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 Baby on Board
Baby on BoardRTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm

Episode 1: Premature babies

Amelia's Development at 3 months:

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See 3 month Development details...


  1. Pulled to sit - little or no head lag
  2. Held sitting - back is straight except in lumbar region
  3. Holds head erect and steady for several seconds before bobbing forwards
  4. Placed prone - lifts head and upper chest well up in midline using forearms to support
  5. Held standing with feet on hard surface. Sags at knees.

Vision: 6-12"

  1. Follows moving ball in horizontal plane
  2. Follows moving ball in vertical plane
  3. Holds toy but cannot yet co-ordinate hand and eyes - may move rattle towards his face bashing his chin
  4. Watches movement of own hands before face and engages finger play
  5. Recognises feeding bottle and makes eager welcoming movements as it approaches face.

Hearing and speech:

  1. Sudden loud noises still distress provoking blinking, screwing up face - crying and turning away.
  2. Vocalises delightedly when spoken to, also when alone.
  3. Quietens to sound of spoon in a cup at 6-12" on level with ear.
  4. May turn eyes or head towards sound source
  5. Sucks or licks lips in response to sounds of preparation for feeding

Social and play

  1. Fixes eyes on mothers face when feeding
  2. now enjoys bath and caring routines
  3. Peek a boo - helps a baby to learn that Mammy is still there even if she can't be seen.
  4. Where's teddy - helps a baby to learn when something is moved it can be found by looking for it.
  5. Stimulated or neglected
  6. quiet and understanding child - "good child"
  7. demanding child - compels his parents to stimulate him
  8. Children need structured stimulation to develop their talents.

Starting solids

Amelia, twins, Pater and Jake

  • Not before 12 weeks, preferably 16 weeks
  • Know when she is drinking to full capacity at each feed - starts to demand more milk maybe a sixth feed having been quite content on five
  • Start with semi-liquid smooth creamy consistency i.e. unsweetened purees of bananas, pears, peaches, potatoes, carrots, gluten free rice cereal
  • "First foods" - manufactured are available. Better to make up your own and cheaper.
  • Pureed vegetable soups - easy to make
  • No wheat or dairy products before 1 year. No low fat foods, increase in sugar and salt, no gluten (protein in wheat-rye) before 1 year.
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons at midday - give half the bottle first to satisfy hunger then the teaspoon of creamy solids
  • Use a small spoon, sit baby upright and place it gently between the baby's lips so she can suck the food off.
  • Don't push spoon in far as she may gag on the unexpected food on the back of the tongue.


  • Owe food for several days
  • Cereal once a day
  • Avoid manufactured ready mixed foods
  • Plenty of kitchen paper - messy
  • Once the baby accepts 2 different solids then introduce textures
  • As the year goes on, she will be able to deal with mashed or chopped and will enjoy chewing
  • Thirsty - plain water or diluted fresh fruit juice - no commercial drinks containing sugar and colourings
  • Iron - red meat, baked beans, eggs, green vegs
  • Vitamin C - kiwi with iron meals
  • White fish - low in fat, high in protein
  • Oily fish - salmon and tuna - Omega 3 fatty acids essential for healthy cell function in brain, greater problem solving ability
  • Snacks - slow release energy foods - banana, baked beans
  • Disguise - give options
  • Don't reheat foods
  • Don't use jars - saliva from spoon introduce bacteria to jar
  • Don't buy anything with added sugar, salt, modified starch or monosodium glutamate
  • Don't give your child: whole nuts, popcorn, rough wholemeal bread, small pieces of raw fruit or veg, sugary drinks


John and Mandy with Amelia
John and Mandy with Amelia
Baby on Board
Amelia in incubator
Series 1: Programme Archive