by: Meredith Stedham, RN, LPC
In January, I introduced you to my fictional daughter, Baby Hope, who was born on 01/01/2012. She is now just over 14 weeks old and it is amazing to see how quickly she is growing and changing! She has a smile that lights up the room, and she is beginning to practice vocalizing and making various baby sounds that can be very cute and entertaining. It is obvious that her vision is improving and she is now tracking objects and loves to lie on her play gym and watch the toys suspended above her. She has also started to learn how to grasp her hands or sometimes toys that we give her, and she loves to wave her arms and kick her legs when she is excited. While she loves to play while laying on her back or sitting up with some support, tummy time is still occasionally a challenge. Some days she tolerates being on her tummy and pushing herself up so that she can look around, other days she prefers not to have to work that hard and gets fussy if left on her tummy for too long. Baby Hope seems to be thinking about maybe learning to roll from her tummy over to her back, so we will be sure to keep the video camera ready for when she masters that milestone.
Like many other families with young babies, our sleep schedules vary greatly depending on the day or week. There have been periods of a few nights in a row when she seemed to be sleeping great and starting to get a good sleep “routine,” but then suddenly she will have a night when she awakens several times and wants to eat more frequently. In general, I have learned to take the extra sleep and naps when I can get them, and the pediatrician continues to assure me that over time she will eventually learn to sleep through the night. And speaking of her pediatrician, at the last appointment we spent several minutes talking about the major increase in her drooling. The doctor says that she is not teething yet; however, it is very common for babies to have a significant increase in the amount of saliva/drool they produce around 3-6 months. The saliva helps to mature the lining of their intestines, lubricate the esophagus, moisten their gums & lips, and it contains enzymes that will help to digest foods. We were relieved that her massive drooling is not something to be concerned about, and I tend to make sure to have extra bibs in the diaper bag just in case.
During the daytime Baby Hope and I have both enjoyed using the Baby K’tan infant carrier that I purchased from The Motherhood Center. We both love the snuggle time, and I appreciate being able to have my hands free to do a couple of chores while she safely gets to observe the world around her. It also has been great to use for our recent walks in the neighborhood so that we can appreciate the gorgeous spring weather before the hot summer days of Houston arrive. We are so thankful for our precious baby girl and are excited to see all of the new milestones she will reach over the next several weeks!