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How your baby's growing
Your baby enjoys watching your face and might even mimic some of your gestures. Stick out your tongue and see if he does the same.
Soon your baby will gurgle, coo, grunt, and hum. Don't feel silly about using baby talk – babies are particularly attuned to this high-pitched, drawn-out way of communicating, which can actually teach your baby about the structure and function of language.
When you have things to do around the house or errands to run, try wearing your baby in a carrier on your chest to keep him feeling happy and secure. Your baby loves being close to you.
- Learn more fascinating facts about your 4-week-old's development.
Your life: Mixed feelings
Even when you're the happiest person on earth to be a new parent, it's common to have nagging feelings of disappointment. You spent nine months imagining what your baby would be like, and the reality may not be exactly what you expected. Parents of a baby born with a health problem are especially vulnerable to these emotions, but parents of healthy children have these feelings too.
In all of these situations, there's a wonderful new baby to celebrate. And yet there's often an imaginary baby to mourn before the real baby can be fully embraced. Rarely does anybody talk about this phenomenon, but it's perfectly normal and human. So if your joy is tinged with a little regret, don't feel guilty. Give yourself a little space to privately grieve, and then count the blessings you do have.
Learn about: Vaccines
Why are so many vaccines recommended for babies?
No parent enjoys seeing her baby getting shots. But vaccines are designed to provide protection against serious diseases and many people consider them the most important part of well-baby checkups. Some of those diseases (such as polio and diphtheria) were much more common a hundred years ago but are rarely seen now in the United States, thanks to immunization programs.
How do they work?
Vaccines contain weakened or killed versions of the virus or bacteria that cause a disease. After a baby receives the vaccine, her immune system creates antibodies to the virus or bacteria that will protect her against the disease if she's exposed.
Which vaccines will my baby have?
Use our Immunization Scheduler tool to learn more about which vaccines your child is recommended to have and when.
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