able to differentiate between voices they’ve heard more frequently. Regularly talking (or singing) to your baby is a great way to get them used to your voice and also a way to sooth and calm them as they become more familiar. Your baby’s motor skills at two months old  Kicking and waving  Your baby’s movements are becoming less jerky and slightly more co-ordinated. They start to love kicking out when lying down, which is great exercise and helps strengthen their legs. They may also wave their little fists in excitement. At least we hope it’s excitement.  Pushing up and rolling  Your baby may have enough neck muscle power to hold their head up for short periods when they’re lying on their tummy or on your shoulder – but not for long. You might find your baby is now rolling around more. They won’t yet be able to fully roll onto their front (although that will come soon!) but you’ll still want to keep an eye on them if you have them elevated e.g. during a nappy change.  Grasping and unclasping  Your baby was born with a grasping reflex, but they don’t yet know how to let go of things – which is why long-haired mums better be prepared for some painful moments. Around now you may notice them unclasping their fists and trying to wave them.  Other 2 month old baby developments  Drooling  They won’t yet be teething, but you might notice that your baby is starting to drool more (and making a bit of a mess!), as their salivary glands develop. Fear not though, their drool actually contains a lot of bacteria killing enzymes so it’s no bad thing to get it on their toys or other surfaces they’re interacting with.  Sleeping  You may find that your baby is beginning to sleep in more solid blocks (of 5 or 6 hours) but at 2 months old, it’s still very common for your baby to be waking up in the middle of the night.  Reading to your baby  They might not be able to follow along just yet, but reading to your baby can help to sooth them, whilst also helping them to become more familiar with your voice. Try varying the tone and intonation of your voice to keep them interested and build a better connection.  First Immunisations  When your baby is 2 months old you’ll be offered the first round of immunisations which includes protection against a range of diseases including: Rotavirus – A highly infectious virus that can cause gastroenteritis in your baby DTaP/IPV/Hib – Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and haemophilus influenza Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) – This protects against pneumococcal infections including pneumonia, meningitis and bronchitis Six-week postnatal check  At around the 6 week mark, both you and your baby will be offered a post-natal check-up. This check up with b to make sure your baby is developing well and is healthy. In this check-up you can expect the nurse to weigh and measure your baby, check their development of hips, heart, genitals and eyes, and also ask you some questions about how they’re feeding.  How to help your baby develop in month two When you’re talking to your baby, give them time to respond to what you are saying with a look or babble. Research shows babies whose parents who allow them to respond  learn to talk earlier This is a great time to introduce a baby gym – they’ll try to bat at the hanging toys, but careful not to overdo it – a five to 10 minute session is enough, and don’t persevere if they cry. Leave it a week or two and try again Lots of mums get embarrassed about talking to their baby and don’t know what on earth to say. One way to get started is to keep up a kind of commentary on what you’re doing, a bit like a Victorian nanny, according to babycare expert Dr Miriam Stoppard. “They would say, ‘now, shall we put our coats on? Now, let’s go out for a walk. That’s right, into the pram we go.’ I think a child should hear words for much of the time they are awake. Babies have a window when they can learn speech, and it’s open from birth” Game of the month  Try playing different types of music and watch your baby kick their legs and listen with intense concentration. If you play a quieter tune you will see them visibly relax (some research says it may even send them to sleep. No promises.) Are they normal? A small note on developmental milestones: it’s really true – all babies are different and although we can encourage them, they will do things at their own pace and in their own time. content source

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Seven-weeks old baby: Health, growth, care and more

