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With every week after childbirth, a new story unfolds. The baby will show signs of growth and win everyone’s heart over. At a certain point, your baby will be able to move around, and also have a better understanding of the world around him. However, remember that developmental milestones are more like guidelines, and they are not specific plans for the growth of the child. They might occur a little early or a little late, but they will occur for sure. In this article, we will talk about all the possible developmental milestones a 22-week-old baby is likely to meet. Read on to know more.
A 22-Week-Old Baby’s Development
By this time, there would definitely have been a growth spurt in your 22-week-old baby. Your child will not be the baby you brought home five months ago. Around this time, most babies will try to move around and be more active. Moving around involves rolling around on the tummy, scooting on the ground, or even crawling. If you have a crawler in your hands, you have to be careful about leaving stuff on the floor that could harm the baby as babies have the tendency to put everything they can get their hands on directly into their mouth.
In terms of physical growth, the baby’s weight at 22 weeks will be a lot more than his weight during birth. Your baby might be able to move stuff using his fingers and even grab onto simple items, like feeding bottles. The brain of the child will have progressed by leaps and bounds, with the baby being more aware of his surroundings. He will have the understanding to differentiate between animate and inanimate things vaguely. This would be a great time to start baby proofing your home, too. Mood swings are a thing, too. You might find your baby crying uncontrollably in one moment, and the next moment, he will be giggling and smiling.
[Also Read: 5 Months Old Baby Development]
Let’s take a look at the milestones most 22-week-old babies meet.
A 22-Week-Old Baby’s Milestones
A 22-week-old baby is more active and energetic. Here are a few milestones he would meet at this age –
- During this period, your child must be able to move something in front of him with his fingers.
- Grabbing also becomes the norm, but he is usually unable to feed himself.
- If you have introduced something other than breast milk to your child, he might be able to take a small piece of it and bring it to his mouth to eat.
- You might find your child moving around a lot and always being active.
- Your child might like the sound things make, so you might find him dropping, shaking, or tapping whatever he can get to hear many sounds.
[Also Read: 5 Months Old Baby Milestones]
As the child grows, his feeding and sleeping habits also change. We will discuss these below.
22-Week-Old Baby Feeding Overview
Even though your baby might be becoming more hungry and you might be tempted to introduce more solid food into his diet, it is extremely important that breast milk still remains the primary item he consumes. Breast milk has the right balance of nutrients the baby needs for brain and muscle development. The digestive system of the child is also not strong enough to extract such nutrients from solid food yet. Breast milk contains hormones like leptin, adiponectin and cholecystokinin, which aid in the metabolism and appetite control and help digestion occur smoothly. The hormones also help the child sleep well.
[Also Read: 5 Months Old Baby Food]
22-Week-Old Baby Sleeping Overview
Your baby is in the pre-crawling stage now; however, he might have already started crawling a month ago. In any case, this means that he is more likely to wake up during naps, so you have a lot more sleep interruptions to look forward to. Nonetheless, your 22-week-old baby’s sleep hours still remain the same. During this period, the muscles of the baby are preparing and becoming stronger to support crawling movements. This preparation involves practising those actions, and most of this practising is carried out when the baby sleeps. Therefore, it is common for parents to find their baby in a completely different position every time they wake up. Your child might even wake up at ungodly hours and cry for your support in order to go back to sleep.
This disruption of sleep occurs before every major development in terms of locomotion (crawling, sitting, standing). So, sleep regression will definitely become a thing for the next few months. Some parents try co-sleeping during this period so that disruption is reduced and each of them gets quality sleeping time.
[Also Read: 5 Months Old Baby Sleep]
There are a few more things parents need to take care of when their children grow 22 weeks old. Some of them have been elaborated below.
Care Tips for a 22-Week-Old Baby
Here are a few baby care tips that you can use, so as to make this period easier for both you and your precious baby.
- Always have something that can keep your child engaged ready. It can be a chew toy or just a great bouncy seat. This will also help you get a small break from looking after your child when required.
