Baby, You've got Personality - Weeks 17-20
Your baby's personality will begin to develop by the time they are 18 weeks old.
Weeks 17 to 20 of a baby's life are full of new milestones and some unexpected developments that will make you laugh and keep you on your toes.
1. LIVE FROM HAND TO MOUTH
By week 17, your baby is growing at an astonishing rate. By their 4 month of life, they may have already doubled their weight at birth. They have begun to master the art of grabbing things with their hands, so be prepared for your hair to become their favorite toy.
On the bright side, this newfound ability also means they can start grasping and engaging with specific play items like rattles, which is great for their hand-eye coordination. It is also good for sensory processing. Your baby at this age learns and explores items by putting them in their mouths. Just make sure any toys they play with are safe, age-appropriate and non-toxic.
2. TICKLE YOUR FUNNY BONE
At week 18, your baby may have already started to develop their own little personality. You may notice that they're more responsive to your voice and are starting to babble more frequently. They may even try to mimic your facial expressions, which can lead to some hilarious photo opportunities.
Another funny thing you may notice is that your baby is starting to develop their own sense of humor. They may start laughing at silly faces, tickles, and even farts. Yes, farts. Don't be surprised if you hear a little giggle after a particularly loud toot.
3. GUM UP THE WORKS
Your baby's gums will start to get sore around this time as they begin the teething process. This can be a painful and frustrating time for both you and your little one. To help ease their discomfort, you can try giving them a teething toy or gently rubbing their gums with a clean finger. You may also want to invest in some baby-safe teething gel to numb the area temporarily. But be warned, teething can also cause some unusual symptoms like fussiness and even mild fever. In addition, your baby is going to start producing copious amounts of drool, which can lead to some seriously soggy clothes. Invest in some cute bibs and get ready to embrace the wetness.
4. STICK AROUND
By week 19, your baby's brain is continuing to develop rapidly, and they're starting to show signs of understanding object permanence. This means that they're beginning to catch on to the fact that things still exist even when they can't see them. So if you hide a toy under a blanket, don't be surprised if your little one goes searching for it.
5. THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
By week 20, your baby might begin to get tired of being stuck in one place all of the time and start to get restless. As they become more active, and you may notice them trying to roll over by rocking back and forth or arching their back to get out of car seats or high chairs. This newfound mobility is both exciting and terrifying. Gone are the days when you could leave them in one spot and expect them to stay put. Make sure to keep them secure at all times where they are likely to fall like in high chairs or on diaper changing tables.
6. FORGET ABOUT IT!
And finally, let's talk about the infamous mommy brain. As your little one's brain is developing at lightning speed, your own brain may continue to feel a little fuzzy. You may find yourself forgetting things, struggling to concentrate, and even putting the milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge. Don't worry, it's totally normal, and it will pass as your hormones rebalance and you get more sleep once your baby adjusts to a regular sleep schedule. Just remember to surround yourself with a good support system and ask for help whenever you feel overwhelmed.
So there you have it, weeks 17 to 20 of your baby's life in a nutshell. It's a time of rapid growth, exciting milestones, and plenty of drool and giggles. Enjoy the ride, and don't forget to capture all those precious moments on camera.
Thomas MD, Liji, "Importance of Sensory Stimulation for Babies", News Medical Life Sciences, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Importance-of-Sensory-Stimulation-for-Babies.aspx
"All about Object Permanence and your Baby", Healthline.com https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/object-permanence#What-is-object-permanence?
"Baby Milestones: When Babies Roll Over, Sit Up, and Crawl", Help Me Grow, https://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/HelpfulRes/Articles/BabyMilestones/index.html#:~:text=Babies%20start%20rolling%20over%20as,roll%20over%20in%20both%20directions.
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