Go, baby go!
Punch! Kick! Swipe! Your baby is probably beginning to discover his hands and feet. You may find he swipes at things and kicks his legs in the air as if he’s merrily pedaling away on a stationary bike.
At first, your baby’s hands and eyes work separately: he handles things without looking at them, and looks without touching. It’s putting the two together that allows him to deliberately reach for things, and it takes lots of practice to actually connect with what he’s aiming for. Next, he’ll learn to grab onto the object — and then, look out!
At this point, it may almost seem as if your baby’s hands are built-in toys. He will play with his hands in front of his face and grab one hand with the other to check it out. And eventually, his hands will end up in — you guessed it — his mouth. Get a snapshot of what to expect in the fine motor skills department as your baby continues to develop hand-eye coordination over the coming months.
Read more: Does my baby move enough?>
Checking in: your sleep status
If you’re lucky parents whose baby is sleeping through the night right now, skip the rest of this section and kick up your heels. Wahoo! But if, like many exhausted souls out there, you’re not, then your baby still needs night feedings and chances are you’ll be on the night shift for a while yet.
Now’s the time to think about how you want to deal with nighttime parenting over the long term. There are plenty of options to consider, but the key is to figure out which one works best for you, your baby and your family.
Read more: The debate: Should you co-sleep?>
Tips from the trenches
“It’s normal to mourn the loss of couplehood, to miss the simplicity and intimacy of worrying only about each other. I love my daughter to bits and wouldn’t change a thing, but in those first few weeks, I was bewildered and scared, and wished things could go back to the way they were. But it gets better! Your bond as a couple deepens from love for the little creature you created together.” — Kate, mom of 1
The battle of the baby weight
Don’t get down on yourself if you haven’t lost your pregnancy weight yet. Remember, it took your body nine months to gain it, so you can’t expect it to melt away overnight. Many women find that pregnancy pounds come off gradually over several months to a year or more.
If you’re breastfeeding, you may find that you drop most of your pregnancy weight at first, but seem to keep a cushion of about five extra pounds in reserve. That’s nature’s way of protecting your baby against famine. Whatever your weight is right now, the most important thing is to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet, so you have the energy you need to care for your baby. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables and choose low-fat sources of protein. Our sensible guide to postpartum weight loss has lots of helpful tips.
You’ll probably also find that a postpartum exercise routine helps you shed those unwanted pounds, and also energizes you and lifts your spirits. Some moms join exercise or dance classes (and bring baby along) or go for daily walks. If you’re looking for help at home, we’ve got an at-home workout that you can do in 10- or 20-minute increments.
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Originally published on Oct. 11, 2011.