Have you heard of the 4th trimester? This is a term that pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp is believed to have coined, meaning that the first three months of a baby’s life after birth. It goes with a theory that babies are born after nine months because their brains are so big that if they stayed in the womb much longer, they wouldn’t fit through the birth canal. They are still not quite ready, though, for life on the outside. In fact, according to this theory, it takes them about three more months to adjust.
Those first 12 weeks are a time of major changes, as you become a parent and your sleepy, often fussy newborn becomes a calmer, happier, more alert baby. During the 4th trimester, babies experience significant physical, mental, and emotional development. It can help to think of your baby as still being a fetus for these first few months because your baby may be overwhelmed by the outside world and just want cuddles from you.
It’s important to understand what life was like for your baby inside the womb. Inside your body, it was warm, but not especially dark, because a fetus can see the rays of the sun pass through your skin and muscle. Your baby is used to the sound of your voice, the whooshing of the blood in the uterine arteries, and plenty of soft, jiggly motion.
During this 4th trimester, you can expect your baby to cry and be fussy. Babies will scream a lot, sleep a little, and essentially wear you out. To comfort a baby in this stage of life, keep your little one snugly wrapped or swaddled, and try swaying and shushing with the baby in the side/stomach position. Give your baby plenty of opportunities to suck, too. In fact, you can look at snug, shushing, swaging, side/stomach, and suck as the five S’s of the 4th trimester. They’re calming because they make the baby feel back at home.
Those first three months may seem like a blur, but by the time your newborn hits the 3-month mark, everything will have changed. Suddenly your baby will be a little person with a curious mind, the beginnings of a personality, and some motor skills. Interacting with your newborn during the first few months can help foster all of this development. By holding, rocking, and talking to your baby, you’ll actually be nurturing a growing brain. Be prepared to feel worn out, but know that it’s all worth it, as you grow into a parent and form a deep connection with your new little one.
If you’re ready to start a family, you can trust Center for Vasectomy Reversal to help. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
In the early days of a relationship, it often seems like the two of you are the only people in the world. Once you have a baby, though, things can change. Sharing your home with a new little person while navigating learning to parent together can take a toll on your relationship. Your lives are forever changed, but we’ve got tips for keeping things romantic.
- Keep dating. Put it on the calendar: quality time together. Maybe you’ll hire a sitter and head out for dinner or a coffee date. Maybe you’ll schedule a special dinner for two after the baby is asleep. The type of date doesn’t matter, the important part is spending time alone together.
- Find little moments to steal for each other. Have coffee together in the morning or enjoy a stroll while the baby naps in the stroller. Cuddle in front of a tv show you both enjoy. Don’t wait for date night to find ways to connect. Shift out of parenting mode and remember why you’re together.
- Be affectionate. Bring back the PDA to help keep your marriage fresh. Kiss goodbye every morning and goodnight before bed. Hug frequently. Hold hands, snuggle, and find little ways to stay close.
- Spoil each other. Sometimes the best things are the little things. Bring your partner flowers, or a favorite snack. Make a cup of tea for him or her in the evening or offer coffee in bed in the morning.
- Don’t compete. Parenting is not a competition, it’s a cooperative process. Being a new parent is hard, whether you’re the mom or the dad, so work together to ease each other’s burdens. Be generous with compliments and hold back on criticism if you want a strong and healthy marriage.
- Ditch the screens. Make a commitment to each other to spend some screen-free time together every day. Stop scrolling and put the focus on your partner for at least a little while.
- Schedule sex. This may seem counterproductive to romance, but veteran parents will tell you, it’s necessary. You put everything else important on your calendars, so why not pencil in some time to remember the passion of the pre-baby days?
- Keep the communication flowing. Talk about the things that matter and the things that don’t. Call each other when you’re apart, write love notes on the bathroom mirror, and send little texts during the day. The mode of communication doesn’t matter ask long as you continue the conversation.
- Never give up. To keep your marriage romantic, choose each other every day. Commit to learning and growing together, and don’t accept failure as an option.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping to create families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
Having a baby is a fascinating experience, because watching your new little person learn and develop is intriguing. Do you ever wonder what’s going on in your little one’s brain? There’s something called “mental leaps” that can help you understand how your baby is growing and changing.
It’s also called the “wonder weeks,” meaning there are weeks in a baby’s life during which certain things are typical because of mental leaps. A book entitled The Wonder Weeks was written in 1992 by anthropologist Hetty van de Rijt and psychologist Frans Plooij. The ideas in that book have expanded into several other books. There’s even a Wonder Weeks app to help parents track these changes.
It may be easier to understand mental leaps in terms of technology. Think of a mental leap like an update on one of your devices. All of a sudden something happens that’s beyond your control, but after it happens your phone or laptop can do many new things. Similarly, during these weeks your baby goes through an update, and afterward things change, and the brain and abilities are upgraded.
An update to your baby can be more frustrating and overwhelming than updating your phone. The change in your little one may come with a fussy phase, and a crying, cranky baby can be difficult to manage. It’s important to remember, though, that these mental leaps are part of a larger developmental picture. The app and the books can help you understand your baby, but they’re not a definitive guide to every single child. Each child develops at his or her own pace, and sometimes a fussy week can be a sign of a potential illness or a new tooth.
Even though every baby doesn’t follow the same schedule, it’s worth noting when these mental leaps occur. There are ten in the first two years of life, based on 40 weeks gestation. Remember that if your baby was early or late, you should adjust the weeks. The basic schedule is 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 30, 37, 46, 55, and 64 weeks.
By keeping track of these weeks, you may be able to notice when your child is about to suddenly develop a new mental ability. If the week is approaching and your baby becomes grumpy and clingy, crying more, feeding more, and acting happy only when held. This is because the baby is changing and feels unsettled. Being close to you is comforting, and babies need more love and attention during a mental leap. These leaps can last a couple of days or a few weeks, but just remember, your baby is likely to be calmer and happier afterwards.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
Did you know that September is Baby Safety Month? Started in 1983 by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), it’s an annual opportunity for parents and retailers to refresh their knowledge of baby-proof standards. Originally, it was just one day, but in 1986 it expanded to a week, and in 1991 it became an entire month to gather and pass along worthwhile information. Do you know all you need to know to keep your baby safe? Here are some quick reminders.
- Be car seat smart. Install the car seat properly and know the laws for transporting babies and children. Your child should start out rear-facing, move to forward-facing according to manufacturer’s recommendations and local law, go from a car seat to a booster, and ride in the back seat until age 13.
- Know the crib rules. Put your baby on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet and remove blankets and toys from the crib. When the nights turn cold, use a sleep sack. Keep the crib away from windows, keeping strings and cords out of reach. If you’re using a second-hand crib, make sure it’s safe, has all the parts, and has not been recalled.
- Stay age-appropriate. Pay attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the right age and developmental stage of toys, swings, bouncers, and carriers. Get rid of items once your child has surpassed the appropriate age.
- Make bath time fun and safe. Keep your water heater at or below 120° F so that the water can never reach a point of burning the baby. Never leave a child unattended in the bath, always test the water temperature, and empty the tub after each use.
- Keep your alarms in good working order. There should be a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, as well as in all sleeping areas.
- Be cautious when feeding your baby. Make sure the food is soft and easy to swallow and keep medicine out of reach.
- Toss broken toys. Even the most appropriate toy can become dangerous if it breaks. Pay attention so that if any of your child’s toys are damaged or coming apart because the pieces need to be larger than your child’s mouth.
- Protect against hazards obvious and not so obvious. Get down on your baby’s level and look for potential dangers. Use baby gates everywhere to keep your baby away from dangerous things. Babyproof things like outlets, cabinets, drawers, and dangling cords, but look at less obvious hazards as well, like tablecloths and curtains.
Ready to share these tips? Use #BabySafetyMonth on social media. If you’re ready to start a family, call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.
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