Your Baby at Week 4
Your 4 Week Baby
At four weeks your baby has reached a major milestone. You have a 4 week baby which means that she is now one month old! You will notice her neck muscles are now stronger and she is able to turn her head in different directions. Sound is one stimulus she will respond to by turning her head. By week 4 her hearing is now well developed so she can respond when you clap your hands or make other sounds. Keep playing your favourite music for her, as this is said to encourage brain development. Classical music is one of the genres that is more directly linked to higher IQ. If you had begun playing certain songs to her inside the womb, these will soothe her now that she is in this great big world.
Having a baby is fun because at four weeks you can take your baby out and about with you periodically. Do not isolate yourself, or baby. You can take her to visit grandma, to the shop, to the park and to community events such as Mummy and Baby yoga or worship sessions. People will want to shower your 4 week baby with attention and love, which is normal. However ensure that nobody touches her hands directly (some adults insist on greeting newborns with the hand yet theirs are full of germs.) When a relative or friend asks to carry your baby, request them to wash their hands or offer them some hand sanitizer.
It is tempting to carry your baby in the car seat or to leave them in it for prolonged periods of time at this stage. Note that baby’s neck and spine muscles are not yet fully developed so this can actually a stressor if left upright in the car seat. By all means, strap baby inside the (rear-facing is safer at this stage) car seat when the vehicle is in motion. When the vehicle is not moving and you need to comeout with your baby, it is better to carry them on a sling or just in your arms. Wearing your baby in a sling is a great way to integrate her into the outside world while still protecting her and keeping her safe in the comfort of you or your spouse’s arms. At 4 weeks of age they should be strapped inwards, facing your chest. There are baby slings that face the exterior but experts do not recommend this position due to its toll on baby’s skeletal system and also because the excessive stimulation of facing the big, busy world can tire them out and cause stress.
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You at 4 weeks of baby
Your body is still healing from delivery, whether vaginal or cesarean. Your uterus and internal organs at this point are returning to their original positions (which is why you should never tie your belly this early after giving birth.) If you had a C.S or an episiotomy your scars are now healing, but you still need to take things easy and try to keep your immunity up. Childbirth is traumatic to the entire body so healthy living is great for you. Your intake of traditional healing fluids like broth, soup, and herbal teas actually does help you recover. Fresh fruit juices are also a great way to keep your vitamin intake high. New mothers often experience roller-coaster emotions. If this is your case, take heart – it is normal. Some fall in love with their baby instantly, while others at this point still feel like baby is a stranger.
Both reactions are normal. If you feel like the blues, tears and overwhelm are too frequent, speak to your Doctor or Midwife or Breastfeeding Support Counsellor. Remember that motherhood is a journey and so is fatherhood. Teach your spouse how to care for the little one, change diapers, bathe and massage the baby. This will help cement your family bond and it will also reduce the load on you. Delegate everything you can! Get Daddy to do stuff and enlist help from your internal and external support system. Use an errands service, shop for your groceries online, get your diapers delivered to our home. We got you covered. We have a list of Kenya’s best deliver services, they can do it all. All you have to do is click Here.
If you are integrating a new Nanny into your family, get assistance with training her. Organize your household using a menu plan and give your household definite directions regarding visitors. If you are taking a nap and don’t want to be woken up to receive visitors, have your Nanny keep thermos’ of tea and refreshments and she or your other family members can show them hospitality while you rest. For example if your baby is asleep and visitors want to see her, do not wake her up just to say hello to them. It does not matter if they have ‘come from far.’ They can see her while she is asleep in her cot, and interact with her at a different time. You will have received several baby gifts including groceries at this point. When you have some downtime in the evenings, take time to write some Thank-You cards or sms messages.