4 - 6 months
Growing in confidence
Your baby’s self-confidence is growing fast now. At this stage, babies begin to use their hands to discover their toes – and of course try to suck them! Your baby will also start to turn those first baby noises into a babble that begins to resemble words. When baby reaches 5 months or so, it’s time to try different foods like small amounts of finely pureed flakes or banana. Take your time and allow baby to let you know when enough is enough. The rhythm will come quickly. Now is also the moment to begin getting your shape back. This won’t happen overnight but it’s not far away now! You can also start getting baby into a regular sleep pattern by using a reliable bedtime ritual. And don’t forget to take plenty of baby photos – they will always be treasured. We’ve got some super photo ideas for how to make the most of them.
That's me, that is!
It's not just all the things happening around your child that are exciting and interesting. The child's self-confidence also comes in leaps and bounds the first time they use their hands to explore and discover their toes – and they immediately reach out for them to try to put them in their mouth. By the way, this will be true of almost anything within the child's reach over the next few months.
I've got to tell you something
Everybody knows how difficult it is to learn a foreign language. However, learning one's own native language is a real challenge. Whereas the first noises the baby made were all a bit of a muddle, they are now slowly starting to make sense. From time to time, the child will babble away as if lost in thought, but he is already well aware of how he needs to change his voice to get what he wants.
Causes of caries and consequences
Bacteria cause caries – they turn sugar from food into acids, which damage the teeth. The microorganisms do not originate in the mouth of the child but are transmitted through saliva – usually from the closest caregivers.
Tooth development begins during the sixth week of pregnancy.
- At the time of birth, the crowns of the primary teeth are already finished.
- The first tooth is usually visible between the sixth and eighth month.
- The primary teeth are complete with eight incisors, four canines and eight molars.
Proper oral care
Oral hygiene begins at birth. First, use a soft microfiber cloth (e.g. MAM Oral Care Rabbit) to clean the baby’s gums and get the child used to daily dental care.
As soon as the first tooth is visible, things really get started. It’s time for the first trip to the dentist and parents brush the children’s teeth with special baby toothbrushes (e.g. MAM Training Brush). If the baby takes medication, the dentist will decide whether a prophylaxis is needed.
Brushing & Toothpaste
- For babies, every evening after eating.
- Children from two years brush their teeth mornings and evenings.
- Use a baby toothbrush and fluoride (500ppm fluoride), unflavoured toothpaste. Your dentist can help with information about the right amount of fluoride.
- With MAM toothbrushes, dosing is simple: The toothpaste goes right on the pink bristles. Just a touch is enough for babies and a pea-sized amount is ideal for toddlers.
The “COl Technique” the secret to proper brushing:
- First the chewing surfaces, then the outer and lastly, the inner.
- Brush from “red to white“, that is, from gum to tooth.
- Parents set examples for their children – for brushing too! Children are happy when they can use their own toothbrush (e.g. MAM Baby's Brush) to brush their teeth.
- Since they cannot master the technique until they are of school age, it is important that parents do a follow-up brushing for them until the age of 8.
- Here’s how, lying down: The baby lies on the changing table or in bed for brushing. Brushing goes easier when the parent gently lifts up the baby’s lip
- If the baby is sitting in a high chair or your lap, it’s time for the “Heartbeat Position”: The parent is behind the baby and gently caresses the baby’s head with the left hand. It now rests against the chest and can hear the parent’s reassuring heartbeat. With the left index finger, the adult pulls the baby’s lips up and cleans with the right hand.
The right foods
Babies easily learn good dental care and healthy eating from their
- Eat together and at regular times
- Water and unsweetened tea for thirst
- Acidic drinks and fruit juices only with meals
- Beware of hidden sugar in foods
- Sweets for dessert, not as frequent between meal snacks
- Regularly clean spoon and soother, never lick them off
- Tooth friendly sweets are available at the pharmacy
- Neutralise sticky and sugary food by brushing the teeth
It doesn't take parents long to realize that a child's development does not always stick to given timeframes. For this reason, the following plan is only an approximate guideline for teething:
- In the 6th week of pregnancy the formation of the dental ridge is already underway; the substances for baby teeth develop.
