Talk about a developmental explosion! Your baby is gaining motor, language and social skills at a dizzying pace. Every day brings a new achievement—or two or three!
By now, most babies can understand at least a few words, though it will be months before you have a proper conversation. Words are still tricky (there are so many of them!), so your baby relies on emotional context to establish meaning. That's a fancy way of saying that she responds to your emotions at least as much, if not more, than the words themselves. See for yourself: The next time your baby reaches for your cell phone, say, "No!" in a loud, firm voice. Odds are, she'll startle and look at you; she may even burst into tears. Another time, say, "No" in a pleasant, friendly voice. (Imagine you’re showing her a new puppy.) She might stop and look at you, but she'll probably have a curious grin on her face instead.
Don't worry if your baby seems "behind" on language acquisition. Some babies concentrate on motor development first. If your baby can pull up on furniture already—a skill not usually developed 'til later in the first year—she may simply prefer to refine her gross motor skills before concentrating on language. Other babies focus on fine motor skills and spend hours trying to pick dust balls up off the living room floor. Eventually, it will all come together. And eventually, your baby will speak and stand and socialize. For now, support her unique pattern of development. Give her plenty of opportunities to move play, and talk.
How is your baby eating? While most pediatricians recommend iron-fortified cereal as baby's first food, some parents start with an easy-to-digest mashed food, such as banana or avocado. Cereal should still be a regular part of baby's diet; infants typically use up their iron-stores in the first six months of life, so the extra iron in an iron-fortified cereal will be a boon to your baby. Once she's tried cereal and fruit, it's time for veggies. Some experts and parents advise yellow veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes and squash) before green (peas, green beans) because babies typically prefer the naturally sweeter taste of yellow veggies. Other experts and parents advise starting with green veggies, thinking it best to introduce stronger flavors before baby comes to expect sweet. One fact worth noting: Breastfeeding exposes your baby to a variety of tastes via your milk, so a breastfed baby may be more likely to accept foods frequently eaten by the mother. Whichever foods you choose, introduce them one at a time, wait TK days before introducing another new food, and watch out for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, hives, unexplained crying or a change in stools. If you suspect a reaction, call your healthcare provider immediately.
Who are your mom-role models? While much of mothering is instinctive (baby cries, breast swells, feed baby), all of us learn from the women around us. Think about it: your experience with your mother has shaped your mothering, one way or the other. If you think your mom is a great mom, you're probably striving to be just like here. If, on the other hand, she was less-than-great, you've probably already vowed to do things differently.
You're learning from your mom friends as well. Who better to ask about cloth diapers than another mom who's been there, done that? Even the simple things, like hanging out with another mom as she nonchalantly breastfeeds her son at the park, can make a big impression.
To be a better mom, surround yourself with moms you admire. Watch them. Learn from them. Ask questions. Adopt their tips and tricks, modifying them to fit your family and your life.
Moms Like Me
Mine's been popped out for months... even before I had an obvious "belly". It surprised me because it never popped out with DD... it just went from "inny" to non-existant, lol. I guess at that stretching made it prone to pop this time. Just recently though am I unable to hide it anymore... I wear tank tops and pants with high panels to try and hide it, but even they can't contain the beast anymore. I was teased about it just yesterday at work :) —aymers099