Baby guide week four
Your baby is now four weeks old!
This week, if all is going well, you will probably be discharged by your LMC. This signals the end of your antenatal care, which can be an emotional time!
Your LMC will refer you to a Well Child Health provider, usually a GP, Plunket clinic, or Maori or Pacific Island Health team. The Well Child provider will be responsible for monitoring your baby's development until he or she is five years old.
Some babies have periods of extreme restlessness, where they cry and draw their knees up to their chest as if in pain. This will occur around the same time each day, often in the early evening. This is called colic.
Episodes of colic may last up to two hours, and are extremely unsettling for parents.
Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire cure for colic. Small, frequent feeds may help, as may holding or rocking baby, or taking him or her for a walk or drive. Some parents find that giving baby a dummy to suck helps relieve colic.
There are also several herbal colic remedies available, including Gripe Water.
Colic usually subsides around three months of age.
TIPS FOR SOOTHING AN UNSETTLED BABY
• Hold baby up over your shoulder. This will help to expel any wind that may be causing baby pain, and give him or her a whole new view of the world.
• Walk around with baby, either holding him or her, or placing him or her in a frontpack. The movement, and closeness to you, is settling. Baby may also enjoy being sung to.
• A walk in the pram or a ride in the car can be a welcome break for both parent and child. Babies find the motion of the pram or car settling, and you will feel better if you get out of the house.
• Some babies love being massaged gently with baby oil, or another natural oil. Take care not to use oils containing peanut, as this can cause allergies in young babies.
• Some babies settle well when given a dummy or pacifier.
For more tips, see here.
YOUR BABY'S DEVELOPMENT - TEMPERAMENT
All babies have their own distinctive personality. As your baby grows, this will become more and more apparent.
Some babies are placid and easygoing, settle well and adapt easily to new people or places.
Other babies are slightly more clingy, and prefer constant and stable surroundings.
Your baby's temperament may be similar to your own, or to that of your partner, or be completely different. How you react to your baby will also have an impact on his or her temperament.
For example, if you are particularly organised and prefer order, and your baby is easygoing by nature, he or she may learn to adapt to a set routine or structure if you set one for them. Babies who prefer order, may become more easygoing if you have an easygoing temperament.