Your baby's neck muscles are getting stronger, which allows her to hold her head up for short periods. She can support it for a few moments while lying on her stomach, for example, and she can probably turn it from side to side. She may be able to hold her head up when she's in a car seat or front carrier.
The first real smiles
Smiling happens at about the same time in all cultures, so get ready for your baby to reward all your loving care with a beaming, toothless, just-for-you smile. This will probably make your heart melt, even if you've just had your worst night yet.
For Ron Heckman, a new father in Piedmont, California, that first smile from his 6-week-old daughter, Hadley, brought tears to his eyes. "It was a lousy day at work," he recalls. "I was sleep-deprived and the commute traffic that day was incredibly thick. When I finally got home and my wife handed me the baby, who looked straight at me and smiled this gorgeous all-gums grin, I remember thinking, 'She knows me' — and nothing else mattered."
Your baby may start sleeping longer at night (maybe four to six hours) sometime between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. It's a broad range, and much depends on your baby's development and your behavior.
Most sleep experts suggest putting your baby to bed while she's still awake, but drowsy. This will help her learn to fall asleep on her own, a skill that will come in handy for you both when she wakes in the wee hours of the night. You can help your baby reach that milestone sooner rather than later by establishing healthy sleep habits from the start, such as a bedtime routine with a calming bath, a baby massage, or a bedtime story.