- Between the 4th and 6th month of pregnancy hard tooth structures develop; at birth, the tooth crowns are already finished.
- In individual cases babies are born with a visible tooth – don’t worry, even this is within normal boundaries.
- Generally, the preparation for teething starts from 4 to 6 months.
- Between 6 and 8 months of age it is likely that an incisor (bottom middle) will appear first.
- Followed shortly by the top middle incisors, then the side ones.
- Around 14 months the first molars arrive, then the canines.
- Finally, the second molars can be expected from the second birthday.
- The complete set of baby teeth consists of 20 teeth – 8 incisors, 4 canines and 8 molars.
What babies need now
When new tingling, itching and pushing sensations are suddenly felt due to growing teeth beneath the surface, babies particularly like to put things in their mouths and chew on them. This provides relief. Everything that cools feels good, usually the next best object within reach, is chewed on until it reaches body temperature.
Oral care accessories developed especially for infants offer good relief:
First aid for early teething: The innovative MAM Bite & Relax mini teethers are perfectly adapted to the 2 teething phases and offer relief exactly where needed: Bite & Relax Phase 1 easily reaches front teeth, Bite & Relax Phase 2 is ideal for the emerging back teeth. The differently structured surface of the mini teether massages the gums and helps babies relax. The innovative shape helps train baby’s fine motor skills.
Looks cool – and is cooling: the MAM Cooler teether with cooling water-filled element. It is easy to hold and completely safe to chew on. The different surfaces are fun to experiment with. In addition, the shape is such that the cooling element can comfortably reach even the molars. Different colours and motives sharpen the visual sense.
The MAM Massaging Brush is not only ideal for cleaning the very first teeth. Parents can also use it to give their child an oral massage, which helpscombat itching and tingling. The shape and brush head make it possible toreach all parts of the mouth and the right spots accurately. The long handle invites babies to hold on and join in.
Start with baby food
Around the 5th or 6th month is the time for a smooth transition from “just mum” to more. Along with breastfeeding, the first attempts at supplementary food can now get started.
The child will decide when it is the right time to try different foods:
Food won’t be spit out any more, the head can be held up without help, sitting up alone works quite well now - and the interest in what the grownups are eating increases noticeably.
- For the first attempts, try small amounts, about 2 - 3 teaspoons, of finely pureed foods and gradually increase.
- When babies move their head forward to reach the spoon it usually means “yes, more”.
- Turning the head away and being easily distracted are the typical signs of “I’ve had enough”.
- By the first birthday, children should be eating with the family rhythm- breakfast, lunch and dinner. This rhythm usually comes about on its own since babies’ hunger signals come after 3 - 5 hours at the most.
Good taste, from the start
In the beginning, babies tend to reject food that is new and strange
For well-balanced eating habits from the start, all that is needed are
plenty of variety, some patience and a good example since children
watch their caregivers very closely and learn from them.
Slowly increase the consistency:
6 - 9 months
- Steamed and finely pureed foods and soluble foods (e.g. flakes)
- Then thicker porridge and coarsely mashed foods (i.e. mashed bananas)
- Firmer, grated food is also good (e.g. apples)
- Solid foods finely sliced, diced or chopped (fruit, vegetables and some foods that the whole family eats as well)
Dos and Don'ts for baby food
- Fish and eggs – thoroughly heated
- Lots of fruits and vegetables
- Porridge – best with a bit of vegetable oil
- Ground nuts
- Honey – not until age 2
- Raw preparations of eggs, fi sh or meat
- Food that can be accidentally swallowed
- whole, like nuts or popcorn
- Salt, sugar and reduced fat foods
- Processed meats such as sausage and ham
- Alcohol and caffeinated drinks
Back in shape: losing your baby bump
The pregnancy's over, you've survived the birth and the baby is back home safe and sound – now it's time to get back in shape.
