Your 10 Week Old Baby
As your 10 week old baby heads towards the three month mark, he has come a very long way since that foetus found himself outside the womb one day!
He is filling out nicely and has probably gone up at least one size of clothes (or more) since birth. He enjoys being held upright against your body, so he can look around and watch the world. But also loves to lie on his back and kick his legs, wave his arms about and generally burn up lots of energy, practicing his gross motor movement. Your 10 week old baby might have worked out how to intentionally bring his hands to his mouth to suck on, and is getting closer to his goal of actually swiping the toys hanging in front of him.
You are almost through one of the most intense stages and can look forward to a period of calm – for a while!
Feeding & Growth
What type of fruit is your 10 week old baby?
Dr William Sears describes babies natural body shapes as apples, pears or bananas. Along with all the other genetic factors we inherit, our metabolism type can also be inherited.
Long and lean babies — Sears calls them ‘banana babies' — burn off calories faster than the plumper ‘apple babies' and ‘pear babies.' Banana-babies are likely to grow more quickly in height than weight, meaning they are often taller but lighter than anticipated. Babies with slower metabolic rates – apples and pears – can gain weight more quickly than height.
If you look around your baby’s family, you will see different body types – tall and thin, short and stout etc. You can expect your baby to settle into his own pre-determined growth pattern, unique to him and his genetic recipe. So when you talk about growth charts and weight gains with other mothers you meet, remember you can’t compare bananas with apples or pears, but each is exactly as it is meant to be.
Sleep & Settling
Junk Sleep is a term you might come across in some of those books which insist your baby requires a strict schedule day and night. They talk about sleep as being something which is regulated by parents, and feeding is done with regimented precision at strict points across the day and night. All sleep, the authors insist, must be planned around, so your baby is in his on cot, in his own darked room (black out blinds in place to prevent any daylight intruding) for all naps in the day and all sleeps in the night. Any variation on this protocol is deemed to be ‘junk sleep', as bad for our babies as junk food.
Yet there is no evidence-based research to support these claims, nor examples of damage created by varying from the strict timetable. Indeed, it appears that babies are wired to sleep wherever and whenever they need: in their mother’s arms, at her breast or any moving in the car or pram. You can read more about junk sleep in our article, Does Your Baby Junk Sleep? 4 Surprising Facts About Baby Sleep.
Play & Development
Most babies prefer lying on their back, so tummy time can be a challenge to fit into their play. You might wonder why there is so much focus on getting babies to play on their tummies, especially if they are happier not doing so.
If your baby spends most of his time on his back, there is a risk he might develop Flat-Head Syndrome which, while it sounds a bit silly, as actually a serious condition also known as ‘positional plagiocephaly’. Researchers have found as many as 47% of two month old babies have flat spots on their heads. Read more about flat head syndrome in our article, Flat Head Syndrome – 6 Tips To Prevent Flat Head.
Your 10 week old baby is really starting to enjoy play now, so it’s a good time to take stock of his toys and set up some play stations for him around your home. If, like most babies, he received an alarming array of pastel coloured teddy bears and other soft toys, you might be disappointed that he shows little interest in these. Their time will come, but at the moment, they have little to offer him visually, and are probably too big to offer much in the way of tactile stimulation. If you don’t have the space to have them all out on display, choose a few with special meaning to leave out and pack the rest away to avoid gathering dust.
Your 10 week old baby will prefer bright toys which he can gaze at, try to reach and will soon be able to hold and chew. Rattles, teething rings, things to hang over his stroller, play gyms and mats will all grab his short attention, especially when you get down on the floor with him and engage him in play. Fill small baskets or boxes with a collection of suitable toys and household items and have places to play in all the rooms you spend time in each day. Change it up frequently by laying him in a different direction, placing a mirror in front of him during tummy time and moving outside when the weather suits.
Don't forget: your baby’s favourite toy will always be you! Talk to him about whatever you are doing – it feels silly but you are building his language skills and stimulating his brain. Tell him whose laundry you are folding now, why you prefer brown rice over white and what colour flowers you are planting. Sing him simple songs and nursery rhymes – if you can’t remember the words, Google them or find a good book like Merrily Merrily, still produced by the Australian Breastfeeding Association and a key text for educators in Australia.
Wear your baby as often as you can: the upright position offers the same benefits as tummy time and reduces the time he spends lying on his back. Do your grocery shopping, fold your laundry, tidy the kitchen and vacuum or mop your floors. All the movements you make will stimulate his vestibular system, important for balance and gross motor skill development. Find more reasons to wear your baby here here: Babywearing – 10 Benefits Of Wearing Your Baby.
If you've started to use a bottle and teat with your breastfed baby, you might be wondering if there is a teat available which is like a human nipple. The aisles in the supermarket and baby store are filled with promises, but how do you know which is right for you? Read more in our article Choosing A Teat Most Like The Breast – 4 Surprising Facts.