Your 23-Week-Old Baby

Your 23-Week-Old Baby

September 17, 2018

Your 23-Week-Old Baby

Your 23-Week-Old Baby
Your 23-Week-Old Baby

Milestone: Sleeping Through the Night

One of the hardest parts about parenting is powering through the sheer exhaustion. Waking up during the night (often several times!) for months on end sometimes feels like it’ll never end. But just when you’ve resigned yourself to living life as a friendly zombie, those night wakings start to minimize and even (gasp!) become a distant memory.

Most babies are able to sleep through the night by the time they reach six months. But the question is, will they? Some babies still wake for feedings during the night. Others have trouble self-soothing if they wake up during a light sleep cycle, which is why you’re being summoned into the nursery all night long.

As you’re learning with everything these days, your baby is on their own unique developmental track, and there isn’t a magical one-size-fits-all way to encourage sleeping through the night. Some parents turn to sleep training to change habits and get the job done, while other babies snooze through the night without much intervention at all. The decision comes down to what works best for your family’s needs. No matter what your approach is, consistency is key! Try to put baby down for naps and bedtime at the same time each day and night.

An important thing to keep in mind: Sleeping through the night doesn’t necessarily mean 12 hours. It often is a 5-6 hour stretch. You know you’re a new parent when you think that’s a good thing!

Try This: A Calming Bedtime Routine

Unwinding before bedtime in the same way each night helps your baby anticipate sleep. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate, 45-step routine. (For your own sake, definitely don’t do that!) Just doing a few consistent activities is all it takes to set the scene for ZZZs.

A typical bedtime routine may include a bath, feeding and reading a book or singing a lullaby. You still might get some protest cries (because who wants to sleep when you can hang with your cool parents?), but having a predictable bedtime ritual really works wonders. Tip: don’t give up on the routine when you’re traveling. You can still do a lot of the same things from a hotel room or grandma’s house.

Before you know it, you’ll be dealing with a toddler and their countless requests for water, blanket adjustments and more (and more) books. So, believe or not, you’ll look back fondly at the simplicity of this sweet routine.

What’s All the Ruckus?

It doesn’t take much to amuse a curious baby. And thanks to cause-and-effect, they especially love banging on things to create loud noises. A fun (and easy) activity: set your kiddo up with a few kitchen essentials like plastic mixing bowls, measuring cups, wooden spoons and spatulas. And let them hammer away!

The Real Deal on Peanuts and Babies

If you’re anxious about introducing peanuts into your baby’s diet, you’re not alone. You may have heard you should steer clear of peanut-containing products for the first couple of years to ward off allergies, or that you actually should introduce them early on. Here’s the latest research:

Recent guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases show that there is no benefit to delaying the introduction of allergenic foods like peanuts. In 2015, a study showed that early introduction and regular feeding of peanut-containing products can help prevent the development of peanut allergy in infants at “high risk.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics outlines the levels of risk, with helpful tips on introducing peanut-containing products:

  • If your baby has or had severe, persistent eczema or an immediate allergic reaction to any food—especially highly allergenic foods like eggs—they are considered “high risk for peanut allergy.” According to the guidelines, peanut-containing products should be introduced as early as 4 to 6 months. Before feeding your baby a peanut-containing product, it’s strongly advised to have an allergy evaluation first. Your baby’s pediatrician also may require the introduction of peanuts be in a supervised setting, such as their office.
  • Babies with mild to moderate eczema are also at increased risk of developing a peanut allergy. In this case, introduce peanut-containing products around six months.
  • If there is no reason to be concerned that your baby is at increased risk for food allergies (no eczema or other food allergies), you can incorporate peanut-containing products into your child’s diet when they start eating solids.
  • If you’re unsure, talk to your pediatrician at your next well baby exam.

Remember: Whole peanuts are considered choking hazards and shouldn’t be given to babies and toddlers. So make sure the peanut-containing product is in a texture that’s safe and appropriate for infants. Try mixing some peanut butter with warm water to thin out the consistency. Then mix it into oatmeal.

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