5-Month-Fourth Week (24 weeks old)
How your baby’s growing
Your baby now sees and hears the world almost as well as you do. Her communication skills are expanding rapidly, too, as proven by her squeals, bubbling sounds and operatic octave changes. Her sounds can demonstrate her attitude or response to objects, such as happiness, eagerness – or even satisfaction with a problem well solved.
At this age, about half of babies babble, repeating one syllable – such as “ba,” “ma,” “ga,” or other consonant-vowel combinations – over and over. A few will even add another syllable or two, making their sounds more complex.
You can encourage your baby by babbling back at her and by making a game of it (“The sheep says, ‘baaa,'”). Or, when you hear a syllable you can’t identify, just respond enthusiastically with, “Yes, that is a car! Look at how shiny the red paint is!” Your baby will appreciate your encouragement by keeping the conversation going.
How your life’s changing
Wondering how to get enough sleep? When sleep deprivation is a way of life, it can be hard to function during the day. Co-workers who aren’t baby-wrangling may have little idea of what you’re up against. You need a three-pronged approach:
1. More sleep for your baby
At this age, many babies are able to sleep through the night. If yours can’t, look into sleep-training methods. Browse our collection of baby sleep articles for ideas.
2. More sleep for you
- Take a short nap during your break time at work if you can
- Simplify and/or delegate some daily chores so you can get a break
- Go to bed early and let your spouse put your baby to bed for the evening
- Establish a consistent sleep-wake cycle – try to wake up and get to sleep at the same times every day
3. Make sure you get good-quality sleep
- Talk to your doctor about medical remedies if you have trouble getting to sleep. Sometimes getting help in order to induce a few nights’ rest is all you need to reset your body clock.
- Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. Keep work and chores off the bed (and, ideally, out of the room). Make sure your mattress is comfortable. Adjust the light, temperature, and noise in your bedroom to your liking. Keep the TV out of the bedroom and turn the radio off.
- Relax before bedtime so you can nod off faster and sleep more soundly. Ways to unwind include drinking warm milk, practicing yoga nidra, stretching, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing and massage.
- Take care of yourself in other ways. Eat nutritious meals and light snacks, avoid caffeine (at least after noon), and exercise regularly. Try to get the most difficult or tiring work done early in the day, and wind down as the day goes on.