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Thursday, February 2, 2012

As your baby grows....7 weeks old

Ages & Stages - Baby Tristan is 7 Weeks old!

Sensitive Senses
Your baby's senses are getting increasingly keen. If you walk into the room and call to her, she might look toward you, which means that she's coordinating sight and sound, an important cognitive milestone. Her eyesight is also getting sharper. Want to check? Hold a toy in front of her face, then slowly move it to the right, then to the left. Her eyes will follow it, an ability called tracking that means she's on track developmentally.

Newborn Sleep Tips
f there’s anything motherhood teaches us, it’s how precious it is to catch even a few minutes of much-needed sleep. That’s is especially true for your newborn, who needs all the sleepshe can get to ensure her healthy development. At this age your baby can sleep for three to four hours at a time before she wakes up hungry. Learn how you can help her develop a sleep schedule and all the other important details about your baby’s sleep habits.

Newborn to 2.5 Months
Babies can't tell the difference between night and day -- they don't produce enough melatonin yet -- and require frequent feedings.

Falling Asleep
To help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, put him to bed when he's drowsy, but before he falls asleep. This will train him to fall asleep in his crib and not in your arms. Your baby will also learn to soothe himself back to sleep instead of being rocked or held, which means more restful, uninterrupted sleep for you. According to Dr. Guzman, your little one will be less likely to suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems as he grows older if he learns to fall asleep on his own from a young age.

Sleeping Environment
Because Baby develops many of her sleep habits during her first weeks of life, it?s important to provide a consistent sleep environment. According to Dr. Yadav, your baby's room should always be dark when she is sleeping. This will make it easier to transition to sleeping only at night as she grows older.
Although Baby's room temperature may feel comfortable to you, her body may get cold during the night, causing her to wake. To keep her warm while she sleeps, Dr. Yadav recommends dressing your baby in one more layer of clothing than you are wearing. Since Baby loses most of her body heat through her head, cover her head with a warm hat if it?s especially cold.

Your newborn may snooze a lot -- but not for long stretches.
That's because her internal clock isn't up and running yet. "There is no rhyme or reason to sleep until about 6 to 10 weeks," says sleep expert Jodi Mindell, PhD, author of Sleep Deprived No More. But even newborns can benefit from a bedtime ritual: "Parents don't realize how aware babies are, but when you nurse her, zip up her pjs, and put on music, it sends a signal," says Mindell.

Put him down sleepy but awake.
That way, if he rouses in the night, he can put himself back to sleep. Erika Riley, of Minneapolis, learned this the hard way with her second son, Max, who is now 2. She would lie with him in her bed until he fell asleep. But 30 minutes later, he'd wake and need her next to him to drift off. Another common blunder: giving baby the breast or bottle right before he goes down. "Make this the first part of the bedtime routine," Mindell says. "If baby falls asleep sucking on a bottle, he'll need that to fall asleep again if he wakes in the night." Just ask Kristen Fox, of Florham Park, New Jersey. Her oldest, Keira, now 3, nodded off with her bottle. When she no longer needed it at 9 months, Fox said, "Now what do I do?" 

Exposing baby to bright light in the morning helps set her internal clock. Pull up the shades in the nursery or take her for an a.m. walk.

Good sleep habits are all about routine.
By 6 to 8 weeks, baby can benefit from a sleep schedule linked to feedings, with an "official" bedtime, even though he isn't sleeping through the night. By 3 to 4 months, baby should snooze about six hours (yay!), so you can drop a middle-of-the-night bottle, says pediatrician Jennifer Trachtenberg, MD, of New York City. As baby sleeps longer, bedtime shifts earlier, to between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Baby's cries hurt you more.
The experts agree: for the first three months, feed baby on demand and cater to her every need. But eventually, you need to take a new tack. Kate Clow, of Chatham, New Jersey, let all three of her kids cry it out: "It was horrible, but it lasted only a few days," she says. Consistency is key. "If you decide to let them cry it out for two nights and then go in on the third, you're back at square one." Erika Riley let Max cry it out at 10 months. "He was eating table food, so I knew he wasn't hungry. I have a video monitor, so I knew he was okay. He wanted my attention, and he soon enough learned he wasn't going to get it in the middle of the night," she says. "I knew I had to let him cry so he could learn to sleep on his own."

Flexibility is key.
"When you have more than one child, there will be compromises," Dr. Weissbluth says. Jamie Gallovich, of Keller, Texas, says her oldest, Andrew, now 6, "got the best of it." She'd often have to wake her younger son, Chase, so she could take Andrew to activities. Cut yourself some slack, says Mindell: "With baby number one, it's possible to keep to a consistent schedule five or more days a week. But when you get to your second or third child, if you can hit 50 percent consistency, that's good." 

"By about 12 weeks, you'll see a schedule developing," says sleep expert Jodi Mindell, PhD. You and baby benefit from keeping to one.

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  1. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

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