47 Week Old Baby Development
Your Growing Baby
Your Baby's New Obsessions
As your baby gains greater control of her body and more dexterity, she might begin "helping" you dress her by extending her arms into her onesies, sticking her feet into her shoes, and pulling her socks off—an all-time baby favorite. Keep a close eye on hats, socks, and mittens, which tend to get yanked off and tossed out of her stroller when you're not looking. And watch for a potential streaker on your hands. Many babies who figure out how to wriggle out of their clothes love to peel off every stitch, including their diapers, and make a break for it.
For some babies, though, there's nothing fun about getting ready in the morning. If your little one resists getting dressed, boost the fun quotient by playing peekaboo when you pull her shirt over her head or tickling her feet before you put her socks on. Or give her the chance to choose between two shirts. Feeling more involved in the process might help her have more patience with getting dressed.
Beyond clothing, there's plenty to interest your baby these days. Some children are obsessed with banging on things—the louder the better. Offer an appropriate musical outlet by stocking a low kitchen cabinet with nonbreakable pots, lids, plastic containers, and wooden spoons, so she can drum to her heart's content. Fill old plastic spice jars with pasta or dried beans for her to shake or drop to experiment with the sounds they make (just make sure the lids are sealed tightly). She'll also love practicing her burgeoning sorting and organizing skills by putting smaller containers inside larger ones and arranging them in various ways. Bonus: Her kitchen play buys you cooking time, and having her own special cabinet might keep her out of others she shouldn't be exploring.
Health and Safety Info
The Scoop on Poop
Since starting solids, your baby's poop has started to look a lot more, well, grown-up. You might have noticed that when she eats certain foods, such as corn or blueberries, they end up reappearing in her diaper looking almost the same as when they went in. It's nothing to worry about. Because your baby's tummy is still maturing, hard-to-digest foods tend to pass through the intestines almost intact. (The same thing can happen in adults, if you ever care to have a look.) Your baby's stool might also change color according to her diet. If she ate her weight in spinach last night at dinner, it might look greenish, while a piece of turquoise-frosted birthday cake can turn poop bright blue. As her digestive system matures, she'll process more of her food, which will phase out the Technicolor poops.
Because of all the new foods your baby's trying, chances are good that she'll have the occasional bout with constipation, which occurs because she's not getting enough fiber in her diet or drinking enough liquid—or perhaps because she's too busy exploring to pause to poop. Although some babies go two or three days between bowel movements with no problem, if you see hard, pellety poops in baby's diaper, constipation is probably to blame. A few quick remedies: Add more high-fiber foods, such as apples, dried apricots, veggies, and oatmeal, to your baby's diet. Serve a sippy cup of prune or pear juice once a day, along with plenty of water. And avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods. If the problem doesn't clear up in a few days, talk to your pediatrician, who can prescribe a baby-friendly laxative.
Life As a Working Mom
If you're like most working moms, you might find yourself with this end-of-day dilemma: You want to spend time with your baby after a long day away from her, but dinner needs to be made, the house needs straightening, and a hot bath is calling your name. As harried as you feel, set aside 10 or 15 minutes when you first get home, if possible, to give your baby a bit of undivided attention. Read a book—which will be calming to you both—or let her help you pull out a few healthy snacks, such as diced raw fruit or crackers and hummus to tide you over until dinner's ready. Not only will the extra attention stave off the "witching hour," the time just before dinner when small children are most prone to meltdowns, but it'll help your baby feel confident that she's first on your list.
Another way to chill out at the end of the day: Take a few shortcuts. Since you can't subsist on take-out forever, cook in bulk on weekends, then stock your freezer with healthy, ready-to-nuke meals. Institute a quick five-minute pick-up at the end of the day and save deep cleaning for weekends. And allow yourself an hour or so in the evening to relax. Settle in with a good book, watch your favorite reality show, call your best friend—whatever helps you chill out. Since your baby is an expert at reading your emotions, if you're always hurried and anxious, she'll feel stressed too. Unwinding for a bit at the end of a long day will do you both a world of good.