Your 42-Week-Old Baby - Parenting Week by Week

Your 42-Week-Old Baby

December 22, 2018

Your 42-Week-Old Baby

Your 42-Week-Old Baby
Your 42-Week-Old Baby

Your Baby: The Copycat

Ever heard the expression, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”?

When it comes to your baby’s budding social skills, imitation is also an important developmental milestone. From clapping to sticking out your tongues, little ones love to connect with others by copying them. It helps them with physical and social development, as well as communication.

Turn this into a game by making simple motions, facial expressions and gestures and encourage your baby to replicate them. This animated back-and-forth is like a great conversation without any actual words. Better yet, it fosters lots of learning and of course, bonding.

Babies will also respond to your laughs and encouragement. For example, if they make a funny sound or do something silly, and you smile or laugh, they will take this as a sign to do this again. And again and again.

Also, keep in mind that since baby loves to copy you, they’re watching your (almost) every move. So, whenever you can, try to make sure your behavior is something you want them to model!

Mom/Dad Guilt: Don’t Let It Get the Best of You

“Why haven’t I made the sensory tray I saw on Pinterest?”

“I can’t get them to eat a veggie, and my friend’s baby drinks kale smoothies.”

“We have to get rid of the binky or else they’re going to take it to college.”

“I haven’t worked out in weeks.”

“But if I work out, then I won’t spend that time with my baby.”

“Am I a bad parent for going back to work?”

“Why couldn’t I keep up with breastfeeding?”

“I really should have cleaned up instead of watching Netflix.”

Any of these thoughts sound familiar? Yep, it’s parent guilt. And it rears its ugly head all the time. This never-ending cycle of second-guessing ourselves (about anything and everything!) can zap the joy out of parenting if we don’t find ways to keep it in check.

First, know that a good old guilt trip is totally normal. You’re a newbie in this major, life-changing role. And even if you’re a seasoned pro, it might feel like there’s always something to stress out about or question. Trying to figure out how to be a parent and still be your own person isn’t easy. It’s hard, actually! And it’s a work in progress. No one nails it right away (not even those perfect people on Instagram).

Tips to ditch the guilt:

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Ask yourself: will this matter in 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 months, 5 years? Assess the big picture and determine if your current worry is really worth all the guilt.

Don’t be your own worst enemy. Maybe making homemade baby food just isn’t your thing. Or you decided to switch to formula sooner than you had planned. Your child has no idea who Martha Stewart is…so maybe you shouldn’t be working so hard to channel her! No matter what your mind has swirling around, don’t put so much pressure on yourself to reach perfection (or whatever you think perfection might entail.) If your baby is fed, clean and happy, you’re certainly doing something right.

Take a break from social media: As much fun as it can be to scroll through Instagram and Facebook, everything you see is someone’s best version of themselves. It’s easy to get caught up in what other people—from food bloggers to beauty experts, your next door neighbor to a long-lost high school friend—are doing and how seamless it looks. That’s the keyword there: looks. (The baby happily eating a plate of broccoli probably threw it on the floor four seconds after that photo was taken!)

Put yourself first sometimes. Taking care of a baby is physically and emotionally exhausting, especially when you don’t carve out some time for yourself. Whether that’s catching up on sleep, meeting a friend for coffee or going to a yoga class, know that you are allowed to take a break from all things baby for a bit. Having this space helps you recharge and be a better parent.

As the oh-so-wise Queen Elsa said, “Let it go.”

Try Using Sippy Cups

Some babies really love their bottles! If you haven’t tried introducing your baby to a sippy cup yet, this age could be a good time to try. As with bottles, each child has their own preferences, so experiment with a few different kinds to see which one your baby likes best. Sippy cup styles include a soft spout, hard spout, straw and flat lid (these are known as 360s because the liquid comes out all around the sides of the lid when lips press on it). But keep in mind, it could take a while before they fully embrace the sippy cup! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends switching your little one over to a cup somewhere between one and two years of age, so be patient. These are some of our favorites.

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