At 7 weeks old, your little one is going through a lot of growth and development. Every day might seem to bring new surprises, but here’s what you can expect as a parent of a 7-week-old baby. Your Growing Baby You can expect your 7-week-old baby to continue their plotted development on the growth chart specific to their personal development. At this time, they will: Continue to gain about 1.5 to 2 pounds a month Grow about 10 inches (25 centimeters) between the time of birth and 12 months Have a head circumference that grows at about 2 centimeters a month Despite the fact that your baby is always growing and developing, babies will not always grow at a constant, regular rate. They may instead be more apt to have periods of rapid growth followed by slower growth. So, if it seems like they are moving out of those newborn onesies and into 3-month-old outfits seemingly overnight, it's normal. Developmental Milestones Although every baby is different, your 7-week-old baby should be making the following physical and developmental milestones appropriate for this age. Body Holds objects in their hand. Unlike the reflexive clutching skills that your baby has displayed so far, your little one now has more strength to be able to hold items on their own. Begins to bat at objects. Your baby might not quite be able to grab items out of their reach just yet, but you may notice them start to bat at objects, especially overhead toys, like play mats or swings and bouncer seats with mobiles. Brain After a big growth spurt in week 6, it might feel like your 7-week-old baby is settling down a bit. You may notice more frequent periods of calmness and alertness as they study the world around them. It's not random—they really are learning more each and every moment. Thanks to all of that new brain growth, take note of some of these new skills. Tracking objects or people. Feel like you’re constantly being watched? You are! Your little one is learning to keep eyes on you at all times as they gain the ability to follow objects with their eyes as they move. Test this new skill by holding an object in front of your baby’s eyes, then moving it slowly from side to side or just walk across the room. Your baby will best be able to track items or people moving horizontally; tracking vertical or diagonal movements will come in the next several months. Smiling. Your baby’s first smiles may have occurred last week or will develop this week. As the days go on, your baby will flash more and more smiles your way as they figure out that their smiles lead to mom smiles. Babies love to make you smile and even at this young age, they are figuring out how to get what they want by being adorable.  When to Be Concerned All babies develop at different rates and babies who were born prematurely or who have special needs may have different developmental milestones to meet according to their own timetables. For full-term babies who have no other medical conditions, you will want to talk to your pediatrician at 7 weeks old if your baby: Is not able to hold his or her head up Cannot track horizontal movements Appears to be developing a flat spot on either the back of the head or either side Cannot turn his or her head Baby Care Basics This week is a good time to make tummy time a consistent part of your daily routine if you haven’t done it already. Tummy time is important at this age, especially because your baby has gained the neck muscles necessary to hold up their head, but those muscles may be underutilized if your baby is spending a lot of time on their back. If a baby spends too much time on their back without changing position, they may be at risk for developing positional plagiocephaly, or a flat head. Increasing tummy time can help, but in some cases, it may require a specially fitted helmet for your baby. Without sufficient tummy time, babies may also have delays in other development milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, and crawling, because the muscles they need are not strong enough. Get started on tummy time with these tips: Work your way up. Start with shorter periods of time, from a few minutes, and work your way up to 10- to 20-minute periods of tummy twice a day. If you haven’t done a lot of tummy time yet, your baby may not like it very much at first. That’s okay—they just need more practice. Remember tummy time doesn’t have to be on the floor. Holding your baby to your chest counts for tummy time, too, because it will still get those muscles working. Use a play mat. Many activity mats and play mats have playful, colorful patterns that your little one can look at and study to make tummy time more fun. Use a pillow. Breastfeeding pillows are especially helpful for tummy time—just be sure you never leave your baby unsupervised around a pillow or on the floor. Get involved! If your little one is resisting tummy time, join in on the fun by getting down on the floor with them. Feeding & Nutrition Your baby may still be experiencing a significant amount of gas at this age. It could be completely normal and your baby will outgrow it, or it could be caused by breast milk or infant formula. If your baby is formula-fed, try experimenting with different types of formula. Your baby’s digestive system may have changed since the newborn days, so it may be worth re-visiting other brands or types of formula that you tried in the past without success. A formula that didn’t work for your baby at 2 weeks may just work at 7 weeks. If your baby is breastfed, think about what you are consuming that may be causing gassiness in your infant. Some common culprits of foods that can lead to your baby getting gas through breast milk include cow's milk and dairy products, vegetables (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and peppers), cucumbers, garlic, and chocolate.   Sleep This week also marks a significant sleep milestone for many infants. According to a study in Archives of Disease in Childhood, the peak age for infant fussiness and crying at night is between 5 and 6 weeks. And although your infant probably won't sleep through the night (defined as sleeping longer periods of time, not necessarily a full eight-hour stretch like an adult) until around 13 weeks, you may be moving past the peak age of evening fussiness. Hopefully, that means calmer evenings and an easier time putting your baby to sleep at this age. But be careful to not let the newfound ease make you lax on bedtime routines; it’s still important to be consistent with bedtime and sleep cues so that your baby can learn how to go to sleep on their own. Of course, keep in mind that all babies are different, so your infant might have a longer experience of being fussy, too. content source

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