Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 17 week old baby?


Development & Behavior

How should my baby be developing?

Researchers believe that your baby can now understand all the basic sounds that make up their native language. Between this time and 6 months of age, they’ll develop the ability to make some of these sounds, which means you may hear the words you’ve been dreaming about, namely “mama” and “dada.” While child development experts say it’s too early for your baby to connect those sounds with you, that won’t make hearing them less exciting.

You can encourage your baby’s attempts at communication by mirroring or imitating their expressions and sounds. They may try to imitate you too. Say “ba” and they may try to say it back.

Reacting when your baby makes noises or tries to say something will help them learn the importance of language and better understand cause and effect. It’s great for their self-esteem as well: They’ll begin to realize that what they say makes a difference.

In the first week of the fourth month, your baby may:

  • Raise their head 90 degrees when lying;
  • Laugh out loud;
  • Know all the basic sounds of their native language;
  • Say simple words like “mama” and “baba” but they do not really understand the meaning;
  • Follow objects 15 cm away and move 180 degrees from side to side.

How to support my baby?

To support a child, you can encourage them to talk by sitting in the mirror or mimic expressions and sounds that your baby makes. You may also react when they vocalize or try to say something to help them realize the importance of language and understand the way we communicate.

Health & Safety

What should I discuss with my doctor?

Every doctor will have their own way to check your baby’s health. Depending on individual needs of each child, overall physical tests, the number and type of technical evaluation and implementation procedures will be very different. But you can anticipate and consult with a doctor about the problems after the baby get a health checkup:

  • Tell your doctor how you and your baby with family are living; eating, sleeping and let them know overall development situation as well as how to care your baby if you intend to return to work;
  • Your doctor will measure weight, height, head circumference of baby and to reconsider the situation of the baby since birth.

What should I know?

Here are some things you should know about:

Ear infection

Ear infection is also called acute otitis media. It occurs when a virus or bacteria and fluid are trapped behind their eardrum. The infection causes swelling, pain and often fever. Ear infections are very common, more than half of all newborns will have the disease before the age of one.

Symptoms of this disease include:

  • Anorexia: Ear infections may cause pain when your baby’s chewing and swallowing.
  • Constantly tug at the ear.
  • Fever from 38oC to 40oC.
  • The situation changed dramatically, accompanied by a cold. Pressure in the ear can cause baby to have pain, especially when they are located (such as when they are eating or lying in bed) and make them irritable.
  • Ear discharge can be yellow, white or even red blood steam.
  • Diarrhea. Ear infections are often caused by a virus and this virus can also affect the digestive system.

Another strange thing is that ear infection usually go away after a certain time. However, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help your baby avoid more severe ear infection and help them feel more comfortable. Your doctor may prescribe acetaminophen for pain and fever. Infant illness often will go away gradually within two days of starting the medication.

To prevent ear infection, please:

  • Keep your baby away from secondhand smoke because smoke can weaken their immune system;
  • Continue to breastfeed if you are doing so. Research shows that breastfed babies are less likely to get ear infections;
  • Make sure your child is fully immunized, especially pneumonia and influenza to reduce the incidence of ear infections;
  • Limit use of pacifiers, some studies show that using a pacifier can lead to higher ear infection risk;

Help your baby up

If your baby can not get up, they need you to help them up when you see your baby slip or pour aside. Although you should not try to help newborns because the neck and back of your baby has not yet fully developed, you can support a child who is 3 or 4 months old by now. It can help them to keep a good head and not fall when you support them up from many different locations.

In addition to changing posture, sitting up will help the baby can look further. Instead of just looking up at the sky or around from side to side in a stroller, baby who is sitting will be able to see the passersby, stores, houses, trees, pets, buses, cars and all other wonderful things around them. They will have more fun than when only lying. When they sit, they will play in shorter time and you will be less strenuous then.

Baby is too chubby

Unlike the condition of bing overweight in adults, the chubby shape of your baby is not caused by diet. Instead of trying to help them lose weight, you need to slow down the baby’s gaining weight. As baby grow in height and is more active, chubby baby will become slim again. Some of the following tips can be helpful if you are worried about your child’s weight status:

  • Only breastfeeding when your baby is hungry;
  • Adjust the diet if necessary;
  • Tell your child to drink water, drinks with no calories;
  • Do not wean your baby soon just because you want to encourage them to sleep through the night. It is not only ineffective but also leads to overweight in children;
  • Assess the baby’s diet;
  • Encourage them to be active. If they hardly moves, encourage them to move more.

My Concerns

What I am concerned about?

Here are some things you may be concerned about:

Your baby refuses the breast

The temporary refusal of the baby when being breastfed is unusual. It always occurs for a special reason. The most common causes are:

  • The diet of mothers, if you notice certain foods that make your baby refuses, then avoid eating until they wean.
  • The baby has a cold: when the nose is blocked, the baby can not breathe through their mouth and suck at the same time, and of course the first choice for your baby is touse mouth to breathe.
  • Baby teeth: although almost babies have no teeth until they are at least 5 or 6 months of age, a few babies start to have teeth sooner. Often the baby will grow one or two teeth in the first four months. The feeding will put pressure on the gums which are and this makes them feel sick.
  • Be an earache.
  • Baby suffers black sores in the mouth.
  • Milk flows slowly. When they are hungry, they will lose patience if the milk flows out too slowly.
  • Mother’s hormone changes. New mothers will produce hormones which alter the taste of milk and make your baby refuse to feed.
  • Mother suffers stress.
  • Your baby prepares to wean.

In the meantime, the following methods may be helpful:

  • Do not try to let your baby drink other types of milk;
  • Try to pour milk in the bottle;
  • Try, try again. Even whenthey repeatedly refuse being breastfed, they may suck back after spending some time;
  • Slowly feed solid food for your baby.

If they continue to refuse breastfeeding or if other symptoms are accompanied, discuss this with your doctor for advice.

Having difficulty in diaper changing

If your baby used to be uncooperative in every diaper change, you can find it more difficult to change a diaper for your child later. Your baby may feel uncomfortable and feel like they are forced to wear diapers, which makes changing baby’s diapers difficult. The trick is you shouldbe rather quick by preparing everything before placing the baby on a changing table. Also, you can add sound to distract the baby, such as sound from the mobile phone, music box or favorite toy that your baby loves. You can also distract your baby with a song or talking to your baby long enough to finish changing baby diapers.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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