At this stage, your 11 week baby will sleep less than the previous weeks. He will also be more interested in his surroundings and in you.
However, he has definite ideas of his own. If he gets bored with your stories, he will turn his face away to indicate that you need to try something different. Your 11 week baby also loves toys that make a noise, such as rattles. Your little athlete may also do mini press-ups while lying on his stomach.
By 11 weeks your baby will also be showing signs of tiredness. Looking away, yawning and being unable to hold you gaze are signs of over-stimulation. By decoding these signs you will learn to put baby down to sleep before he gets overtired. Teaching him the skill of self-soothing in this way is vital for training his long-term sleep patterns. Aim to lay him down in his cot while he is sleepy and tired but still awake.
Continue to sing to your 11 week baby, coo to him, play little games like peek-a-boo and relate stories to him and talk to your baby. These interactions should be uncomplicated and fun but they are critical in feeding his brain. Just because he cannot express himself at this stage does not mean he doesn’t understand. Your baby is a learning machine, taking in information like a sponge.
You at week 11
Some new mothers were fortunate enough that their bellies snapped back into shape a couple of weeks after baby was born. However, the majority of new mums have to content with postpartum pots. You may be feeling under pressure to tie your stomach or wear a waist trainer so that it goes down. How effective is this? MumsVillage Partner Doula and Birthing Expert Lucy Muchiri will answer that question in this post. (insert link to the post about tying your belly) Note that midwives advise their clients, ‘it took 9 months to make a baby and it will probably take 9 months to return to your original weight.’
Remember that it takes much more food to breastfeed than it does to be pregnant, so eat healthy foods for breastfeeding mums. During the peak moments of pregnancy your foetus will consume 300 calories from you. While nursing, your 11 week baby will demand anywhere from 500 calories and up from you. Eat when you are hungry, and drink plenty of water and other beverages, have healthy and easy recipes for when you want to snack . You do not have to eat massive quantities of food during breastfeeding but you will do well to eat nutrient-dense meals and snacks. Limit the junk and focus on fresh, local foods that are common in our indigenous diets.
Self-care is important. You may be up at odd hours and spend most of your day in a tracksuit or pyjamas. The good thing about having visitors is that you do get to spruce up and at least change out of your ‘home clothes.’ Taking care of yourself and your appearance will boost your confidence and help you feel feminine while adding some normalcy to your life. MumsVillage Info Centre partners include various service providers who can come to your home. These include nail technicians, masseuse and aestheticians, hair stylists and braiders.
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Patricia Wanjala is a Nairobi Mum. @Triciawanjala FB: TriciasNaturals