14 Week Old Baby
Your 14 week old baby will be showing his own personality already – is he an extravert or introvert?
Does he love meeting new people or does he take his time getting to know them?
Remember to respect his need for extra stimulation or quiet reflection. Just like adults, babies have their own comfort levels.
Your 14 week old baby is taking in so much from the world around him and he loves to hear you talk about it.
Describe your day-to-day life with him and take him out to see new things. The zoo, the animal farm, or even the supermarket can present new things, words and sounds. Watch for signs of over-stimulation or tiredness, and stop before he is overwhelmed. Little and often works best for new experiences.
Your home is full of interesting things too, for example odd sounds like the vacuum cleaner and strange sights like your washing machine and dryer. Don’t limit your baby’s home to his nursery or play space — give him guided tours and let him watch his world while you work around the home.
Feeding Your 14 Week Old Baby
In the past, formula fed babies were fed to strict timetables, with no room for individual variation. The volume of feeds was steadily increased according to babies’ weight gains. However, as research into breastfeeding has revealed a few misconceptions around breastfed babies’ intake, it makes leads to the question – should formula fed babies also be given more flexibility in feeding?
It makes sense that there's no one-size-fits-all for any form of infant feeding. Our article, How Often Should I Feed My Baby Formula? 3 Things To Know explains how to formula feed your 14 week old baby in a less regimented fashion. You can also make feed times more like the experience of a breastfeed, by using a technique known as bottle nursing. Bottle nursing is useful whether you are feeding expressed breastmilk, donor milk or infant formula to your baby.
Your 14 week old breastfed baby will still have periods of cluster feeding, most likely in the late afternoon or early evening. This is commonly known as the witching hour. This time of day is demanding for most families, as toddlers and older children also become tired, hungry and need extra attention. As your baby is more likely to be settled in the morning or early afternoon, it can help to use those times to get a head start on the evening by preparing dinner and getting other household chores out of the way.
If your partner gets home from work during this unsettled period, they can help settle the baby between feeding sessions by bathing the baby, going for a walk with the pram or baby carrier, or giving you a short break to take a shower or rest if you can.
If both parents are coming home from work at this time and baby is extra tired after being in daycare, ways to minimise your workload in the evening might mean convenience meals or takeout more often than you would like. One of the more healthy take out options is a roast chicken – you can always throw together salad or veggies to go with it. Rest assured, this period will begin to improve over the next couple of months, so using shortcuts is one way to help you all survive. Don't forget to ask for help from family or friends.
Sleep and Settling
Your 14 week old baby may already have outgrown his bassinet or be close to it. That tiny newborn who looked so small the first day you put him down to sleep is now taller, heavier and more active. It will soon be time to review where he sleeps, if you haven’t already.
SIDS guidelines recommend that your baby shares a room with his mother for the first 6-12 months, so you might need to do some rearranging to fit your baby’s cot into your bedroom. Even if your baby is sleeping long stretches between feeds at night, there is a period of developmental night waking not far away, so it makes sense to keep your baby close. Here are 5 Sleep Options For Your Baby.
Are you feeling pressure from others to change your 14 week old baby’s sleep patterns? Are family, friends or health professionals telling you night feeds are no longer necessary and your baby should be sleeping through? Or are you being “gifted” books about sleep training, controlled crying or cry it out techniques?
It can feel like you're under attack, and you can start to doubt your own beliefs. Luckily, you can refer to some real sleep experts who support gentle parenting practices. Baby Sleep Books – BellyBelly’s Top 6 Books are written by the specialists in infant sleep we trust, who base their recommendations on current, evidence-based research into normal infant sleep. Avoid the major baby sleep myths and make informed choices which suit your parenting philosophies.
Play and Development
Could your 14 week old baby be teething? Yes, it is possible.
If your baby is at the early end of the typical age for the eruption of his first teeth, then you might see signs of teething or even a first tooth appear in your three month old baby’s mouth. At the other end of normal, it might be one year before that first pearly white makes an appearance. While the rare occurrence of one or more natal teeth (baby teeth present at birth) is a novelty, the reality is, most first teeth appear from the gums at around six months. So, rather than blame unexpected crying or other symptoms on teething, be sure to check out all other possibilities and visit your baby’s doctor if you are concerned.
If you think you can actually see white spots on your baby’s gum line, which look like teeth ready to break through, your doctor can also confirm if these are the more likely Epstein’s Pearls, a benign cyst often seen in babies, and nothing to be concerned about.
As your 14 week old baby gets better at hand-eye coordination, his wide swipes towards hanging toys are getting more focused and he is more likely to reach his target. You can encourage him by sitting opposite, holding a rattle or simple toy he can grasp. Watch as he concentrates to aim for it! He won’t be able to reach and grasp the toy at first, but his hands might make contact, which he will consider a win. You can vary the toys and cheer him on, as he gradually finetunes his skills. Before you know it, he will be able to reach out and grab things, so watch out if you wear glasses! Hair (ouch) and noses are popular favourites too.
These skills will be important to him when he starts solids at six months, as they enable him to reach for food and grab it. The second stage of this skill will be bringing the toy to his mouth so suck and chew. These skills will get lots of practice in the next few months. Remember though, these abilities don’t mean he is ready to start solids, they are just part of his preparations to be able to.
In Australia, new mothers have 18 weeks paid parental leave. If you're beginning the countdown to your return, you might find our article Going Back To Work After Baby – 5 Tips For A Smooth Transition useful reading.