Your baby: 8 weeks old

Baby talk, spit up and smiles. Learn all about your 8-week-old.

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Should your baby talk?
Your baby has begun to exercise his vocal cords. He may “coo” with delight and squeal and squeak by making drawn-out vowel sounds like “oh” and “eh.” Whether you goo-goo back to him is up to you. There’s no need to get hung up on the great debate about whether or not you should speak baby talk to your baby.

Research reveals that babies develop language faster and better if their parents talk and communicate with them early on — and that babies whose parents talk “with” them rather than “at” them, learn to speak earlier. So talk however feels comfortable, but don’t forget to give him the opportunity to respond, because one day he undoubtedly will!

Oh, barf!
Splat! Bullseye: a sticky glob of regurgitated milk lands on your favourite black tee for the whole world to see. Oops, baby did it again… Unfortunately, there’s just no cure for spitting up.

As your baby nurses, he swallows air that sinks to the bottom of his stomach, underneath the milk. When his stomach contracts, it propels the air back up along with some milk. And if your baby devours too much too fast, his stomach hurls back the overflow. Though some babies stop spitting up at around six or seven months, when they’re able to sit up, others continue throughout the entire first year. It’s usually more of an inconvenience to you than a problem, but talk to your doctor if you’re concerned, or if your baby’s weight gain is affected.

In the meantime, keep lots of receiving blankets on hand to shield yourself, and stick to a light-coloured clothing to camouflage the evidence. And when you’re packing a spare outfit for baby, don’t forget one for you too.

Read more: Baby spit up: When you should worry>

Tips from the trenches
“Our little guy spit-up constantly — he was always wearing a bib, or covered in a receiving blanket in the car. We used burp pads to cover the nursing pillow while he was nursing, and under his head while he was sleeping in the crib. It saved on a ton of laundry!” — Mariana, mom of one

Coming to terms with your birth experience
Now that your baby’s here, your birth story is something you share with joy and laughter, right? Not for everyone. If you had a difficult delivery that didn’t turn out the way you were hoping, you may still be haunted by lingering feelings of disappointment, regret, even trauma. This may not only impact your enjoyment of your baby, but your ability to parent effectively.

Read about why it takes more than a few stitches to help some women recover from a difficult birth.

Read more: Was your labour a letdown?

Did you know?

Your baby’s first smile presents a whole new way for the two of you to communicate. During his first month, your baby may have smiled fleetingly when he felt content after feeding or passed a bubble of gas. But he won’t break into a real grin — a true social smile — until somewhere around eight weeks. When he does, his smile will animate his whole face and may even reveal a dimple or two.

Once your baby reaches this stage, he will be able to smile back when you smile at him. What a feeling! Learn more about your baby’s budding social skills.

Read more: Baby body language>

Originally published on Oct. 11, 2011.

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