How much stimulation?
Stimulation: How much is too much and how much is too little? All the media hype about the early development of babies’ brains might leave you with more questions than answers.
When you’re talking to your baby, playing with him in the tub, entertaining him while you’re changing his diaper, and the like, you’re actually providing him with cognitive stimulation every day. Learn how to give your baby the stimulation he needs (and understand when he’s had enough). Also read up on why so many parents are eager to put their kids ahead of the pack, even in the early days, and 10 things you should know about early brain development.
Your biggest fan
Over the past couple of months, you and your baby have probably gotten to know each other quite well. You can better understand your baby’s cues and, because you respond to her needs, she has begun to trust you. She knows who you are and may even be saving her best smiles for you.
You’ll probably find that she’s curious about everything. She may lift her head to make eye contact with you, and start to focus in on people’s faces and interesting patterns on furniture, wallpaper, and the like. Your baby may also begin to “talk” more often and with more varied expression. Take a look at our profile of a growing baby.
Another doctor’s visit?
You may feel you spend half your time scheduling or attending appointments at your doctor’s office. Learn what your child’s caregiver is looking for, and why well-baby checkups are so important.
Tips from the trenches
“Going out every day, even if it was just to look at the makeup counter at the drugstore, saved my sanity.” – Susie, mom of three
The benefits of baby massage
You love a good massage — your baby will too. Experts think touch benefits baby’s health in a variety of ways, including enhancing brain growth, improving digestion, and helping her sleep better. But you may find you do it just for the joy of it!
Has it been too long since you got out with your partner alone? You’ll probably find that having regular dates gives you both a special time to look forward to as well as a chance to reconnect and rediscover each other. If your baby tends to be fussy and hard to leave in the evening, you could plan to go out for lunch or brunch instead.
Nervous about leaving the baby? All it takes is a little strategic planning. Maybe grandma or a friend will babysit (she’ll probably love the opportunity!). Have her come over early so you have lots of time to go over baby’s routine. If you’re breastfeeding, feed your baby just before you go and leave some bottles of expressed milk so you don’t feel like you have to rush back home. Then try to relax and enjoy yourself.
You’re actually doing your baby a favour by giving your partner some undivided attention. Learn how strong parental relationships build happy children. Not feeling so lovey-dovey with your partner these days? Discover how to overcome some common new-parent hurdles.
Did you know that you can express breastmilk and freeze it until you need it? Once you express or pump, chill your breastmilk in your fridge, then put the cooled milk in the freezer. Learn how to express and safely store your breastmilk.