Your 26-Week-Old Baby – Development, Milestones & Care
Time flies rather quickly, doesn’t it? Your baby has already reached six months mark and you must be noticing various signs of development in them already. Your little fellow would be scurrying across the floor absorbing the environment around them at an incredible pace. Your munchkin is 26 weeks old and we know as a parent, you want to track important milestones and development that will take place this week and in the coming weeks. What are you waiting for them? Scroll and learn about your baby’s development at week 26!
Your 26-Week-Old Baby’s Development
- Increased Motor Skill: As your baby enters the 26th week, you can expect them to start flexing their tiny muscles. Their body will train them to begin the process of getting them to walk upright.
- Attention to voices: The part of the brain that is receptive to sounds will become active during this time. This is because it is developing at a fast pace and you can expect a marked increase in your baby’s sense of hearing.
- Teething: During this time, their milk teeth will be sprouting out, which is a sign that they can start having solid food.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Development]
Your Twenty-Six Week-Old Baby’s Milestones
- You can expect your baby to get a little agile with their fingers.
- There are some of you who might be working mommies and may have employed a caretaker. Watching your baby respond to the caretaker so well might hurt a little because you may feel you don’t have time to bond with your baby. However, they can clearly distinguish between parents and caregivers, meaning that at the end of the day, they’ll always want to be in your arms.
- A defining feature during this time, your baby would show signs of independence and will want to explore around and take in the surroundings, be it the living room or the amusement park.
- As their hearing gets better, they are likely to start doing their best to imitate some of the voices that they hear. Though their speech-making capabilities might be limited, you can expect them to start making babbling sounds. These are usually repeating consonants, and this is when you can expect your little baby to say their first words, ‘Mama’ or ‘Dada’. Please note that even though their vocabulary is non-existent for the most part, you can still decipher what they are saying with relative ease.
- Their sense of hearing develops at a rapid pace, and you can expect them to react instantaneously to any unusual sounds.
- Your baby may even start sitting without support for a few seconds or a few minutes.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Milestones]
The 26th week is a gateway to the world of solid food (okay, semi-solids, initially) for your baby. This is the transition period where the digestive system is still adapting to the new foods as opposed to breast milk. Thus, if you see undigested pieces of food in their poop, there needn’t be any cause for alarm. In fact, you may see a rainbow of colours during this time. Your infant may also have bouts of constipation during this time. Again, this is due to the transition that is taking place within their digestive system. You can remedy this situation by introducing fibre-rich foods such as papaya, prune juice, carrots, and spinach in their diet.
You can also start introducing water in your baby’s diet. Please make sure that you boil water before you give them to your baby as their immune systems are still far from developed. You can make them use sippy cups, so there is minimal spillage. If your little one is still not eating solid food, don’t be disheartened as they will do it sooner or later. Avoid force-feeding them as they still have the tongue-thrust reflex.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Food]
While some 26-week-old babies sleep for longer durations, there are others who may not be so lucky. Disturbed sleep could be due to a host of factors such as teething and night feedings. Please note that breastfeeding your infant during night time at least once is very much within the realm of possibility. Studies have shown that at least 78% babies still get up at night during this time.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Sleep]
Tips to Take Care of Your 26-Week-Old Baby
Here’s what you can do take care of your little one.
- Your baby has reached an age where they will want to explore their surroundings on their own, so you can expect a few bruises if you aren’t careful. Babyproof the house or areas where you will let your baby loose by taping up sharp edges to minimise damage.
- This is the time when your baby is teething so make sure that you have plenty of objects around that they can put in their mouth. Ensure that there aren’t any choking hazards that may accidentally cause an incident. You may also need to regularly clean your baby’s toys to sanitise them.
- If they use their left hand often, avoid trying to encourage them to use their right. It will inhibit their dexterity; In addition, there is no proof that they will be right or left-handed until they are 2-3 years old.
- Babies can drown easily. Even 4-5 centimetres of water is enough to cause a fatal accident, so be vigilant during bath time if you are using a tub.
- A baby at this age can suffer from separation anxiety, which is a passing phase. Feel free to give them attention without the fear of having them turn clingy during their later years.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Care]
Test and Vaccinations
Some of the tests and vaccinations that need to be done during this time include:
- DTaP and Hib
- Final hepatitis B dosage between now and age 18 months.
- Influenza vaccine
- Tuberculosis is an epidemic that can be fatal for infants. If you have anyone in your immediate family who has tuberculosis, make sure you get your baby tested.
- You can go to the dentist for a dental check-up as these days many young children are prone to getting cavities.
- You can always go for a lead screening test to be on the safe side. This is normally done to see if they have consumed any poisonous substances.
Games and Activities
Here are some games and activities you can try to keep your little one engaged.
- Story Telling: Who doesn’t love a good story! Infants are very receptive to verbal information. This makes an opportune moment where you can start with telling the stories at night. You can use voice modulation to in case you want to stress on the part of the story to get their attention.
- Use Musical Objects: You can stock up on musical toys and use one at a time to keep your baby engaged. Shake the toys from different sides to develop your baby’s sense of hearing and to help him understand where the sound is coming from.
- Sing Funny Songs: Sing funny songs to your baby when changing their clothes or cleaning them up and see how they react. This activity will strengthen your bond with your baby, improve his sense of hearing, and help him learn new words. You can even encourage him to sing along. Your little one will babble in order to communicate and sing with you.
- Ball Chasing: Find a ball or a toy that they have a special interest in and place it on the other side of the room. Make him go from one side of the room to the other. This will help develop their leg muscles and speed up the process of walking.
- Playing With Blocks: This activity can help improve his dexterity when it comes to dealing with relatively small objects. Make sure that they aren’t too small to become a choking hazard.
- Socialise: Its never too early to take your child out and get them to mingle with the other kids. Invite the neighbouring ladies or friends who have kids around the same age to let your child observe and interact with other kids.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]
When to Consult a Doctor
Consult a doctor, in case of the following:
- If your infant develops a very high fever without any signs of stopping due to teething, take them to a paediatrician at the earliest.
- If they are unresponsive to sounds during this time, it may be a cause for concern. Take them to a speech-language pathologist who can conduct a hearing test with the help of an audiologist.
- If your baby looks malnourished, you may need to take them to the doctor.
Each baby develops at his own pace. So, don’t be too alarmed if your baby is not doing what is mentioned above. They’ll get there eventually! Until then, enjoy each and every moment with your baby and make the most of this time with your precious one!
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