Your baby has officially graduated from being a newborn to an infant. As much as you have yearned for your new baby’s arrival, the sleepless nights, diaper-changing and overall exhaustion can take a tremendous toll on you and dad. With the baby entering the second month, you have survived a crucial time and have made some headway into setting somewhat of a routine.
Your baby’s development
This week should see your baby smiling more and more and even reacting to some of your own actions. Seeing her respond to your presence and even your facial expressions are all part of bonding with the baby. You may notice that your baby is able to hold her head up at a 45° angle for extended periods of time when she is laying on her tummy.
Some babies may develop a rash on the top of the head called cradle cap. This appears in the form of dandruff-like flakes and is quite common in babies during the second month. If you are washing the baby’s head every day, then you may be drying her scalp out which will increase cradle cap. This is not a dangerous condition by any means and should cause no concern. Keep her scalp well moisturized and it should disappear in a few weeks.
You as a Mom
If Dad has already been back at work for a few days now, you may find that doing it alone can be challenging. If you are lucky and have a family member pitching in, set aside your pride for another day. You need all the help you can get. Especially with sleep being such a precious commodity, take every opportunity that you get for some shut-eye.
If you are experiencing postpartum depression or the baby blues, just know that it is perfectly normal and is due to all the hormonal changes that your body is going through. You may even experience sadness and loneliness which can be compounded by the exhaustion from a long day with the baby. These feelings are best shared with a loved one. Having a loving support system around you is often the best cure for the baby blues.
At this time, breast-feeding is likely getting easier. Your milk flow would have kicked in and you might even find yourself engorged at times before it is time for a feed. If on the other hand, you are bottle- feeding, follow the guidelines laid out by your pediatrician and keep the meals to 4 ounces as anything greater than that may cause regurgitation and spit up.
Dad is probably used to not getting more than two hours of sleep at a time by now. If he is getting more sleep than that, he is not helping out as much! At this time, especially as dad is back to work, it is particularly important to take over as many household chores as possible.
Importantly, telling mom how much she is appreciated is more important than volunteering to do the next diaper change! Patience is key, and is easier when you contemplate her day with the baby without help.