8 weeks old
Tummy time is an important part of any baby’s day, but even though it has a really, really fun name, not every baby is a huge fan of the closest thing an infant has to an exercise routine. In fact, for a lot of babies, it’s even less of a favorite time of day than bedtime. It’s important for the parents of grumpy babies who don’t much like tummy time to keep them trying it, but it’s also important to remember to take some time for you and your baby to have fun together - even if that means keeping her off of her tummy for a while.
your baby’s idea of what a game is might be a little bit different than yours right now - she probably won’t go for anything with too many rules, and checkers is right out until your baby grows out of putting things in her mouth. Just making sure you’re taking the time to laugh together, as well as glare down at the floor on your tummies together, is a great way to make sure you’re getting the time to bond, as well as to encourage her development.
Now that your baby’s umbilical stump has been gone for a little while, she has probably been getting some experience with the non-sponge-bath, and it’s hard to predict whether a baby is going to love or hate bathtime, but even the most reluctant bathers can warm up to a little splish-splash. If your baby is a little wary of getting her head wet, saving it for the end of the bath, and using a warm, wet washcloth, instead of pouring water over her head can be a good way to ease into it.
More than that, though, even if your baby isn’t a water-baby right away, with a little encouragement, a few bath toys, and a little bit of luck, the bath can be as much fun for you and your baby as tummy time sometimes isn’t.
When you do start bath time, whether in the sink or a little tub inside of a big tub, it’s important to keep an eye on your baby at all times, and to make sure that she stays warm on the way in and out of the bath. And remember, your baby probably isn’t picking up a ton of dirt and grime throughout the day quite yet (just wait until the toddler days), and so likely doesn’t need to be bathed more than every few days to a week.
- Social smiles: Although smiles for the first couple months are more reflexes than actual displays of happiness, sometime soon, it’s likely that her smiles will soon start reflecting moments of true bliss.
- Awareness of fingers: Just imagine, for one second, if you can, not knowing what fingers are. Tough, huh? your baby has been using those itsy-bitsy fingers for a while now, but it’s not until a couple of months after birth that she will actually make the connection that those are her fingers to do with as she pleases.
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