During the first couple of months of life, babies exhibit certain reflexes that are present from birth. However, they also develop the skills and abilities needed for future coordination of movement, communication and learning. Certain activities can encourage development during the 11th week. Though there is a general timeline for the types of milestones that should be reached at each stage of development, every baby develops at his own pace.
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Hands and Motor Coordination
By 11 weeks, most babies have made a new discovery: their hands. With the increase in muscle and motor coordination, many babies at this age are able to move their arms and hands as desired and usually find them to be the most interesting thing around. An 11-week-old baby can often be observed examining, flexing and sucking on his hands. These behaviours are completely normal and can even be soothing and self-entertaining for him.
Strengthing Neck Muscles
Around the 11th week, babies begin to gain enough strength in their neck muscles to hold their heads steady and even lift their heads up for several seconds. When laying on their stomachs, babies can begin to do mini push ups for short periods of time. This is an important precursor skill to sitting up and crawling in the future. You can encourage a baby that is doing these behaviours by holding toys in front of her or sitting in front her. Another way to help improve the muscle development in the neck at this stage is to lay her on her back and pull her into a sitting position by her hands. She should be able to hold her head in line with her body at this point.
Hearing and Learning
At any stage, reading is beneficial to the learning and communication skills of young children. Babies approximately 11 weeks old are not only able to listen to stories and benefit from the varying tones and pitches in your voice, but can be interested and captivated by the illustrations. Reading to your baby is a good way to sooth and relax him while also helping develop vital communication skills. If your baby looses interest in the story, don't worry as that is normal, just move on to something different and come back to it.
Remember that each baby develops at her own pace. Don't worry if your baby takes a little longer to develop some of these skills. According to KidsHealth, talking to your doctor is not necessary unless your baby is not doing the following by the end of the third month: "opening and closing her hands, grasping or holding objects in the hands, supporting her own head, or lifting the head and chest when lying on her stomach."
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