Your 4-Week-Old

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Your Baby

Your baby is one month old! Can you believe that just 4 weeks ago, he was still inside your tummy? In one month, he's grown from a tiny, helpless newborn into a not-quite-so-helpless baby. Sure, he still needs you to change his diapers, fill his... Read more

Your Life

Physically, you're probably exhausted. It's normal to feel low on energy; after all, you haven't slept through the night in months! A healthy diet can boost your energy levels—and help you ditch the pregnancy weight. It's also a good idea to... Read more

Moms Like Me

If you're feeling depressed please talk it out with your doctor. He or she would know if it's more than the baby blues and what support is out there in your area. With my first, I didn't get any help and I needed it. With this one, I took advantage... Read more

Your 4-Week-Old: Your Baby

Your baby is one month old! Can you believe that just 4 weeks ago, he was still inside your tummy? In one month, he's grown from a tiny, helpless newborn into a not-quite-so-helpless baby. Sure, he still needs you to change his diapers, fill his tank and play with him, but he's definitely more aware today than he was on his birth day.

Most four-week-old babies turn toward familiar sounds (mom's voice being the favorite), gaze attentively at faces and may even start to smile. (Don't listen when everyone tells you it's "just gas.") Think of these early smiles—which often occur as baby drifts off to sleep—as a practice run. Your baby's neurological system is preparing for the not-so-distant day when he'll unleash a toothless grin in response to your smile.

Some babies also begin making breathy vowel sounds around now. Encourage your baby by talking back, singing or playing music. Pretty soon, he'll figure out that if he talks to you, you'll respond, and he'll try to keep the conversation going. Pay attention to his cues, though. If your baby turns away mid-conversation, he might be over-stimulated. Give him a break for a while.

Something else you might notice over the next couple of weeks: little pimply bumps all over your baby's face. Newborn babies retain some of their mothers' hormones, which can cause acne breakouts that might rival any teen's. In a few weeks, your hormones will flush out of his system and you'll see the silky smooth skin babies are famous for.

Your Life

Physically, you're probably exhausted. It's normal to feel low on energy; after all, you haven't slept through the night in months! A healthy diet can boost your energy levels—and help you ditch the pregnancy weight. It's also a good idea to rest whenever the baby naps. Your body is still healing from birth and the extra rest can really help you heal more quickly.

Breastfeeding on demand is great, but some women like to incorporate pumping. Expressing milk now will give you plenty to feed your baby later, whether you're going back to work or out for a night on the town. (It's best to wait until your baby is at least 5 weeks old—when the risk of nipple confusion is past—before introducing a bottle.)

With the right pump (and practice), pumping is a breeze. Fully automated, hospital-grade pumps are pricey, but efficient. (Although if you plan on having more than one kid, your pump could end up paying for itself.) Next best are dual pumps that allow you to pump both breasts at one time. Other options include single-battery or manually-operated pumps. While a lot of moms pass breast pumps down to friends and family, the FDA advises against used breast pumps because breastmilk can transmit infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.

Each pump is different, so read the directions and make sure you know how to operate your pump. Try pumping in the morning, after baby's first feeding, when your milk is most plentiful. Freeze the milk in single-serving quantities (about 2 to 4 ounces for a newborn) so you can easily pull milk from the freezer when you need it.

Moms Like Me

If you're feeling depressed please talk it out with your doctor. He or she would know if it's more than the baby blues and what support is out there in your area. With my first, I didn't get any help and I needed it. With this one, I took advantage of a lot of the services that my area has and I have talked to a nurse about feeling guilty over formula, which has helped. —cre2009

What Moms Are Talking About

New Mom Meltdown: Tonight I ventured out on my own to the store. I’m not sure if I was gone for more than an hour or so. I was in the store, feeling just fine, and then at the checkout I suddenly missed Josie so much I started to choke up. —bbyparit Read More

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