Photography by Nicole Duplantis/Clothing provided by babyGap and Joe Fresh
Hello, personality! As your baby approaches two months old, their character will really start to emerge. Did you expect sunshine but got shy? Did you hope for cucumber cool but have a fussypants on your hands? Are you amazed at how hilarious your baby is at such a young age—a born comedian? As your baby adds to their repertoire of facial expressions and noises, you will see their temperament and tendencies start to emerge. But don’t get too attached to one particular personality: Your baby will change hats at every age and stage as they master skills, gain confidence and learn like a sponge. But that smile (has a dimple shown itself?) may be recognizable decades from now, so snap some photos of each new expression to compare with your big kid one day.
Do you have a talker on your hands? By eight weeks, your baby can not only coo and gurgle but also respond to you! Try talking to your baby and pause for a response and they will learn to jump into the flow of chatter. But your baby may start the conversation, too—see what happens when you respond to your baby’s coos instead of the other way around. Did a whole new conversation start? And it’s not just their voice they’re practising! Look for crinkled eyes, a tilted head and other signs that your baby has been watching you and learning social cues. Unbelievable to see it so soon, isn’t it?
If you haven’t seen them yet, your baby’s first giggles may be heard soon, and that’s enough to warm the heart of any sleep-deprived mama buried in laundry. The first giggles often come in response to physical stimuli: raspberries on the belly, bicycled legs, nibbles on the neck. But it’s just the start of the best sound in the world: baby laughter. There’s no greater joy than when something funny, surprising or even kind of ordinary sparks a happy reaction in your baby.
Sleeping and eating continue toward a pattern, with longer stretches of sleep and a longer period between feedings. If you’re struggling to get your baby to stop nursing every time you sit down with them in your arms, you may have to stop sitting down with them in your arms. Changing your routine and avoiding feeding cues, like your favourite nursing chair, may help distract a baby who loves to snack. And stretching out your baby’s mealtimes can help them eat more and last longer before getting hungry—a virtuous circle that will give you both more time to play.
What if you have a baby that tends to overflow? Spitting up is common and can last for much of baby’s first year. While that’s not necessarily a problem, it can be a pain (the aforementioned laundry) and there are ways to help limit the mess. Burping often rather than just at the end of a feeding will help, and changing feeding positions can work, too. The best trick of all may be to avoid overfilling your baby’s tummy, which means stopping a feeding a few minutes or a few millilitres before your baby is completely full. It takes practice to find the right balance, and you should talk to your doctor and visit a local breastfeeding clinic for tips if you’re concerned.
A newborn baby boy, eighteen days old, cries in his dad's hands." width="440" height="248Have you hashtagged your baby yet? Started an Insta account for them? Or have you sworn off posting your baby’s pics on your Facebook page? Parenting in the age of social media is a series of choices (and likes, shares and filters). Some parents are OK with sharing far and wide, while others are worried about their children’s safety and privacy. Read more about the debate, as well as the etiquette of humble-bragging, tagging, trolling and oversharing your baby’s intimate details.
You may have recovered physically from giving birth, but you could also be psychologically scarred by what happened. Traumatic birth stories go beyond the merely embarrassing and unpleasant memories of the delivery room. If you’re still reliving or feeling awful about how close you and your baby came to serious injury or death, you need to talk to someone about your experience. With post-traumatic (childbirth) stress disorder (PTSD) or postpartum PTSD, sufferers may have flashbacks and hallucinations and feel fear, helplessness or horror related to giving birth. Here’s more about why it’s important to connect with other moms and find therapy to help you come to terms with what happened.
Your baby’s first fever can be scary, but it’s biology’s way of fighting a bacterial or viral infection. Babies six months or younger should always be seen by their doctor during a fever. Here’s more advice on when to worry and what to do.
Pressured into a name you never really liked? Rethinking Rufus now that the neighbour’s dog comes when you call? You’re not alone. Whether you deliberated for nine months or crowdsourced your baby’s name after the birth, having second thoughts is not uncommon. Experts say that switching earlier is better than later, before your baby knows the difference.
If you’re one of the many mamas who takes weekly or monthly baby photos, you might be tired of the blocks and bears by now or looking for something a little more creative than the corner of the couch? Here are some tips for better milestone snaps.
Bathing your preschooler with one hand while changing the baby’s diaper explosion or jiggling the bouncer chair with the other: That’s some Olympic-level ninja parenting right there.
It must be a super moon, because you’ve achieved the elusive double nap: both kids asleep at the same time. But instead of relaxing, you document this momentous occasion with a photo on Facebook, thereby jinxing it (rookie mistake). Then you stare at the video monitor with crazy eyes.@aspoonfuloffaith via Instagram
First baby born in July, second in December? The sizing of those hand-me-downs doesn’t match the seasons, but you make it work. Layers, Mama. Layers.@jenwithjustonen via Instagram
You hit an all-time low on what qualifies as an acceptable appearance. Morning (and/or afternoon) routine: Remove baby snot and cruddy toddler food remnants from day-old clothes (or not); baby lotion totally doubles as face moisturizer; redo your topknot with a Dora the Explorer hair tie; done!@audreyblake via Instagram
Starting solids with your first kid: You obsess over the guidelines, purée and freeze all-organic produce, buy grass-fed hormone-free meat, take photos and videos of said milestone, sterilize everything she touches and even park outside the hospital the first time she tries peanut butter. Second kid: “Here is some food. Enjoy.”@rightnao via Instagram
Your living room has transformed into a laundromat, with at least seven piles at any given time (they make comfy couch pillows, right?): lights, darks, colours, heavy stains, gentle detergent, poop clumps and assorted mismatched tiny socks. Embrace it. It means you’re a pro.@mrsatom5 via Instagram
Learning to let go and cutting yourself some slack is key to parenting, especially when you have two. When you figure out that kids don’t care about all-natural wooden toys and Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, and that a little dirt never hurt anyone, you’re well on your way.@dana__fey via Instagram