Your 17 Week Old Baby – Development, Milestones & Care

A 17 week-old baby

Last Updated on

Having seen your baby right after he was born, to now when he is 17 weeks old, the difference is quite stark and amazingly surprising. From the time he could barely open his eyes or do anything at all, your child has now learned to make himself known in the house with all kinds of sounds and movements and has began taking the steps in exploring the world around him.

A 17 Week-Old Baby’s Development

Even at this stage, the development of your baby is ongoing at full force. The17-week old baby growth spurt will start showing itself in the form of myriad activities that he will undertake. Taking in all the sights he can see, and all the sounds he can hear, his brain will be preparing itself to start understanding the complexities of life. These mental development cycles are all that prepare your little one to communicate better and attempt to walk as well. And with all this happening to him, he is eager to share his emotions with others and interact with them in as many ways as possible.

[Also Read: 4 Months Old Baby Development]

A 17 Week-Old Baby’s Milestones

A 17 week-old baby

  • The weight of your little will be nearly twice as what it was when he was born. This is also visible in the increase in the size of the stomach.
  • Rolling on tummy will be more often if he was already doing it. If not, this might be the stage where he finally learns how to make that happen, given that the strength in the chest, back, and neck has developed further.
  • Although the stomach is larger, the number of feeds will slightly reduce. Breastmilk feeding is still the best option for all the nutrients and antibodies required to keep developing healthily and fight off infections will come from it.
  • The curiosity of your baby will be more than before as every new object or person will captivate his senses. Be it any sound, or a new perfume you are using, or simply the choice of wearing a vivid coloured dress. Your baby will make his intrigue known to you.
  • Your baby’s memory starts developing along with other cognitive aspects, which allows him to remember and recall various things of his life.
  • With an increased need to communicate and express his emotions, your baby will start interacting with others or observe you even more closely to pick up the detailed nuances. He might also respond to his nickname by either looking at you or turning his head or even giggling loudly.
  • Along with auditory senses, their visual powers develop further granting them the ability to start sensing various shades of the same colour or different hues of it. This could manifest itself in matters of choice in a toy or a cloth.
  • Grabbing things will increase and so will put them in his mouth. The coordination will still not be as good as it needs to be, leading them to misjudge the distance or the movement that’s needed to play with the toy properly.

[Also Read: 4 Months Old Baby Milestones]


If your baby is ready to absorb everything that he sees or hears, then feeding your baby appropriately becomes a challenge not faced earlier. No matter if your baby is dependent on breastfeeding or is bottle fed or a combination of both. When there are interesting things to be observed, or if different sounds occur around him, or there’s a window nearby that opens up to what’s outside, your baby would want to investigate all of that and not feed at all. Interruptions while suckling your breast, refusing or leaving the bottle halfway would be more frequent at the slightest distraction. This constant distraction and bringing back his attention to the feeding might result in certain moments where he starts fussing around and gets stubborn.

This might require you to bring about a change in your feeding habits or schedules. A specific room that is silent or away from the noise and has fewer distractions might have to become your de facto room for feeding. Also, if your neighbourhood is noisier throughout the day, evening and night feeds might be longer and frequent than the day ones. All these changes are understood by your body too and adapting techniques will be undertaken to ensure breastmilk supply stays enough during those times. In a few cases, letting your baby be at a place where he can observe various things quietly while sitting and feeding could also help in finishing the feed before he rushes off to do something else.

[Also Read: 4 Months Old Baby Food]


If feeding is a challenge, then putting the little one to sleep would be a monumental effort by that comparison. A 17-week old baby’s sleep cycles will yet not be settled and any distractions or stimulation could cause them to get excited and let go of any semblance of sleep. This is generally the time when most mothers master the art of being able to sleep at any time of the day or night. Sometimes, lengthy sleep might not always be possible for your baby and any short hours that he gets throughout the day might still be good enough. Keeping away any digital devices, playing light music or humming it to him, or talking him for a quiet stroll in the afternoon or night are quite helpful in putting him to sleep. Their higher energy will express itself in increased limb movements while sleeping or even rolling to one side or another. Wrapping him up is still good although now he might possibly be able to pull out his arms and legs gradually from it.

[Also Read: 4 Months Old Baby Sleep]

A 17 Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips

  • No matter how stubborn your baby is, it is important to ensure that he has is feeds properly for continued healthy growth. Adapt and adjust schedules or spaces to complete the feeds and have a consistent weight gain.
  • Do not keep your baby unattended on the bed or the table since he can now roll around, or might suddenly decide to learn to do so. Same goes for keeping any sharp objects or unsanitary ones in his vicinity.
  • Many babies love to be engaged and keep talking all the time. If your baby does that but also likes to have some time by himself all alone, let him have it.

[Also Read: 4 Months Old Baby Care]

Tests and Vaccinations

At 17 weeks, the only vaccinations that are required are the ones that have been missed being given previously. If all of them have been successfully administered, this week is vaccination-free.

Games and Activities

Your baby has started realising what certain objects and people look like. By observing your facial features closely for long hours, he begins to paint a picture in his memory of what you look like and how he can rely on it. The tone of your voice, the way you look and smile, all of these form a crucial part of your identity. Which is why making weird faces and funny sounds seem to work a lot more than before at this stage. Bring together all different utensils, caps, toys or anything. Turn them into caps and wear them for your baby. Let each one turn you into a different character with a unique face and a unique voice. All of this will be quite entertaining for your little one and he will love you for that.

Now with your kid being able to sit up properly, you can play even more games while sitting up. Most popular of that is where you both try and row a boat together. This exercises his arms as well as starts teaching his back to support the body completely. Let your kid sit up on the bed and keep a cushion behind if he needs any support. Then, hold both arms in your hands and push and pull them back alternately. You can make sounds of water or even sing the nursery rhyme along.

[Also Read: 4 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]

When to Consult a Doctor

Your baby will most probably be progressing quite normally and hitting all his milestones at the right time. Certain cases might arise where he hasn’t been able to sit up straight or rollover properly. That’s fine since many babies take their own time in being able to do so.

However, if there has been no attempt of any sorts from your baby is trying to roll over or when made to sit up, if he fails to even hold himself for a few minutes or the head still wobbles and makes him lose his balance, then chances are his development is not occurring in the way it should be.

In addition to that, most babies are able to respond to repetitive voices. By calling out his name all the time in the previous months or by making a specific sound when you are about to feed him or bathe him, babies generally give a defined reaction. They might start cooing or laughing or just kick around to express their emotion. If your baby shows none of these reactions no matter how many times you call out to him or make different sounds, there might be some issues with his sensory perception or mental development. Both of these should be taken a look at by the paediatrician.

The bond between your baby and you will start becoming stronger and evident as you see that your baby starts showing better signs of recognising you and responding to you. These are wonderful moments that all mothers cherish later. And as your little one grows, these will just keep adding up and getting more memorable.

Previous Week: 16 Weeks Old Baby

Next Week: 18 Weeks Old Baby