15-Week-Old Baby

15-Week-Old Baby

July 24, 2018

15-Week-Old Baby

15-Week-Old Baby
15-Week-Old Baby

Milestone: Rolling Over

Remember when your baby’s coolest trick was swatting at something? Now they’re on a roll, literally.

Your kiddo is working extra hard to move from stomach to back (or just accidentally toppling over). Thanks to all that tummy time, their head, arm and neck muscles are strong enough to make the magic happen.

While going from front to back is more common, some babies will roll from back to front. Don’t panic if they do this in their sleep. As long as they’re not swaddled, they’ll be able to safely snooze on their stomach. Although back is best when it comes to reducing the risk of SIDS, when babies are strong enough to roll, there’s no stopping them.

Once this new motion is mastered, your baby will want to do it constantly. So don’t let them out of your sight (unless they’re in a safe area like a crib or securely buckled into a swing or seat). Because in a blink, they’ll be on the other end of the living room.

Don’t worry if your baby isn’t rolling yet. But by six months, you should be seeing signs that it’s on the horizon. You can help your baby get the hang of rolling by gently guiding them through it, or placing a toy a bit out of reach to encourage movement. Heads up: rolling sets the stage for sitting up and eventually crawling, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about baby-proofing now.

The 4-Month Sleep Regression

Just when you thought sleep was moving in the right direction (as in, you all were actually getting some glorious ZZZs), your baby is back to frequent nighttime wakeups. To make matters worse, those long morning and afternoon naps are suddenly way too short. What’s the deal?

It’s the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. While it certainly won’t be your favorite developmental milestone, it’s an important one that signals your baby’s sleep patterns are changing and becoming more like those of an adult.

As your little one’s brain matures, they’ll start to move through light and deep sleep cycles (just like you!). But it’s not so simple right now…when they wake up between a cycle, they don’t know how to get back to sleep. You’ll need to help them learn how to navigate these new sleep patterns.

Keep up with your usual bedtime routine, feeding schedules and soothing techniques (pacifier, swaddle, sound machine, etc.). You may even incorporate a “dream feed” late at night, which can help delay the next middle-of-the-night feeding.

Getting through this regression may take a few weeks or more. So grin, bear it, caffeinate and perhaps buy some new under-eye concealer.

Here’s What to Know about Postpartum Fatigue

And speaking of exhaustion…

There’s no sugar coating it: this phase of life is utterly exhausting. Between pregnancy and childbirth, your body has been through the ringer and is still recovering.

Caring for a tiny human is a 24/7 job—one that’s emotionally and physically challenging. Getting through the “witching hour” with a crying baby takes a toll. So does lugging a stroller the size of a Buick down a flight of stairs. Throw in chronic sleep deprivation, and you can see why postpartum fatigue is a very real thing.

It may be awhile before you feel like yourself again (or you at least feel less exhausted!). Here are some ways to lighten the load and re-energize:

  • Ask for help: You can still be superwoman if you have a babysitter for a couple hours or a mother-in-law who folds the laundry. Let people take on some of your to-do list so you get a break—and try to enjoy it. Check out sites like Care.com, UrbanSitter and Sittercity to easily find weekday and evening sitters in your neighborhood. Also keep tabs on the local listservs, as lots of families share info on their favorite (and available!) sitters.
  • Eat healthy foods: It’s much easier to grab a handful of chips rather than make a meal. But doing some food prep and stocking up on fruit, veggies, protein and healthy fats will give your tired body what it’s craving. Snack on things like trail mix, string cheese, an apple and peanut butter, or Greek yogurt. Make a batch of hard-boiled eggs to grab from the fridge. Chop up veggies—or buy them precut—and have them ready to go on top of salad greens or to eat with hummus. We know, easier said than done when you’re tired, but eating well really can help you feel better.
  • Simplify: There are ways to cut corners that’ll free up time and energy. Instead of going to the grocery store, try an online grocery delivery service like Fresh Direct, Instacart or Amazon Fresh (because shopping really is so much better from the couch when you have a baby).
  • Talk to your doctor: If your fatigue is making it hard to do everyday tasks, or you’re feeling really sad and down-in-the-dumps, talk to your doctor about other underlying conditions.

Doctor’s Corner: Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease

OMG, it’s HFMD! Don’t panic. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, yet very contagious viral infection that’s common in babies and children under five. A fever is often the first sign, usually accompanied by a poor appetite, crankiness and lethargy.

One to two days after the fever begins, sores may develop on the mouth or in the throat, followed by a rash (it looks like small blisters) on hands and feet, or sometimes on their buttocks too. The rash isn’t always raging—in fact, you may not even notice it if there are just sores in the back of your child’s mouth or throat.

So what can you do? According to the Centers for Disease Control, HFMD isn’t usually serious, and nearly everyone recovers in 7 to 10 days without medical treatment. So if your kiddo is in daycare, be prepared to take some time off and stay home until it’s all clear. Frequent hand-washing can reduce the risk of infection.

Carry On: Best Baby Carriers

It may be time to retire your go-to wrap or sling and use a sturdier carrier when you want to be hands-free, while still holding your baby close.

When choosing a carrier, make sure it’s easy to put on by yourself, provides great support for your back and shoulders and is comfy for you and your baby. You’ll also want one that’s easily adjustable so that it can be shared by caregivers.

Lots of carriers are designed to be used well into the toddler years, so be sure to check the weight limit to know if its a good buy as your baby grows. Check out our guide to the Best Baby Carriers.

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