Thrive Baby Thrive
Your excitement is building as you are thirty-seven weeks pregnant now. Your baby is officially deemed full term. Your baby’s organs are all set to perform on their own. If your baby is not already in the head-down position yet, this could be the week!
Your baby is currently on the homestretch and the once rapid weight gain of the last four weeks is slowing significantly. Your uterus will still allow for a little more growth as baby fat (essential fat) continues to develop. This fat surrounds your baby and will provide warmth once born. An ultrasound at this time may be done to guesstimate baby’s size. To do this, your baby’s head, stomach and femur dimensions will be assessed.
Movements may or may not become less defined as specific punches and kicks, they can feel more like twirls, twists and jiggles. However, please be sure to pay close attention to these movements and always trust your instinct. Continue movement counting ideally three times a day. Your baby’s movements and heart rate will basically stay the same now until delivery day. Keep in mind that you are looking for anything different from your baby’s usual and normal routine. If a variation is noticed, call your health care team and make a quick trip to L&D or the ER to make sure your baby is well.
Your baby is now weighing over 6 pounds.
If you are bringing your baby home to meet the four-legged family members, there are some simple techniques to help you prepare for this first meeting so it will be a smooth and welcoming one.
Preparing for your baby’s arrival usually means lots of new furniture and furnishings in the baby’s room. So, prior to your baby’s arrival, begin introducing the new baby’s scents to the four-legged members of your family. Allowing your pets to become familiar with the new baby smells will mean a loving encounter on the baby’s homecoming day.
You can begin by washing the baby’s clothes, receiving blankets, etc. in Dreft or whatever baby detergent you plan to use. Place small bowls of baby powder in the baby’s bureau drawers. As more baby clothes are washed, increasing the scent in baby’s room, begin allowing your pets to come in the room and sniff these items to become familiar with the new aromas.
Once your baby has arrived, take a receiving blanket into the hospital and wrap the baby in it. Then bring the blanket home and let your pets sniff your baby’s scent.
Avoid any kind of element of surprise for your pet. Before entering the house for the first time with your new baby, bring your pet(s) outside the front door to meet the baby on neutral territory.
Canine experts agree that most dogs, especially territorial ones, will do better when meeting for the first time off site; meaning outside of their home. The front or back yard is an optimal meeting spot. To introduce your baby to your pets, take your baby out of the car while leaving the baby in the car seat. Invite your leashed pet(s) to come sniff the baby and meet.
As time goes on and your baby grows, always be extremely cautious and never leave your baby or child alone with your pet(s). Your animals may be the most lovable and docile of creatures when you are with them, but always keep in mind your dog is an unpredictable animal capable of harming your baby. Unfortunately, you cannot and will not ever be able to completely trust your dogs around your baby no matter how well you think you know and understand them.
Now is the time to install your baby’s car seat and have it checked by a Certified Car Seat Technician. Did you know that new parents suffer from exhaustion due to lack of sleep, hormone changes, stress, and changes in their normal routine? Any one of these changes can cause your memory to fail at a time when you least expect it. Even the best of parents or caregivers can overlook a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death. Please visit www.kidsandcars.org for life-saving information and tips before your baby arrives; always “look before you lock.”