Your baby's brain development is booming. You might feel at
this point like your baby is truly "awake"—no longer a drowsy newborn but alert
and ready to play. In some ways, it can feel like you've turned a corner and things
are easier. Maybe life has a new balance or you're getting a golden 4-hour
stretch of continuous sleep. On the other hand, there's more work involved in
parenting your baby during the day, because she's so ready to learn and
Suddenly, there's so much more to do and see, so babies can
become more distracted and have a harder time concentrating for a full feeding
session. If that's the case, try to feed your baby in a quiet, dark place if
possible, or use a breastfeeding cover. Nursing babies at this age are still
eating every 2–4 hours. At night, your baby may have dropped a feeding or two.
If your baby is taking formula, the rule of thumb is 2.5
ounces per pound after 3 months of age, says Yael Wapinkski, M.D. That's not an
exact calculation, though. Watch your baby and try not to swoop in with milk
for every fuss (maybe your baby is tired, needs company, needs space—try to
tell the difference so you don't end up feeding at every peep).
For breastfeeding moms going back to work, Wendy Haldeman,
one of Los Angeles' leading lactation consultants, recommends taking a
"returning to work" breastfeeding class. Her best advice for a breastfeeding
mom making the move back to the office: "Try and store up to 100 ounces of
frozen milk prior to returning."
If nighttime sleep has gotten better but daytime sleep is
more difficult, you're not alone, says Los Angeles sleep consultant and author
Heather Turgeon. Three-month-olds are famous for catnapping and they often
sleep for 20–30 minutes at a stretch. "This can be so frustrating for parents,"
says Turgeon. "You barely have time to check your email and have a snack before
your baby is awake again." The advice Turgeon gives her clients for this age is
to note the time the baby woke up (in the morning or from a nap) and try to put
her down again after 90 minutes. Whether a baby has slept for 20 minutes or 2
hours, Turgeon says they usually need another nap after 90 minutes of awake
time. As long as you're practicing putting your baby down awake, she will
eventually learn how to self-soothe and her naps will grow to more like an hour
and a half.
Don't succumb to the sleeping-through-the-night competition,
say Turgeon. Babies sleep through the night at all different ages, but at 6
months is when your baby's biology is on her side. That's when almost all
babies are capable of sleeping 11–12 hours (even though it may include feedings).
Forget the fancy toys and developmental gadgets. Your baby
is a social creature, and she's learning all the time from her interactions
with you. "Babies are working
on establishing a strong relationship with caretakers, so just letting your
baby listen to you talk or examining your face and expressions and intonations
as you speak to him will engage him more than any gadget," says Wapinski.
Your baby is learning to control her hands, bring them
together, and open and close her fingers to hold objects. Simple objects to pass
between her hands and look at will do. Put a mirror in front of your baby and
watch her expressions.
Your baby may be able tolaughnow, and make other sweet noises.
Sheknows your face
and your voicewell.
She's bringing herhands together. They may be able to meet in the middle, which gives
her playtime lots of potential for passing objects between her