10 Week Old Baby Development
Your Growing Baby
Establishing a Routine
Your baby hasn't exactly started calendaring his appointments yet, but around 10 weeks you might notice that his schedule becomes much more predictable. Once he wakes up in the morning, you can expect him to eat, play, then go down for a prelunch snooze after about two hours of awake time, usually around 9 or 10 a.m. He'll repeat the eat-play-nap pattern in the afternoon with a second nap that begins around 1 p.m. And he'll go for yet another nap in the late afternoon or early evening, say, around 4 p.m. As his sporadic sleep patterns consolidate into solid naps, he'll also doze for increasingly predictable lengths of time, generally about 1 to 1-1/2 hours per nap. But don't worry if your little guy sleeps for only 30 minutes at a stretch or seems nowhere close to sleeping through the night. Sleep patterns change every few weeks at this stage, and he'll develop this habit eventually.
You can help your baby develop healthy sleep patterns and a more predictable daily schedule by putting him in his crib for naps and by playing, bathing, and feeding him at consistent times each day—until he begins to settle in and initiate it on his own. But don't be too strict or rigid about it. As much as babies thrive on routine, you'll want your little one to stay a little flexible, so that he'll doze off in the stroller when you're running errands instead of having a meltdown about missing his normal nap spot. While keeping a schedule can help you feel a bit more in control as a new mom—and can help you predict what your baby's going to need next—every so often it's nice to chuck the routine out the window and go with the flow. Bonus: It'll help you stay calm on days when your baby is nothing but unpredictable.
Health and Safety Info
Keeping Baby Healthy
You try everything you can to protect your baby from illness, including wielding a bottle of hand sanitizer at anyone who comes within 50 feet of your infant. Still, sooner or later, your little guy is bound to catch a cold. In fact, babies have immature immune systems, which means they tend to catch more illnesses than you do—averaging six colds a year. Unfortunately, most infant cold medicines have been proven ineffective at best, harmful at worst, so usually the illness just has to run its course, a process that can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If your baby is younger than 3 months, you should ring your doctor just to keep her in the loop since colds can quickly develop into pneumonia or croup in very young babies. She might suggest a variety of at-home soothers to help baby feel more comfortable while the bug runs its course:
- A bulb syringe, to unstuff baby's nose. When a cold clogs your little one's nose, he might have a hard time eating (because he has to breathe through his nose while he's sucking). If that's the case, use the bulb syringe before you feed him. Gently insert the syringe into your baby's nostril, compress the bulb, and release. It'll suction the mucus right out.
- Saline nose drops. Squeezing the drops into your little one's nasal passages thins the mucus, making the bulb syringe more effective.
- A humidifier in the nursery, which moistens the air and soothes irritated nasal passages, helping to break up some of the congestion.
If your baby seems to get worse, or if he's coughing a lot, wheezing, tugging on his ears (which can be a sign of an ear infection), is listless, isn't wetting diapers, is clearly uncomfortable and crying more than usual, or has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees or above, let the doctor know ASAP.
Tricks to Manage Everything!
Ever feel utterly overwhelmed by parenthood? If so, you're 100-percent normal. Between household chores, errands, a job, a partner who wants to spend time with you, not to mention a new baby with nonstop demands, feeling snowed under is practically part of the job description. That doesn't mean you should do it alone. Lesson No. 1 of new motherhood: Ask for help. Tap other mommy friends for advice. Hit up online message boards, including the Parents.com birth club boards. E-mail friends from your childbirth class or parents from your baby's day care. Or call your mom (five times a day, if necessary).
When you're asking for help from your husband, be specific about what you need. Rather than simply telling him you're overloaded and want him to pitch in more, suggest some specific tasks he can take over. Maybe he can handle the 11 p.m. feeding so you can get more sleep, throw in a few loads of laundry, or take charge of dinner a few nights a week. Or ask him to line up a babysitter. With someone you trust at the helm for a few hours, you can spend some quality time together (instead of tallying up all the ways he's just not doing enough). A few hours sans baby will feel luxurious, and that will go a long way toward helping you keep your head above water the rest of the week.