Baby is now a communicative little being. She grasps your fingers tightly and can even be pulled into a sitting position. This reflex will gradually fade from about three months. Notice how she also has a fright reflex, throwing out her arms and scrunching up her face when she’s startled.
Forget about maintaining a spotless house now. Many women want to prove that they can be the perfect housewife and mother. Baby can easily turn her head from side to side, but still has difficulty holding it up. Resist the urge to keep her continuously in her pram or car seat, so that she can start strengthening her back, neck and tummy muscles.
Read your baby’s body language, which incorporates physical gestures and ways of crying. If she cries stridently, usually after feeds, and goes quite red in the face, this may be her way of saying, “I’m frustrated and quite cross, Mom! I need you to understand that my appetite doesn’t work like everyone else’s!”
If Baby feeds with difficulty, examine her tongue, gums and the inside of her cheeks for signs of oral thrush, which looks like raised white patches. This will require treatment with an antifungal oral gel, or the homeopathic remedy Calendula Tablets, or the tissue salt Kali mur. You’ll also need to treat your nipples with antifungal cream as cross-infection is likely.
Ask family and friends to help with the shopping, run errands and make meals for you, so that you can still take it easy.
Newborns are prone to many facial rashes in the early days, most of which will pass. You need only adjust diet or seek advice if they don’t let up soon.
Babies often have a growth spurt around now. You may have to increase the amount of feeds your little one needs for the next few days. This isn’t because you have insufficient milk or because your milk is too weak. Take things more slowly again for the next few days and allow Baby to nurse more frequently, so that you can build up your milk supply. Feeding patterns will revert to normal in about three days. Formula babies also have growth spurts and should be offered more milk. It’s probably better to give feeds more frequently rather than to increase the volume of feeds.
*Originally published in September 2011
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