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Congratulations! Your little has just crossed the half-year mark! Don’t be surprised if you see a little Magellan in the making. This little fellow would be scurrying across the floor absorbing the environment around him at an incredible pace. So what exactly can you expect? Are there any issues that you might need to watch out for? Let us explore the same.
A 26 Week-Old Baby’s Development
- Increased Motor Skill: As he enters his 26th week, you can expect your baby to start flexing his tiny muscles. This is especially true of his legs because the body is training the baby to begin the process of getting him to walk upright.
- Attention to voices: The part of the brain that receptive to sound will become active during this time. This is because it is developing at a fast pace and you can expect a marked increase in his 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]
A Twenty-Six Week-Old Baby’s Milestones
- You can expect your baby to get a little agile with his fingers. Don’t be surprised if you find him being able to feed himself with a spoon.
- There are some of you who might be working mommies and may have employed a caretaker. Watching them respond so well might hurt a little because you may feel you’re missing out on all the bonding. 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 an explorative tempo that would make any adventurer proud.
- 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 his first “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.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Milestones]
The 26th week is a gateway to the world of solid food for your baby. This is the transition period where the digestive system is still adapting to the intake of new food as opposed to breastmilk. 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 the digestive system. You can remedy this situation by introducing fibre-rich foods such as oats and brown rice.
This is also an opportunity to start introducing water to their 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 are having the tongue thrust reflux.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Food]
This is one area where everyone in the household has to deal with, including your baby.
- While some 26-week old baby 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 feeding.
- 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]
A 26 Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips
- Babies are in an explorative term of their lives, and 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.
- While their vocabulary isn’t the best, you can create your own hacks to have two-way communication. For instance, you can invent gestures that indicate that food is available. Don’t be surprised if they start repeating these gestures back to you!
- 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.
- Baby’s during this time 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:
- The third dose of DTaP, PCV and Hib.
- The third dose of IPV
- Final hepatitis B dosage between now and age 18 months.
- Get influenza vaccine if you can
- Tuberculosis is an epidemic that has engulfed the country and 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
- Story Telling: Who doesn’t love a good story! Infants are very receptive to information that is verbalised rather than visuals. 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.
- Jingle objects: You can stock up toys from the market, especially the ones who make all sorts of sounds. You can team up with your partner and start squeaking them in turns to see how your little one reacts.
- Funny songs: This is a classic that can be done after you have cleaned them up. Go for the toes as you sing the song and gradually change your tone as you reach for the pinkie toe.
- 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 them interact with one another.
[Also Read: 6 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]
When to Consult a Doctor
- If your infant develops a very high fever without any signs of stopping due to teething, please take them to the 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.
- A 26 weeks old baby weight and size will be dependent on the parents. If they are looking malnourished, you may need to take them to the doctor.
Each baby has their own pace which is dependent on genetics, environment and a lot of other factors. So, don’t be too alarmed if they are not doing what is mentioned above. They’ll get there eventually!
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