Your baby at 5 weeks

Your baby's not quite so new to this world and is discovering exciting things daily about her surroundings. You’re probably getting more confident in your parenting skills too

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What’s happening with your baby?

What have I got here? She may not be able to reach for things herself, but if you put a toy in her hands she may hold onto it for a short while, and may even try to bring it towards her eyes to get a glimpse at what she’s got.

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Watch me go! Smoother controlled movements are replacing more of her jerky movements – as she stretches and opens her body out. Her legs appear to ‘pedal’ as she kicks, for example

Focus! She’s starting to practise her ‘binocular’ vision –  focusing both her eyes on an object at the same time, and is starting to see things further away from her. I’ve got my beady eye on you over there mummy!

How you can help your baby this week

Handy tricks: It won’t be long before she discovers exactly what her hands can do  – she’ll enjoy all that 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.

Read to me: To strengthen her 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 to early to introduce her to books and the more she’s spoken to, the better communicator she’ll be.

Your baby’s health

How does your baby grow? Don’t be too worried if she’s small and towards the bottom of the centile chart. As long as her rate of growth is steady , then there’s nothing to worry about. Everyone’s different after all!

Games to play with your baby

Fingers and toes: Play ‘this little piggy’ – uncurling her fingers and toes and showing her hands to her as you do.

First rattle: Help her hold on to a rattle or similar toy by curling her fingers around it, then shake her hand so the rattle makes her noise. See her eyes widen with delight!

4 baby workouts

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?

1) Tummy time

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.”

2) Play and Crawl

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.”

3) Baby yoga

“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.

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4) Baby gyms

“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.”

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