"Babies are very social," says Prachi Shah, M.D., a developmental pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital, in Houston. "Making different sounds is their way of connecting with you and telling you what they want and need." Those sometimes-wacky noises are also a sign that your baby is developing the skills required to get ready to talk. But what do her sounds mean? Our cheat sheet will help you decode her communication.
We are almost comical with our hope and faith put into our due dates. As the magical day appears we hold our breath just waiting for labor to begin. It hardly matters that only 8 percent of women actually deliver on their due date – that date is something we look at carefully, even if we try not to. But if you're like most women, especially those having their first babies, that due date is simply going, going, gone and you're left large, uncomfortable and still very much pregnant. Now what?
"A watched pot never boils!" You might not be interested in archaic folk expressions as you waddle from room to room, but do your best to stop waiting for labor. The harder you wait the longer it takes. Find other productive things to do with your time instead. Write to friends, organize your list of addresses for your Christmas cards, create a scrapbook, and fill in the first few pages of the baby book. If you can, stop waiting while you do physical jobs like cleaning out the closets or clearing off the bookshelves. The more you move, the healthier you'll be. The exception would be for those mothers who are on bed rest. Those mothers can be busy with some scrapbooking instead of hauling winter clothes around.
Moving around inside your house is great, but moving around outside your house is even better. Depending on the conditions outside, get yourself dressed and head out the door. Take long strolls through the neighborhood, or drive to a place where you can do a gentle hike. Just know that walking helps with labor in some cases, so don't walk too far. Soak up some sunshine and get plenty of fresh air. Relaxation and exercise is good for both of you.
Cook and Bake
Some mothers are more capable than others of getting back into the kitchen when they are ready to cook. If you like to make meals for your family, use this time to make plenty of frozen meals. You can cook all kinds of yummy soups and casseroles to freeze. You might as well make some treats to freeze, too. Label everything and get it organized. Then, when you do come home from the hospital, dinner will be a quick pop into the oven away.
Go Window Shopping
Once you have a little one you'll be less likely to leave the house for awhile. Taking baby out into the big, bad, germy world is discouraged and you'll be working around a nap schedule for awhile, too. While you have the time, why not head out into the world to see what you can find in the way of bargains and treasures. Look in on your favorite stores and peek into stores you've wondered about. You don't have to spend any money at all, but while you're browsing you'll be learning a great deal for those fast shopping trips you'll be making once your baby appears and forces you to move more quickly to accommodate her schedule.