Baby Week23

Your Baby Development: 23 Weeks Old

How big is your baby?
This week your baby will be weighing around 15 1/4 pounds and measuring 25 3/4 inches if he/she was of average size at birth.

Your baby is now expressing his/her feelings with ease, by laughing, smiling, etc. Baby may hold out his/her arms when you reach to pick him/her up. He/She is now at the stage when he/she is willing to relate to others as well, although they may still be some anxiety around strangers.

Baby may also be showing special interest in your face, and will look at you from every angle, as well as putting his/her fingers in your mouth, eyes and nose.

This is all a learning process as he/she is learning more and more about you and him/herself. Baby is learning that you are a separate person to him/her.

You may notice that your baby may temporarily focus on a particular area of development at a time. If this does happen, then baby may ignore other things while focusing on a particular area.

Baby’s understanding of speech is also improving, and he/she will respond to you in different ways, and when you speak he/she will pay special attention to you. He/She may even coo and gurgle in response, or try to imitate the sounds which you make.

Baby Development Milestones This Week
Physical Development

  • Sits with little support; may slump forward on hands for balance
  • Reaches with one arm
  • Bends herself almost into sitting position when rolling from back to side
  • Turns head freely

Mental & Social Development

  • Gazes at object for a long time
  • Utters several additional consonant sounds
  • Giggles and laughs
  • coos, hums, and stops crying when he/she hears music.

Baby & Sleep

Teaching baby to fall asleep on his own
Many parents want baby to learn to fall asleep on his/her own. You may still be rocking your baby to sleep, or keeping him/her up if he/she is fussy, then putting him/her down after he/she goes to sleep.

Richard Ferber, MD, directs a well regarded sleep disorder clinic for children. He believes many poor sleep habits are learned, and can be unlearned. He has developed a method to use with babies older than 6 months to help them with this. This program requires a bit of patience and effort from your side, but you may decide that it is worth it.

  • Put baby down in her crib while he/she is still awake. Tell him/her it’s time to sleep. leave the room.
  • If baby doesn’t start to cry, then you don’t need to do anymore. If baby does start to cry, let him/her cry for 5 minutes, before going back into the room
  • Don’t turn the lights on, keep physical contact to a minimum and speak softly to him/her, again telling him/her it is time to go to sleep.
  • If he/she still cries, this time wait 10 minutes before entering the room. Again, keep physical contact to a minimum, tell him/her again it is time to sleep and leave the room. Don’t stay for to long.
  • If crying continues, wait 15 minutes between each visit.
  • On the second night start with 10 minutes between visits, gradually increasing the time between going in as time goes by.

Results: Parents have reported that only after a few nights of using this system, baby fell asleep on his/her own.

Setbacks: When baby is sick he/she is often sleepless. While she is sick you may have to get up on the middle of the night to tend to him/her. This may as a result cause a set back in the progress you may have already made, but it is a necessary set back. Once baby is better, you can begin with the process again.

Baby Care

Croup
Croup, also called latyngo-tracheo-bronchitis, can occur at any age. It is a viral infection which causes inflammation of the vocal cords and surrounding tissues. Croup may also be caused by allergies. When croup first occurs, it can be a little scary, especially for first time parents. Symptoms of croup include:

  • A barking cough which sounds like a seal
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarse or raspy voice

If baby has croup then you should setup a cool mist humidifier in his/her room. However, if your baby is having trouble swallowing or breathing, then you should contact your doctor or pediatrician immediately!

Nasal Congestion
A baby with nasal congestion will have trouble breathing freely though his/her nose. It may occur as a result of a cold, and upper respiratory infection or an allergy. Symptoms of nasal congestion are:

  • Discharge from nose, either thick or watery
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Agitation of fussiness
  • Snorting or sniffing sounds
  • He/She may rub or scratch his/her nose

Make use of a cool mist humidifier to help keep secretions flowing and draining. Gently clean nose with a bulb syringe and cloth. If baby has a respiratory rate of more than 60 breaths per minute, then you should call your doctor or pediatrician. Other worry signs are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Blueness around the mouth and nose
  • Running a persistent temperature
  • The discharge from the nose is yellow or green

Toys and Play

Now is a good time to introduce baby to playing with balls. He/She can sit well and is becoming more mobile, so playing with a ball will be fun. This type of play will also develop hand eye coordination.

Choose a brightly patterned ball, and perhaps one that makes a noise is even better. Roll it against a wall so that it comes rolling back, slowly bounce it up and down. If baby reaches for the ball, let baby examine it. He/She may not be able to throw it, but show him/her how to roll it.

Quick Tips For This Week

If baby feels ill during the day, don’t wait for later to call the doctor in hope that he/she will get better. It is better to deal with the problem during the day, so that appointments can be made and medication can be obtained.
Baby Week23