With all of the emotional changes and fatigue after having baby you may have left behind your healthy diet and exercise routine. Now is the time to get your body back in action, but you may be surprised by the lingering effects of pregnancy. Your ligaments and tendons remain loose, so take your time and start out easy with low-impact aerobics, water aerobics or walking. Exercise can be used as mommy time or as a time to bond with baby. As you gain strength and get back in the groove of exercising daily, increase intensity.
Many new mothers choose to partner exercise with a weight loss program. Remember, your baby depends on you for breast milk if you are breastfeeding. While exercise will not have a negative effect on breast milk production, reducing caloric intake drastically could cause a reduction in breast milk production. Remember to eat well, choose healthy foods and drink lots of water to maintain your milk.
Your Baby’s Development
If you take a moment to look back over the past few months you will immediately recognize dramatic changes in baby’s development. He has moved from a curled up newborn that slept all day and cried frantically when he was hungry or needed a diaper change to a curious, interesting little baby. While the physical development is easiest to recognize, it is the changes occurring on a neurological level that are important to his future language skills. He can recognize words and sounds as native and he will attempt to mimic sounds. Through a series of back and forth communication, he will learn how to develop sounds that eventually develop into first words. Simple sounds like ba, ma, da will soon move to baba, mama and dada.
Your Baby’s Food
Between four months and six months of age, your pediatrician will suggest adding food to baby’s diet. The first foods are cereals, typically with iron-fortified rice cereal being the first cereal introduced. When introducing foods, it is best to stick with a slow and steady progression. Baby’s digestive system is not as advanced as yours. He needs time to learn how to digest foods. Pediatricians suggest waiting a week or longer between adding new foods. Write down how your baby reacts to foods, including any changes in bowel movements and skin health. Baby should still be primary fed with breast milk or baby formula.
Your Baby’s Health Issues
As baby’s neck and arm muscles development he will quickly learn to roll from back to tummy and, eventually, tummy to back. With rolling comes movement so baby may learn to use rolling to move around a room, especially when he sees something he wants to grab. Now is the time to baby-proof your home if you haven’t already. Soon after he learns to roll both ways he will master sitting up. The next well visit is next month.
Newborn and Baby: Month 5