Parenting

Your 15 Week Old Baby's Milestones And Development — Sleep, Schmeep

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15 week old baby
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You officially have a 15 week old baby!

By this point, you’re probably either getting out and about more often with your little one, or sending the baby to daycare. Either way — unless you’re keeping him in a plastic bubble – he’s going to be exposed to more germs. (Yay.) To help ward them off, practice judicious hand-washing, carry sanitizer with you, minimize baby’s close contact with people, and avoid situations where you know someone is or has recently been sick. If you have any specific questions about this, you can ask your pediatrician at your baby’s well visit.

Your 15 Week Old Baby’s Development & Growth Milestones

You’re not alone in searching for specifics on what to expect by 15 weeks of your baby’s life. According to the latest search data available, nearly 5,400 people Google just that each month. By 15 weeks, your little one should be sleeping about 15 hours a day and you should be guzzling 15 cups of coffee a day. But because we can’t have nice things, you are also nearing the first of three major sleep regressions before your baby’s second birthday. A growth spurt, teething, and awareness of his surroundings lead to a drastic change in sleep patterns that usually occur at the 4 month, 8 month, and 18 month mark.

The good news is that the regressions usually last anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks and it means your little tot is growing. Implementing a safe nighttime and sleep routine may help you get through the worst of it with your wits intact. A sound machine, swaddle (if it’s still an option for you), and a cool, dark room might just do the trick. Put your baby down drowsy but not quite asleep yet. And if it doesn’t work, add a 16th cup of coffee to your repertoire.

Your 15 Week Old Baby’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones

The 4 to 6 month mark is when your baby starts to figure out what’s up. He is alert and moving around a lot, flipping over from his belly to his back like it’s his job. And it kind of is. He’s babbling, holding his head up like a champ, and loves to play. Clearer vision, growing hand-eye coordination, and motor skills mean he can see the toy, reach for the toy, and grab the toy. Next stop: prom.

By talking, reading, and referring to your little one by his name, you are encouraging speech and thought development. But if you’re too tired to read a bedtime book, a dramatic reading of your Twitter feed will also do the job.

Your 15 Week Old Baby’s Health

It’s tough to recognize when babies are sick sometimes, because random periods of fussiness aren’t all that unusual. And no one wants to be “that mom” who frantically dials the pediatrician at 2 a.m. because the baby sniffled. But by this time, you’ve had your baby long enough to have a baseline knowledge of what’s normal for him – so if something about his behavior seems out of the ordinary, or there’s a sudden unexplained change in his poop or his appetite, or he’s running a low fever, it doesn’t hurt to call. Trust your gut: your maternal instinct is probably sharper than you give yourself credit for!

Your little nugget of joy is heading into his 16th week, so that means he’ll have to go in for his 4-month checkup and shots. Per CDC recommendations, most 4-month old babies get the DTaP, Hib, polio, pneumococcal, and rotavirus vaccines.

Teething Symptoms

As if you haven’t been through enough sleep deprivation, this is also when some babies start showing the early signs and symptoms of teething. If your baby is drooling like a puppy, running a low-grade fever, irritable and fussy, gnawing on his tiny fists, and trying to bite everything in sight, then those chompers are about to cut through. Take a gentle peep at your little one’s gums, they might be irritated and red, a sure sign that he’s teething. Either the bottom or top front teeth should be the first to appear. This is the perfect time to whip out all those cute teething toys and rings you got at the baby shower. However, babies might teeth for weeks without a tooth cutting through.

All this irritation might also be the reason your sweet baby’s sleep schedule gets turned upside down. After all, you’re also nearing the four month sleep regression. So yeah, there’s a lot to look forward to.

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Next Week: Your 16 Week Old Baby

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