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Your 5-Week-Old Baby and You

Baby Smiles

You'll notice around this time that your baby is smiling more -- and meaning to (these are not just gas smiles!). These smiles are different from the early ones that you may have noticed. These are the result of social learning and external cues, and not simply a reflexive response. He or she is learning a lot right now through observation.
Your baby is intently observing you, intensely in tune to your facial expressions and tone of voice. As soon as they are able, your baby will begin to imitate you. Provided that you are giving them plenty of smiles to observe, by the time your baby is five weeks old, they will be able to model your smiles right back to you.
Playing eye-to-eye games and encouraging longer periods of maintained eye contact will help the reflexive smiles graduate to smiles modeled after your positive facial expressions. The next step beyond simple imitation is a smile from your baby because they see something they like. On average, those smiles begin after eight weeks.
(Click Infant Developmental Milestones -- The First 3 Months to read more about your little one's big achievements that will be coming up.)

Cradle Cap

Something else that you might begin seeing around this time is the development of what looks like a horribly bad case of baby dandruff. It is called cradle cap and it occurs with most babies. Cradle cap is the term used when seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) affects the scalp of an infant.
The symptoms typically include:
  • Scaly skin on the scalp, forehead, and/or eyebrows -- white and flaking or yellowish and oily
  • Itchiness
  • Mild redness
  • Hair loss.
Generally, cradle cap will go away on its own, but it can be irritating for some little ones. There are, however, a few tricks that you can try that have worked for many parents facing the same flaky problem.
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