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Health & Baby

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Taking Time for Yourself

Month 10, Week 1

As a parent, you may be so busy focusing on your baby that it’s easy to ignore your own wellbeing.

Your baby needs you at your best. So now that you’re out of the marathon newborn stage, it’s time to make sure you’re carving out time to take proper care of yourself.

Focus on these three areas to increase your energy and gain back some control.

  • Sleep. Yours, that is. Now that your baby’s on the move, you’ll need all of your energy to keep up with him. Take advantage of his longer sleep times in order to make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye. (If he’s going down early and waking up early, you’ll have to follow his lead.)
  • Exercise. Working out will help you get fit, clear your head, and give you energy. Maybe your partner can watch the baby first thing in the morning while you go out for a run, or you can pop in a workout DVD during naptime. Taking a long walk with baby in the carrier counts too.
  • Smart snacks. Make a point of stocking up on healthy bites you can grab on the go, like nuts, fruit, and yogurt. That way you won’t be tempted to buy candy or other treats that may give you a quick hit of energy that soon fizzles.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Playtime isn’t just fun for your baby -- it’s how he learns about the world. Give him a new object and watch him shove it in his mouth, drop it, roll it, and turn it over as he discovers everything he can about it.

You may notice these growing signs of cognitive development:

  • Your baby’s attention span is increasing. He used to move from one toy to the next in a matter of seconds, but now he can focus on the same object for longer periods.
  • He’s beginning to use objects correctly. He imitates the way you drink from a bottle, dial a phone, and brush his hair. He is starting to understand that each object has its own function.
  • He may start to point at objects. When something catches his interest, he wants to make sure that you’re looking at it too.

You might wonder about:

  • Anger. Is it an emotion your baby can feel? The answer is yes. If you take something that he wants away from him, he may be mad at you.
  • Walking. Many babies are able to take a few steps at this age. Others will be a little less sure of themselves, and will try a little later.
  • A security blanket. If he hasn’t already identified an object that he finds comforting when he’s upset, he probably will soon. It can be a useful tool to help him calm down and can be a good part of his bedtime routine.

Month 10, Week 1 Tips

  • Schedule a date night. Relationships need upkeep. And when you go, try to talk about things other than the baby!
  • Get the spark back. You're tired and your libido may be low, but sex might actually help. You'll connect with your partner and might even get more energy.
  • Do Kegels. These pelvic exercises aren't just for pregnancy. Keep doing them for stronger pelvic floor muscles, which may help if you're having issues with leaking urine.
  • Got friends who don’t have babies? Don't cross them out of your life. Look for common ground.
  • Schedule your own doctors’ appointments. The pediatrician should not be the only check-up appointment on your calendar. You also need to tend to your own health.
  • Get your teeth cleaned. Changes during pregnancy can lead to gum disease, and moms can pass their cavity-causing bacteria to their babies.
  • Are you so drained and down that it disrupts your life? Seek help. Postpartum depression doesn't always happen right after a baby is born. Talk to your doctor or a trusted therapist.

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