- Bonding is great for both you and the baby, but you cannot expect your child to be receptive to your presence all the time. So, put him down for a nap when you think that he looks tired.
- Baby-proof your home as soon as possible and start with the items close to your child’s crib.
- Check for vaccinations and tests your 22-week-old baby should get. We have shared some vaccination details below.
- Although the sleep pattern may be affected a bit, you still need to establish a routine for the child to get enough rest.
- Do not skip the baby’s time outdoors as it is essential for his eyesight and health in general.
- Finger foods are a great way to teach your child to exercise his motor skills and make his independent, too.
[Also Read: 5 Months Old Baby Care]
Tests and Vaccinations for a 22-Week-Old Baby
Your Paediatrician will have scheduled a 6-month checkup for your child, which will be due in two more weeks. The vaccinations complete by this time will be against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. The PCV protects the child against meningitis, ear infections and pneumonia. For stomach flu, the oral rotavirus vaccine is prescribed, and the Hib vaccine is to combat the Haemophilus influenza type b bacteria, which can cause epiglottitis or pneumonia in the child. Just make sure that if any one of these are pending you should get them done. You can also discuss the flu vaccination with your doctor at this time.
The possible side effects of vaccinations include only rashes and fever, so the risk of not getting vaccinated far outweighs these small, unimportant symptoms. For more queries, it is advised your consult the paediatrician.
For complete growth, your 22-week-old baby will need an ample amount of activities too. Incorporate the games and activities given below to ensure your baby is mentally and physically fit for his age and ready for the next milestone.
Games and Activities For a 22-Week-Old Baby
There are a few activities that you can choose to play with your child this week to improve his motor and cognitive skills.
[Also Read: 5 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]
1. Where’s My Teddy?
This activity improves the sense of understanding the baby has about the world around him, using his favourite teddy bear. You need to gently wrap up at least five layers of clothing or bags around the teddy. Then, peel off each layer and ask him where his teddy is, and finally watch him be delighted when the teddy appears from the innermost bag.
2. Treasure Hunt
This activity is simple, and it helps develop the fine motor skills of the child. Whenever you go outdoors or to a special place, carry a small basket along with you. When you see something pretty, like a flower, pluck it and show it to your child. Then, place it into the basket in front of him. Pretty soon, the child will start pointing towards the items that he wants. Try and collect them, but remember to stay away from anything poisonous or something that could be a choking hazard. Let your child play with these items once he gets home, and maybe even pin his favourite items up on the refrigerator.
3. Drop and Pick
Your 22-week-old baby’s curiosity and motor skills can be exercised with this activity. Take a couple of your baby’s toys and lay them in his play area, preferably on the ground. Then, encourage him to pick and drop the toys, and pick them up again. With this activity, he will be exercising his eyes, his grip, and wrist to drop or even slightly throw the toys. To give it some variety, you can sit your baby in a high chair and use strings to secure a couple of toys that he can drop and propel back up with his own hands.
4. Grab That Toy
Your child can now rollover on the tummy or even crawl with some effort. You can place your child on his tummy on the floor and keep his favourite toy a few inches away from his reach. Then, encourage him to push himself to reach for the toy, but don’t worry if he doesn’t; let him enjoy his tummy time. Keep repeating the activity every day, till your little one can finally reach for the toy.
Another common question most parents have is when they should see the doctor because most of the times, a monthly visit is scheduled, and they might not think it’s necessary to make an untimely visit. However, there could be times when you would have to make an urgent visit for your child’s health. Let’s talk about that a little too.
When to Consult a Doctor
As a parent, your instincts need to be trusted more than your logic. If you ever feel that something is off with the baby, in his actions or the way he is behaving, it is best to pay a visit to your doctor. If any symptoms of vaccination last too long or the child has swallowed something that he was not supposed to, you should go the doctor as soon as possible.
Parenthood is a wonderful thing, and even though looking after your child can be a difficult ordeal, the satisfaction you get in the long run is more than worth it. Let him move around during this time, but pay your doctor a visit quickly if you sense something off with the child.
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