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Congratulations! Your baby is 13 weeks old and by now you must have got used to the idea of being a mother. Sleepless night, breastfeeding your baby at random hours of the day and night, and cleaning his poop must have made you realise that being a mother is no easy. Is it now? But we know how much you love your little one. In these three months, you must have bonded with your baby too. Your baby will start learning a lot from you as he grows and you might start seeing shades of you or your spouse, even more, evident than before. Find out how your baby is developing!
Your 13-week-old Baby’s Development
Your 13-week-old baby will soon start getting comfortable with you as well as with other faces that he encounters. The sociability aspect of your baby will begin to develop as he realizes how much fun it is to interact with others. The smile on his face will be the most welcoming one you will ever see and resisting giving him a kiss would be almost impossible. Making sounds and carrying on lengthy conversations through his coos and gurgles will become second nature to him. He may also try to turn his head around if he hears a noise. Your baby may also start sleeping through the night as well, so you can catch some sleep at night. However, don’t count on it. However, if your baby keeps you awake at night, wait for a few months, sooner or later he will get a restful sleep at night and so will you.
[Also Read: 3 Months Old Baby Development]
Your 13-week-old Baby’s Milestones
By now your baby’s most of the senses must have developed at par. It might take some more time, but as a result of the growth spurt that happens around the third month, your baby may have a better vision by this age. Your baby will be able to focus better, begin to understand the perception of depth and see how near or far something is. The hues of various colours will start getting more vivid than before and your baby might prefer certain colours over others. Play some music in a corner and your baby may start turning his head and try to see where the sound is coming from. Use that nice baby lotion with the smell of flowers, and you will see a haze of recognition on your baby’s face when he smells it.
Along with the senses, your baby’s limbs will also begin to improve as time passes. This is the time when your baby will realize that he has fingers which can be controlled individually. Though he might not be able to point at something or grip anything right way, his fingers and palms will keep moving around as he starts exploring them. His hand-eye coordination will be much better than before.
Discovering his own voice will also be an activity that will interest your baby quite a lot. Having long conversations with himself and experimenting with different tones and modulations will keep him engaged for a better part of the day. While playing games, he might make a loud cry when you hide and then laugh satisfactorily when you reveal yourself. Many babies wake up early in the morning and, if their stomach is full, will continue lying around and looking at their feet, while cooing.
[Also Read: 3 Months Old Baby Milestones]
As pattern and routines begin to set in, your 13-week-old baby may feed easily. Yes, breastfeeding your little one will become a tad easier and comfortable for both of you. His feeding will be more efficient and you would be able to tell when he wants food and when he doesn’t in a much better manner. The cry of hunger and the cry for being held will be recognizable.
[Also Read: 3 Months Old Baby Food]
As your baby undergoes growth spurts, you might have to feed him at odd hours of the day and night. Breastfed babies tend to require milk at night a little more than babies who are bottle-fed. Nevertheless, most babies do not sleep through the night. The longest they might sleep without a break is for about 6-7 hours at the most.
[Also Read: 3 Months Old Baby Sleep]
Up until now, you must have tried to figure out how the entire process of parenting and feeding and sleeping works. But having spent about 13 weeks with your baby, this can be a good time to start enforcing a routine of sorts for both of you. Some babies inevitably fall into a predictable routine pretty early in life. If your baby hasn’t, it is time to start building a routine with him.
As babies grow up, they choose when they want to feed or not. There might be a specific timing that you must feed your baby, but over time, your baby might refuse to feed at times if he is full. As long as his weight is fine, you have nothing to worry. When he enters another phase of rapid growth, his hunger will increase and he might start demanding food a lot more than usual.
If your baby feeds for lengthy intervals between each feed, you can enforce a schedule of say 3-hours to 4-hours between each feed. This allows you to shape your own routine, get some rest, and keep your baby well-fed and rested, too. A lot of change can disturb the baby, hence you should try to enforce a routine for him. When he knows that after 1 feed, the next feed will be after a few hours, he can sleep without being disturbed. Even at night, your baby might not sleep as long as you do, or you need to. In these cases, it is important to ensure that your baby does not sleep off at other times. Most mothers observe that their babies tend to sleep while they are bathing him or while he is feeding in the afternoon or so. Wake up your baby if that happens and complete the activity. He might get cranky and not sleep, which might continue for a couple of days. After that, he will understand the timings and begin to fall asleep accordingly.
Tips to Take Care of Your 13-week-old Baby
Here are some tips that you should follow to take care of your 14-week-old baby.
- Take care of your baby’s skin by making sure it doesn’t get too dry. Make use of moisturizers and humidifiers if dry skin persists.
- Take your baby out in the park or garden, or let him interact with other babies when you go for a morning or evening walk.
- Let your baby sleep for fixed hours and try creating a fixed schedule for all activities so that your baby can start looking forward to them, too.
[Also Read: 3 Months Old Baby Care]
Tests and Vaccinations
Having completed 3 months fully and getting him vaccinated on time, it is time to prepare him for another round of vaccinations. These could be done either via injections or by giving oral medications.
One of the first injections that will be given around this time is the DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccine, which takes care of polio and many other diseases, like diphtheria. Another vaccine that is administered via injection is the MenC vaccine. This takes care of meningococcal viruses and prevents them from attacking the child. Finally, the next round of the rotavirus vaccine is given, but this is mostly given orally instead of via injection.
Games and Activities
The auditory sense of your baby will grow quite a lot. Understanding sounds, music, and tonality, they begin to notice how the same sound can be emitted in different notes as well. But instead of simply using music, you can take your baby to the kitchen for a change of environment and give him a drumming 101 session. Make use of utensils around the house, plastic boxes, cardboard boxes, or anything that is in a different material than others. Putting them all together in one place, grab a small stick or a ladle and slowly hit each object to make a sound. The different sounds will get your baby intrigued and excited. Start playing something musical and your baby may start clapping away, too. Then, turn your baby around to look at his face and use your mouth to create those same drumbeat sounds. This entire activity will keep your little one engaged for many days to come.
Babies love water and playing with it. If you have a bathtub or even a smaller tub, fill it with warm water and gently put your baby in it. Make sure his head is always above the water, and use your hand to support him with that. Then splash some water using your hands and then grab his feet to create the splashes as well. Let your baby take some time in figuring out how his feet can make the water splash. Once that is done, your bathroom will turn into a water park within no time.
[Also Read: 3 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]
When to Consult a Doctor
Around this age, babies tend to suffer from thrush, which is mostly a yeast-related infection. This manifests in the form of white spots or patches on the inner areas of the mouth, including the cheeks and lips. This can be passed on to the mother as well during breastfeeding and make your nipples hurt. Talk to your doctor if such a condition exists.
Heading speedily towards month 4, your baby will start picking up so many activities and learn so many new things that his growth will astound you. Keep all those memories intact and make sure to spend as much time with the baby as possible.
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