Please don't worry about your figure: You won't be able to get rid of the extra weight you've put on over the last nine months overnight. But the good news is you will eventually get back in shape. At first though, it's more a question of feeling good again than simply burning off fat. You should definitely steer clear of high-performance sport so soon after the birth.
The best way to get rid of the figure you've acquired over the last nine months is to do some gentle exercises for the stomach, pelvis and back area. A mother does not require a personal trainer or any fitness equipment to do this. You don't even need a babysitter as the baby can be there alongside you – and it's much more fun to be active together. It might just be a very simple exercise, for example:
- Lie on your back.
- Place your baby on your stomach and hold him carefully.
- Bend your legs, then raise your pelvis until your thigh and pelvis form a line.
- Tense up the base of your pelvis, maintain this for a short while, then lower the pelvis again.
- Make sure that the baby does not slide down.
- Repeat the exercise several times.
Lots of exercises like these are demonstrated on courses, on websites or in magazines and they can be done at home.
It's bound to take a few weeks before your body recovers and you regain your former strength. Only then should you participate in sport again.
Totally relaxed into dreamland
Does your baby not want to go to sleep?
Or only wants to do so when you have entirely different plans?
One thing always helps: Stay relaxed.
Sleep is a natural need which does good and is a real joy – as long as it does not become a burdensome duty. Make sure your baby gets a sense of this too and make the process of going to sleep something you enjoy together!
Sleeping rituals make babies happy – and tired.
Bedtime rituals are not only relaxing, but can also be very valuable to the parent-child relationship. Whether you prefer to end the day with a bath, a story or a song, the main thing is that you stick to a clear ritual that your child can get used to. For inspiration, we have put together a few tried-and-tested rituals for you that you may of course also combine with one another.
- take a warm bath
- play a calm game together
- take baby's favourite soft toys to bed with them
- talk about the experiences of the day
- sing a song to baby or sing along with them
- listen to an audio play together
- play a musical instrument of your own
- read a good-night story to your baby
- stroke or massage
- wish them good night
- draw the curtains and switch off / dim the light
Try to stick to your sleeping rituals as much as you can. Even if you are staying away from home, this process can make it much easier for your baby to get to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings.
Captured right from the very first moment
Add to the photo archives? Or the family album? Digital baby photos can do much more!
Babies are the most popular subject for photos. And the cute photos of babies are too good to just be consigned to the archives on CD. So here are some more ideas for digital baby photos.
- The digital picture frame. It looks like a "traditional" picture frame but it has an LCD screen and memory capacity – available from electrical retailers. This allows various baby shots to be shown at different times.
- Digiprints: Whether you go for a T-shirt, mug or puzzle, any item that you use every day will look better with a picture of your baby smiling on it. And it's so simple: Take the files to your nearest print shop and in just a few hours your memento will be ready. It won't cost much but it'll have a big impact.
- Digital scrapbook: The individual pages of the album can be edited using special graphics programs. Numerous decorative elements surrounding the photo make each page unique and special.
- Photobook: The idea is to come up with a great design and not just stick lots of photos everywhere. Suppliers, guides and graphic design programs can be found on the Internet under "Photobook". The digital photos can be arranged very easily and e-mailed to a print shop. A few days later, the complete photobook will be sent to you through the post.
- Baby homepages: If you know a bit about the Internet, you'll be able to set up a dedicated baby homepage. This is where you can upload and download all the latest pictures and photos. And grandmas, grandpas, friends and relatives will always be right up-to-date on the baby's development, no matter how far away they are.
- Birthday slide shows: A brief look back on the previous year's photos to mark a birthday will be a great hit with all party guests – even if the birthday child is still very young. Play the show on a screen or laptop or, if you have one, project it onto the wall using a projector. Tip: Expand the birthday show every year.