Your baby is now ten weeks old!
YOUR BABY'S DEVELOPMENT - TUMMY TIME
Most babies don't like being on their tummies, especially when they are very small, but tummy time is a vital tool for your baby's development. As he or she gets older, head control improves and you may find that he or she objects less to being put on his or her tummy. Tummy time strengthens the muscles in the head, neck, shoulders and legs, and provides the starting point for babies to begin to roll over, sit up and crawl. Most babies begin to roll over some time around 3 - 4 months, but the more tummy time he or she has, the stronger he or she will be, and the easier it will be for him or her to roll. Tummy time strengthens baby's back as well, in preparation for the strength needed to sit up, and later on, to crawl and walk.
You can make tummy time more interesting for baby by placing him or her on a brightly colored mat or blanket, and by placing a few toys a few inches away from him or her. Baby gyms or zoos are great, but you can make your own using a couple of chairs spaced a few inches apart with a broomstick across them. Hang brightly colored toys, pictures of fabrics from the broomstick and voila - your own homemade baby gym!
OHbaby! and COMMUNITY RESOURCES
Having a baby can be an isolating experience: you may feel that your life consists of nappies and feeding all day long! Thank goodness the OHbaby! message boards provide a great way to keep in touch with other mums and dads even when you don't feel like going out but need to chat, to bounce ideas off other people or just want a good read!
There are also plenty of community-based organizations, resources and groups for new mums to help get you out of the house and your child interacting with other children.
*Mothers' Groups/Coffee Groups - If you were lucky and found an antenatal group that you 'gelled' with, you may still meet up regularly for coffee and a chat. But if not, there are still plenty of options. OHbaby! mums on the message board regularly meet up all over the country! Check out our mums meet up section of the message boards for catch ups in your area, or if there isn't one - place a message inviting mums to catch up in your area!
Also, Plunket run coffee mornings for Mums and babies, and often try to establish groups with babies of similar ages. Contact your local Plunket Family Centre, or have a chat to your Plunket nurse. Some areas also have community-based playgroups, often geared at older children, but some also cater to smaller babies. Your Plunket nurse should be able to give you some ideas here.
*Cry-Baby Sessions at the movies - Many cinemas now run "Cry-Baby" Sessions one morning a week where you can check out a movie and take bubs with you. Tickets are often cheaper than standard movies, and some give a donation to Plunket from your ticket price. The only downside is that you don't get to choose the movie - but a different new release movie is screened each week, and it can be good time-out. Contact your local cinema for session times and movie details.
*Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) - Run in conjunction with Plunket, PAFT is a programme designed to help stay-at-home Mums keep their babies entertained and encourage their development. Your Plunket nurse can refer you to a PAFT agency near you, and they will arrange for an educator to come and visit.
*Playcentre - Playcentre operates using the philosophy that parents are the best first educators of their children. They cater for children from birth to 5, and sessions are run entirely by parents (in some areas outside educators are used to complement parent input). They work like an early childhood facility, and parents undergo fully-funded training in Early Childhood Education. Older children will get more out of Playcentre than babies, but it is never too early to start, and is a great way to meet other local parents. Check out www.playcentre.org.nz .