Your baby: 9 weeks old

Decode your baby's temperament, what to do when your little one gets sick and how to involve dads. Learn all about life with your 9-week-old.
Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Got a little diva on your hands?

Think fast: if you had to describe your baby’s personality in one word, what would it be? Easy-going? Sunny? Sensitive? Demanding? Don’t censor yourself. Whatever word first comes to mind, it’s important to realize that babies come into the world with their own unique temperament. If you find that your baby seems to be fussy or demanding, for example, it’s not due to your parenting abilities but to her temperament. If your baby is extremely fussy, it’s because she has strong needs that want attending to. Experts refer to these babies as “high-need.”

Your challenge as a parent is to figure out your baby’s temperament, learn how to respond to it, and how to mesh it with your own temperament. It’s not always easy, but you’ll parent her more effectively throughout her life if you have a good understanding of her temperament.

Read more: Decoding baby babble>

Baby’s first illness
Sniffles, diarrhea, vomiting… Sooner or later, one of these nasty blights is bound to take hold of your baby. When your baby isn’t feeling well, she can’t tell you what’s wrong or where she hurts. Oftentimes, it’s this uncertainty that makes parents anxious. Learn what to do when baby is sick.

Read more: What to do when baby gets a cold>

Tips from the trenches
“Breast milk is the best diaper rash cure. It’s also the best first-line treatment for goopy baby eyes. It has amazing infection-fighting powers.” — Leah, mom of one.

Dad duty
It’s a stereotypical scenario, but still common (and a common challenge): if dad is away all day at work, how can he carve out some special time with his little one?

Some dads like to establish a regular after-work routine of taking baby to the park, reading a story together, or giving baby his bath, so that baby comes to expect this time with Dad. Dads can learn Baby 101 on the job just like moms do; it just takes time and effort. So Mom, if you’re tempted to pluck baby from Dad’s fledgling arms because you “know what to do,” try to resist and let your partner find his fatherly touch. You’ll all reap the rewards.

Learn how nature is tweaking dad’s body and mind for fatherhood.

Read more: Breastfeeding: 6 tips to get dad involved>
 
Good question! When will I know for sure what colour my baby’s eyes will be?
The colour of your baby’s eyes can actually change right up until she’s six months old. Although brown or dark green eyes usually remain dark, especially in Asian, Indian, and black babies, blue and grey eyes can change colour several times before they settle on a permanent colour somewhere between three and six months. And even after that, your baby’s iris can continue to deepen in colour all the way up until her first birthday.

Read more: Why are my baby’s eyes always teary?>

Originally published on Oct. 20, 2011.

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