Okay, so the title isn’t really about your baby, but it greatly affects the self-esteem of us Momma’s so it is worthy of mentioning.
Prior to the birth of Big Brother, I took a breastfeeding class that was offered at our local hospital. The “teacher” of this class said (and I quote), “If you are breastfeeding and gained a normal amount of weight during your pregnancy, you should lose all your baby weight by your six-week appointment.”
So these are the expectations I had after Big Brother’s birth.
big. Fat. LIE. (or at least it was for me–if you gained 11.2 pounds or you are SuperMama, this excludes you).
If you are expecting and you are reading this, DO NOT have this expectation. You will beat yourself up over it (like I did). I gained 35 pounds with both of my boys (the high end of normal) and lost 20 pounds within the first two weeks. This weight consisted of (a) 7 1/2 pounds of baby (b) placenta (c) extra fluids retained during pregnancy. After those 2 weeks, though, I plateaued and didn’t lose 1 pound for an entire month! Meaning at my six-week checkup, I still had 15 pounds to go!
Every woman is different and will lose weight differently…maybe you lost yours in the first six weeks, maybe it takes 6 months (like me), or maybe you were just too darn skinny before and nature compensates after childbirth. :) As new Momma’s, we have ENOUGH stress in our lives that we don’t need to feel bad about ourselves because we can’t lose the baby weight fast enough! Make healthy choices and hang in there…it will happen. It just takes time!
Now that I’m off my soapbox…back to baby!
For about 2 weeks, Prince Charming and I argued about whether our baby just smiled at us or whether it was just gas. Prince Charming, being the eternal optimist that he is, was certain that Big Brother was actually smiling at us. I, being the one who read all the books and knew that babies probably wouldn’t smile until 2 months, was a bit skeptical. Irregardless, you’ve probably seen your baby’s first smile by now (or you will soon). And chances are…he is smiling intentionally!
|Big Brother at 7 weeks|
Your baby is becoming a social being! He loves to be with you and will smile in response to seeing your face. Even a 2-month old baby is capable of learning cause-and-effect (ex. If I cry, my Momma will come get me). Your baby smiles and then sees you smile…and vice-versa!
|Little Brother at 7 weeks|
Besides lots of smiles, here’s what else you can expect by the end of the second month:
- Sleeping: Your baby is probably on a fairly good routine by now of eating about every 3 hours. She might even sleep a longer stretch at night!
- Vision: Your baby is probably now gazing into your eyes and watching your face intently. She also is now able to follow moving objects close to her face. At one month, she probably will prefer contrasting black-and-white images, but she’ll be fully responsive all the colors around 4 months.
- Hearing: You might notice your baby starting to smile whenever he hears your voice. He might also start to coo or babble and turn his head in the direction of sound.
- Cool Tricks: Your baby should be able to hold his head up for at least a few seconds at a time. He also might even enjoy grasping a rattle and kicking his legs! He also might be fascinated with opening and shutting his hands or bringing them to his mouth!
- Continue Tummy Time: By now, your baby should be on her tummy for at least 30 minutes each day while she is awake. This is very important for the strengthening of her neck and back muscles, which will eventually help her to sit up.
- Me in the Mirror: Babies love to look at themselves in the mirror. Try attaching aa shatterproof mirror (similar to the one below) to the rails of your baby’s crib or set it out during tummy time. You’ll be amazed how much she smiles at herself!
- Sing songs. I had a really hard time with this one when Big Brother was born because I have a horrendous singing voice, but eventually I got over it when I saw how much he enjoyed being sung to! Sing whatever song you’d like to your baby…he will just enjoy the interaction and sound of your voice.
- Use a mobile or play gym. Having a mobile secured to her crib is a great way to promote tracking. If you have a crib that mobiles will not attach to (like us), you can also use a play gym similar to this one during “awake” time to help with tracking.
- Read to your baby!!! This is so important and something you can start from the first day you bring your baby home. Your little one will love to hear your voice–the natural rhythm and flow you use when reading aloud. Your baby will also love to look at the bright, colorful pictures. Cloth books are perfect for babies of this age as they will enjoy feeling the different textures.
Ask your doctor if your baby:
- Doesn’t seem to respond to loud sounds. Just a note: Big Brother didn’t respond to loud sounds for quite a while. I was so worried about his hearing that I banged pots and pans to see if they would wake him from his sleep (I can’t thinking about Mr. Holland’s Opus–and he still didn’t wake up! We had his hearing tested at 2 months, but he was perfectly fine! Some babies are just REALLY deep sleepers, but it is never a bad thing to bring issues like these up to your doctor.
- Doesn’t follow moving objects with his eyes.
- Doesn’t notice her hands.
- Has trouble moving one or both eyes in all directions.
- Crosses his eyes most of the time (occasional crossing of the eyes is completely normal in these first few months).
- Has a rectal temperature higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
- He seems unusually sleepy or hard to awaken.
- Has dry, scaly, red patches (usually on the face, in the bends of the elbows, and behind the knees). This is most likely eczema and your doctor will need to prescribe treatment. Avoid any over-the-counter lotions or creams unless your doctor specifically recommends them.
- Do you have any questions? Leave a comment!
- Likewise, veteran parents…feel free to chime in with anything I forgot to cover or with any tips you may have.
Shelvov, S.P., Hannemann, R.E., & Trubo, R. (2004). The American Academy of Pediatrics: Complete and Authoritative Guide for Caring for Your Baby and Young Child. Bantam Books.
Eisenberg, A., Murkoff, H.E., & Hathaway, S.E. (1996). What to Expect the First Year. Workman Publishing Company: New York.
Reisser, P.C. (2007). The Focus on the Family Complete Book of Baby and Child Care. Tyndale House Publishers: Carol Stream, IL.
Please Note: This post is for informational (and entertainment) purposes only. I am not a doctor! Be sure to talk to your doctor regarding any questions or concerns you may have regarding your baby.