You may be more in the swing of things now and baby is getting used to its new world. Here's what to expect from 4 to 8 weeks.
Your baby’s physical and emotional milestones
Entering his 5th week, your baby will be more alert and interested in his surroundings. He'll be sleeping less during the day and longer at night and he'll be crying a little less too now that he is learning to trust you.
Your baby will turn in the direction of your voice and his eyes will start to dart around trying to focus on objects around him. He's also started to make little noises other than crying and will communicate his contentment with little “coos”.
Here's a look at development milestones for the 1st year.
If your baby is content at your breast and is feeding well, continue to breastfeed on demand. He will probably be feeding every 3 to 4 hours but may experience a growth spurt around 6 weeks. Try to rest a little more than usual if your baby is demanding extra feeds, eat healthily and drink lots of water.
Stimulating your 2-month-old baby
Although you can stroke and massage your baby from birth, now that you're a little more confident with your baby and you're used to holding and handling him, it's a great idea to introduce some soothing massage. Research shows that massage may help to boost weight gain, immune function, and muscle development, and ease colic and tummy aches.
Your baby should also spend a bit of time every day on his tummy so his neck and back muscles are strengthened. Start with short periods of tummy time and slowly build up to longer periods. Play fun games to get baby to move, like lying on the bed with your baby so he's got something he loves to look at – this will encourage him to lift his head up.
Your baby will start showing interest in mobiles and rattles and he'll be fascinated by anything that moves. He's started to become more verbal and it's a great game if you imitate the sounds and faces he makes.
Advice from the experts
This month your baby will reward you with his first genuine smile, and all the stress and anguish of the past few weeks will be well worth this recognition! At last you will know that you have been doing the right thing – even if your baby cries a lot.
Parenting responsibilities include immunisation programmes, clinic visits and medical aid. You must also have a will and life insurance – legalilities that up until now may have seemed unimportant, yet essential for your dependants. You may also want to claim UIF and start saving for your child's future education.
It may all seem like a lot to think about, especially when your baby is so small. But make a list of what you have to do and try to work through it while you are still on maternity leave.
Taking your baby out for the first time:
It was probably a big deal taking your baby out for the first time. Car seats, assembling the stroller, packing the nappy bag with everything you will need and protecting your baby – visiting friends or entertaining is a lot more complicated now. You may even have a whole new respect for your own parents!
Be reassured that it won't take long before you can take these things in your stride – already you can't imagine life without your baby. If you are on maternity leave, start getting your life into a routine that will fit in with your working day.
If you have not arranged day care, start planning now. Finding the perfect substitute for your precious baby is not easy – you don't want to have to stress about this when you return to work.