Your baby's fifth month: Week-by-week developmental updates

Her desire to be in an upright position may leave you looking for an entertaining device that will allow her to stand while providing your arms with a much-needed rest. Steer clear of baby walkers. Experts advise that while redesigned models may meet current safety standards, studies have shown that they may inhibit your baby’s physical development an contribute to accidents resulting from her ability to prematurely cruise throughout your home. Babies who use such walkers may in fact learn to walk later than those who were never introduced to this device.

Your baby’s 20th week

You’ve long understood that your little one has definite likes and dislikes. He’ll begin making his desires known in a more physical manner. Now, attempts to introduce a new food or administer medications may meet with an outstretched arm just waiting to purposefully push you away.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a policy statement, recommends that, “exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first six months after birth … In the first six months, water, juice, and other foods are generally unnecessary for breastfed infants.”

Though your closest advisors may advocate starting solids early to encourage your baby to sleep through the night, you should feel confident about your decision to continue nursing. Studies show that introducing solids before six months of age may result in discomfort as his immature digestive system attempts to prematurely accommodate the new food. The end result is often less sleep, not more. Your little one will not be harmed by your decision to wait another few weeks. In fact, it’s the best thing for him. You’ll both enjoy the final weeks of exclusive nursing.

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