11 Week Old Baby Development
Your Growing Baby
Blooming Social Skills
At 11 weeks, your baby is slowly morphing into a social butterfly. With an array of disarming facial expressions at her disposal—frowns, winces, wide-mouthed smiles—she's figuring out how to communicate with you. She might even pause at feeding for a sec just to give you a grin. She also likes to play more now, and she can fuss if she's not given enough attention. That makes now the perfect time to introduce a few fun games, such as these:
Mommy's tummy time. Lie on your back on the floor and place your baby tummy-down on your chest. She'll have the perfect incentive to lift her head and look at you or even use her arms to push her chest up a bit. (This milestone can occur as late as 4 months of age and still be totally normal, so don't worry if it hasn't happened yet).
Home show. Baby will learn the meaning of words more readily when you accompany them with a gesture, so spend 15 minutes giving your baby a guided tour of your house (or the office, or the grocery store), pointing to objects as you name them: "This is a doggie." "See the tulip?"
Reach for the sky. Dangle a bright toy or stuffed animal over your baby's head and encourage her to grab it, making sure she really has to stretch to get it. It's a good infant workout, an exercise in developing hand-eye coordination, and a chance for her to relish your cheers of encouragement.
Health and Safety Info
Talk about the high price of gas. When your baby's gassy, you usually know it, since often it means she's squirmy, screaming, or just plain miserable. Since babies get gas when they gulp down too much air along with breast milk or formula, that rumbly tummy sensation isn't entirely avoidable, but there are some things you can do to make your baby less gassy—and to ease her discomfort. Most experts recommend burping a baby twice—once halfway through a feeding (say, when switching from one breast to the other), and again after she's done. Keeping her relatively upright might also help. And if you use a bottle, make sure the nipples are the right size for her age and development. If the nipple openings are too small, she'll have suck extra hard to get anything out, which means she'll probably take in some extra air. Ditto if the nipple is too large and the milk comes out so fast she has to gulp it down. If you're nursing, try cutting down on the gas-producing foods you eat; broccoli and cauliflower should go on a temporary hiatus from your diet. In rare cases, gas can be caused by a digestive problem or an allergy, so call your pediatrician if it's severe.
Some parents swear by antigas drops or gripe water for infants, but most doctors aren't convinced they have much of an effect. A more surefire remedy: Bicycle your baby's legs to make it easier for her to pass gas, or throw her facedown over your forearm, where the pressure might make her tummy feel better.
Conquer the Baby Weight
You're probably eager to get your pre-baby body back, but now that you've gotten the OK to exercise again, you're low on energy and even lower on time. What to do? Try incorporating your baby into your workouts. Pop your little one into a sling or a front-pack and head out for a long walk, invest in a jogging stroller, or try a mom-and-baby yoga workout (think Downward Dog for the stroller set). If you can spare the cash, a number of gyms offer drop-off babysitting services, so you can give Zumba a shot or go for a swim, confident that your baby is being cared for. There are also dozens of workout DVDs to try while she's dozing at home or hanging out in her bouncy seat.
Of course, even if you have only a few pounds to lose, you've probably noticed that some spots (such as your belly, hips, breasts, and thighs) just aren't what they used to be—and they might never be again. Whether you're sporting a new tummy pooch or stretch marks on your hips, wear your badge of parenthood proudly. Keep breastfeeding, which helps burn calories. And be patient with yourself as you try to work off the baby weight. It took you nine months to put it on, after all, and it might come off even more slowly.