6 weeks old – What my baby can do?
In pre-term babies, smiling is often delayed, usually by half the amount of time by which your baby was premature.
Look at her while she watches your face. Her smiles are a clever way of bringing you closer to her. Who wouldn’t want to spend time gazing at that smiley, beautiful baby?
In a couple more weeks, she may turn her head around when she hears you. Soon, she will smile even more and kick her legs when she sees you. Your little one may increasingly spend more time awake without crying and may stop crying when you pick her up and talk to her.
How does she communicate with you?
She may not be able to say “Mummy” or “Daddy” but she is already making small grunty noises and cries. She will mouth at you and blow bubbles when you look at her and talk to her. Some of her noises indicate pleasure such as a throaty gurgling noise.
What can she see?
Babies are programmed to act as scanners, looking at corners of things and then up, down and across an object. They look for edges, which they see as a difference in light intensity and, from this, they work out what they are looking at. She will be able to focus and see your face. She can see out of the corner of her eye. She will start staring intently at interesting objects as though she’d like to be able to grab them.
What can she hear?
Within three days, a baby can tell the difference between her mother’s voice and that of a stranger’s. Babies are particularly responsive to vowel sounds and human speech, which is why some language experts believe that babies are pre-programmed to learn to speak.
What are her physical achievements?
If you gently pull your baby up to a sitting position, she can hold her head up for a few moments. When lying flat on her tummy your baby can also lift her head off the floor.
Her hands are often closed but, occasionally, they will be open and, if you touch the underside of her fingertips, she will grasp your fingers in a reflex action.
What is the best way to play with her?
She wants entertainment in short bursts. If you hold your face close to hers, about 30 cm away, and move it theatrically as you speak in that slow, up-and-down voice, watch her face and you will see her show excitement and interest.
She loves skin-to-skin contact. She will enjoy watching a brightly coloured, musical mobile, the brighter the better. (Pastel understatement may go with your décor but it’s not for your baby’s fun. Talk to your baby a lot and stop to ‘listen’ to her too. She will love this as she feels a part of a communicative system. Attach safe toys to her cot and pushchair – use different textures and shapes and change them often as she will get used to them. Carry her around too and let her see the world around her. She will love seeing trees, the sky, stripey patterns such as bookcases will fascinate her, other children playing and so much more.
Encourage her to play in the bath by moving her legs so they kick. It won’t be too long before she’ll make sure you are soaking wet and laughing with her.
If you would like to learn more about ‘play’ techniques to encourage your baby’s developmental potential, I can show you lots of fun, age-appropriate activities to stimulate your little one: Contact Suzy