Baby's First Year: Weeks 10-14
What a long way both you and baby have come in the last month! You know so much more about your baby - when he's hungry, when he's sleepy and how to soothe and comfort him - than you did just a few weeks ago.
A group of other new mothers who you can compare notes with can be a lot of fun and a source of support in the coming year and beyond. A new-mothers' group can be especially helpful in meeting other mothers with baby's close in age to your own. An opportunity to ask questions helps ease worry. It can be very refreshing to get out of the house and be with other moms who are going through the same thing you are.
Sexuality after the baby comes
After giving birth and having weeks of scattered sleep and breastfeeding, sex may be the last thing on your mind - or the first! Generally, avoid intercourse until your episiotomy or tear has healed, your vaginal discharge has lessened and you feel you're ready. Many women find that they just aren't interested for a couple months after the birth. It's normal, and rarely a long - term feeling. Your vaginal tissues may be dry after birth, so you may wish to use a water-soluble lubricant. Some women begin ovulating again shortly after birth - even if breastfeeding-and you can become pregnant before your period returns. If you are breastfeeding, your breasts may leak milk during orgasm, as the hormone oxytocin is released during both orgasm and when your breast milk lets down - hence its nickname "the love hormone." If this happens, it does not reduce the amount of milk available for your baby.
While it is common to feel a lack of sexuality for a long time after giving birth, less desire can also be a sign of postpartum depression. If you don't want to be touched or have sexual relations with your partner and have other symptoms of depression - including sleeplessness, fatigue, lack of appetite or too much appetite, and weepiness - consult with your doctor. There are ways they can help you to feel better.
You and your baby at 3 months
A 3- month - old is no longer a newborn. By 12 weeks of age, most babies have settled into a routine of eating and sleeping. They've usually outgrown the tendency to cry inconsolably in the evening. You know how to comfort your baby and how to tell when he is sleepy, hungry or ready for play. You've learned so much, and everything is easier.
If you continue to feel overwhelmed by the change in your life or not yet "in tune" with your baby, talk to your doctor or your baby's doctor. You may need more support, and they can help you find it. Getting help for yourself is in your baby's best interest as well as your own.
Your baby's milestones
Each baby develops at his own rate. A baby who started life prematurely, had an illness or had any other sort of difficult beginning may reach a milestone a little later than the average. Another baby may reach it earlier and yet down the road take longer to pass some other milestone. The normal age ranges for babies to be ready for any new skill are wide; however the order of the milestones is almost always the same, from rolling over to sitting to walking.
Around 4 months of age, your baby may figure out how to roll over from his front to his back, and then from his back to his front around 6 months. (Since babies now sleep on their backs to protect them from SIDS, they may not roll over front to back until later.) The look of surprise on a baby's face the first time he manages it and suddenly sees the whole room above him is memorable.
Even if you've never seen your baby roll over, know that he might do so at any time. Always, then, keep one hand on him when he is on the top of a changing table or other place from which he might roll off. Like every milestone, rolling over can happen at different ages in different children.
Your baby is quickly gaining control of his arms and legs, getting ready to sit, crawl and walk over the next year. Give him lots of time to practice on a blanket on the floor when he is awake and ready for fun.
While babies are safest sleeping on their backs, playtime on their tummies is important for developing their physical strength and motor skills. (If he falls asleep on his tummy, be sure to turn him over onto his back.) For playtime on his back, safety-approved play gyms with bright objects that move when your baby bats them with his hand or foot are good toys for this age and will keep a baby happily exploring and learning for long periods.
Is it still there? In the first few weeks of life, babies often develop cradle cap, a layer of flaky residue on their scalps. You can wash a little bit off during each bath time, but know that it is harmless and not a sign of allergies or a lack of hygiene.
Sometimes cradle cap can stick around for a very long time, even past the first birthday, and sometimes it's gone in a matter of a few weeks. Rubbing hard to get rid of it, however, can irritate your baby's skin, so let it go away on its own or with the gentle help of a soft cloth and a little oil or lotion.
Becoming a talker
While he may not say his first word for quite a while yet, your baby is already learning to talk. You may have noticed your baby pays close attention when you talk or sing to him, even trying to copy the sounds you make. He's learning to tell the difference between words, to know your mood by the tone of your voice as well as by your facial expression.
Talking and singing to your baby, playing music and reading to him now will help him in many ways down the road. These activities can help him learn to process information and build listening and speech skills.
Raising a child with two languages
Bilingualism in children has been the subject of many studies and most conclude it provides some advantages in specific cognitive areas but no increase in overall intelligence.
Children may learn language a bit more slowly at first and sometimes confuse words in each language, but these effects are only temporary and understandable when a child is learning twice as much. You should have no reservation about teaching your child two languages.
Mothers naturally tend to sing to their babies. A recent study suggests that a mother's song not only soothes her baby but also helps the baby to understand and process music and music-like patterns. This ability may help develop logic and math skills later in life.
Babies take pleasure in the sounds and rhythms of sung and spoken language from the start, the study found. Mothers tend to sing in the high-pitched, slow-tempo and expressive style that babies prefer. This melodic give-and-take sets the stage for an understanding of music in humans all over the world.