Your baby’s not quite so new to the world now, and every day she’s discovering more exciting things
She might not be able to reach for things herself yet, but if you put a toy in her hands she may hold on to it for a short while, and even try to bring it towards her eyes to get a glimpse of what she’s got.
Smoother, controlled movements are replacing more of her jerky motions as she stretches and opens her body out. Her legs appear to ‘pedal’ as she kicks,
She’s starting to practise her binocular vision – focusing both eyes on an object at the same time – and is starting to see things that are further away from her. I’ve got my beady eye on you over there, Mummy!
It won’t be long before your little one discovers exactly what her hands can do and then she’ll enjoy all the grabbing she can get up to. Tickle, rub and pat her hands gently and offer her different textured objects and toys to touch and hold, to make her more aware
of her fingers.
To strengthen your baby’s focusing skills, hold exciting objects in her line
of vision. Why not lie on the bed with her and hold up a picture book to look at and read together? It’s never too early to introduce her to books and the more she’s spoken to,
the better at communicating she’ll become.
Don’t fret if your 5 week old is small and towards the bottom of the centile chart. As long as her growth rate is steady, it’s nothing to worry about.
Physical activity helps your baby develop important skills. It’s fun for you both, and your baby will thrive on your attention. “Keeping your baby active not only stimulates her brain, it can also make you feel good. After all that interaction, you’ll feel closer to your baby than ever,” says health visitor and baby yoga instructor Angela Davy. So why not try these easy play ideas?
With babies now advised to sleep on their backs, tummy time is even more important to help them reach the big milestones of sitting, crawling and walking. GP Dr Lowri Kew agrees: “It’s very important to put your baby on her tummy to help her develop strength in the muscles such as those in her neck, which are essential for sitting and crawling. But it may take a bit of getting used to. Aim for 30 minutes of tummy time a day, which may need to be broken into smaller blocks. And always supervise your small baby so if she falls asleep you can turn her onto her back.”
If you’re baby’s older and is starting to crawl and explore more of her surroundings, she’ll love a bit of uninterrupted playtime. And you can enjoy it, too, safe in the knowledge that she’ll be learning from it. “Help your baby develop the confidence to explore by giving her your full attention,” says Lowri. “You’re teaching her how to interact socially and learn new things about her world.”
“A session of baby yoga that includes lifts, gentle stretching, eye contact and singing provides the same amount of activity that a baby would normally experience in 24 hours,” says Angela. Baby yoga is also an invaluable way to help you and your baby tune into each other.
“Baby gyms are great for your baby’s cognitive and physical development,” says Angela. “They allow your baby to test things out for herself and see herself as an individual, while allowing mum some much deserved me-time.”
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk