The fifth month of the newborn

Source: Shutterstock

When both parents work outside the home, it is often around the baby's five months that the mother returns to work. It is therefore necessary to have decided in time to whom to entrust the child during the hours in which it will be necessary to get away from him.

Read also: Breastfeeding and Return to Work

Very important in this regard to make one informed and conscious choice, which will help to chase away those feelings of guilt with which it is all too easy to be struggling when the time of first posting. If the baby is left in good hands and the parents are calm about the choice made, the temporary distance from the mother will not leave negative marks. Conversely, the little one can develop unpleasant sensations of alarm if the mother is sad, nervous, irritable or worse distressed as the day of recovery approaches.

Read also: Children in kindergarten: how to manage the posting

Who to leave it to

Nursery, grandparents or babysitter: here are the three possibilities to turn to when returning to work. Each of them has some pros and cons, for which the absolute ideal solution does not exist while there is "the best" in relation to the single child and the single family.

Nursery, advantages and disadvantages

The main benefit of choosing the nest lies in the fact of become part of a community of relationships which includes not only adults and children of various ages, but also the peers of the child, that is small children like him, from whom even the very young learn a lot. Another benefit lies in the fact thatand the parents find themselves within a community made up of other parents and educators, to whom they can turn in times of difficulty. 

As for the disadvantages, the first is logistical: in Del Paese the nests are still too few and they are not enough to cover the needs of the population, especially in the South. Moreover, even where they are present, they are often very expensive: in many cases they are foreseen bonus even at a regional level, but even these do not always meet the needs of those who really need them. 

Another limitation concerns the fact that entry into a community by a still young child, with an immune system not yet fully mature, opens the way to the risk, so to speak "physiological", that the child often falls ill. When this happens it may then become necessary to find a person to take care of him on the days he stays at home.

Grandparents, advantages and disadvantages

If they are available, grandparents - or, often, a grandmother - can be a valuable resource, both in terms of savings and because parents can hear it emotionally closer to the family of what would happen with a nanny or with the staff of a nursery.

The main disadvantages are two: for the child (and the parents) the aspect of community and relationship between peers is missing, especially if the child does not attend other educational services such as playrooms or childcare centers; in many cases, moreover, they must be taken into account discontent related to the relationship between the child's parents and their own parents (which can trigger emotional reactions also painful) or to the diversity of educational style

Nanny, advantages and disadvantages

Especially in the first year of life, the nanny can be a valid alternative to grandparents or the nursery if these are not available or accessible. Obviously you have to find the right babysitter, a trustworthy person with common sense.  

Among the limits: the cost, the fact that the child's relationship with a group of peers is missing, the possibility that - in the case of a working relationship - mom and dad will end up expecting exactly what they ask (or imagine) . Even the nanny, however, will have her own educational style and a minimum of diversity must be taken into account. 

Read also: Tagesmutter, what it is and how it works

If the child rebels

It may happen that in the first days of the mother's resumption of work, the child shows little appreciation for the novelty, be it represented by the grandparents, the nursery or the nanny. To avoid that the new situation is badly accepted by the child, it is often sufficient to stick to, regardless of the choice made, to criterion of gradualness.

If it has been decided for the nest, it is appropriate devote all the time necessary to the setting, following the instructions of the educators. The nanny should be hired a little before returning to work, so that the child gets to know her in the presence of the mother. Even if it is the grandparents who have to take care of the child, it is good to get him used to being alone with them, unless the relationship is already well established. 

Read also: Difficult nest insertion, tips to overcome it

The puppet of the heart

L'transitional object, first described by the English pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, is a physical object that provides psychological and emotional comfort to the child, especially when he has to temporarily abandon his primary emotional context (mother, family, home), perhaps to go to the nursery or a few hours at the grandparents' house.

In practice, the puppet of the heart even if in reality it can be anything: a doudou, a doll, a puppet, but also a handkerchief or a blanket.

Some believe that the child gets used to having a transitional object and that since he is very small he can be put in contact with a puppet or similar, which will tend to become his favorite. Not everyone, however, agrees. "It is not certain that the child will accept it" comments the pedagogist Monica Castagnetti. "Not all children really need it: some already have this comfort within them, they know that their mother will come back. Others replace the physical object with a habit or a ritual". And even if they want a transitional object, the children don't necessarily choose what their parents thought for them. Maybe mom and dad bought a delicious (and very expensive) doudou, but their child prefers an old handkerchief from their mother. .

Where to keep it when it is awake

Around five months old, you can start using the stroller, with the backrest tilted slightly downwards, in order to prevent the child, who is not yet able to assume the sitting position for more than a few minutes, from being folded back on himself. . The stroller, unlike the pram, allows the little one to look around and therefore to spend the waking hours more pleasantly.

As for the classic box, it must be said that it does not enjoy the consent of all specialists. As a document from the Pediatric Cultural Association writes on the pros and cons of various children's items, the stroller "represents the greatest conflict between needs of the child who should learn to move and fend for himself, and those of the parents. Limits psychomotor development, even if for parents it is the safest and most comfortable place to leave the child. ”The ideal would be to organize the house, or at least a room, so that it is itself safe for the child. 

Read also: How to transform the house in Montessori style

If you really decide for the box, the stay inside it must in any case be short (especially if the accommodation is not welcomed with enthusiasm). Toys suitable for the child's age should be placed in the playpen, for example rattles or even wooden spoons. It is already possible to start at five months.

It can happen

Red eye

It can happen that babies and infants of a few months have one or both little red eyes. The fact is that the little eyes are very delicate and they redden from any irritating factor, even trivial. Between these: 

  • dust, pollen and any small particles that can enter the eye
  • atmospheric agents (wind and and excessive sunlight)
  • small scratches caused by the child himself, who often has sharp claws
  • small rubbing, for example on the sheet

"The tissues of children's eyes are very reactive, the eye can quickly redden even disproportionately to the real extent of the small trauma suffered", he stresses. Piercarlo Salari, freelance pediatrician and head of the parenting support working group of the Del Paesena Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics (SIPPS).

What to do

First don't be scared, precisely because it is a very common event that most likely depends on a local irritant factor. Instead, what should be done is to try, as far as possible, to reconstruct how much the redness may have caused, also with a view to prevention. Does the child have long nails? It may have been a scratch, and still it's worth keeping them short and clean at all times. There seems to be a particular reactivity to sunlight? Then you need to pay particular attention to the passages from darker areas to brighter areas and maybe buy a couple of sunglasses for very little ones

If, on the other hand, the red eye is accompanied by:

  • really significant redness, "on"
  • secretions of intense yellow color and creamy consistency
  • swelling of the eyelids
  • incessant tearing 
  • strong photophobia (light discomfort)
  • irritability
  • known contacts with other children with infectious conjunctivitis

it is possible that infectious conjunctivitis is in a course, which can be of viral or bacterial origin. The pediatrician will assess the situation and decide how to proceed: in some cases the indication will be to protect both eyes (even if only one is affected) with an eye drops or antibiotic-based ophthalmic ointment. The dirty little eye

Dirty eye

Another common occurrence in the eyes of newborns and infants is the presence of whitish or pale yellow discharge, even slightly crostified, especially in the morning upon awakening. In practice, the eyelids seem to be glued together by a thin film, which then fragments into small crusts. This "kneading" depends on a precise anatomical condition and that is the fact that the nasolacrimal duct is not always open, a small duct that allows tears to drain by connecting the cavity of the orbit with the nasal cavity.

What to do

"Nothing special, if not keep the eyes clean with special solutions, which reproduce the hypertonic nature of tears "explains Salari. Within a few days or weeks the duct usually opens on its own. If this does not happen, as the months pass (even around the fifth-sixth month) that the eye is always wet or the tears often flow on their own. "Then the pediatrician will prescribe one pediatric ophthalmic examination with explicit request of probing of the nasolacrimal duct".

Red skin

If on the baby's skin - in particular on the face, hands, the hollow of the knee and arm, the root of the foot or the nape of the neck - they appear reddish patches or zones of peeling especially on the forehead and scalp, it could be atopic dermatitis or eczema. This is na chronic inflammatory skin disease rather frequent, which usually appears in the first two years of life, starting from 5/6 months of age, and is typical of the first 6/7 years. It is not contagious and in many cases it disappears with puberty or adulthood.

To do

After receiving an actual diagnosis of atopic dermatitis, the condition is addressed with one so-called "step" therapy because the modalities change according to the phases of the condition, which alternates moments of remission and reappearance. 

In the phases of remission, the use of emollient and moisturizing creams after the bath, while in the so-called flares (acute phases) the use of cortisone cream. In the event that not even cortisone proves to be sufficient to control eczema, the pediatrician can prescribe a drug antihistamine by mouth. Sometimes bacteria can proliferate on the damaged skin: in this case an antibiotic may also be necessary.

The goals of the fifth month

Every child has his own time frame and conquering a certain competence a little earlier or a little later means nothing to general respect. It is true, however, that there are stages of development and knowing broadly what to expect can help to understand if there is any problem.

Between the fifth and seventh month of life, children generally begin to control head and trunk well, to sit with or without support, to get on their side and roll, to grab objects, both with the right hand and with the left, and to bring them to the mouth. And again: they are interested in family events, they become more and more expressive (and hilarious!), They begin to behave differently than usual when they are in new environments or with strangers, in addition to emitting vocalizations and warbling they begin the lallation. 

When to worry

If between five and seven months a baby:

  • does not grab objects
  • use one hand much more than the other
  • he is not very attentive, not very curious and not very expressive
  • it does not emit vocalizations or the vocalization is very poor, without "dialogue" with adults

  • newborn fifth month
  • newborn 5 month
  • child's agenda
  • grandparents
  • baby sitter
  • nursery
  • passeggino
  • reddened skin
add a comment of The fifth month of the newborn
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.