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As parents, nothing is more beautiful than watching your baby grow. From a newborn to a 31 week old baby, every single milestone is momentous. Every step, every crawl, and every laugh can create a deep sense of love and attachment with your little one.
It can be challenging to be parents, but thanks to help and resources, you can now help your baby grow and develop into a happy and healthy individual.
A 31 Week-Old Baby’s Development
By 31 weeks, your baby has grown a lot, right in front of your eyes. The growth will have seemed exponential, compared to when you first got your newborn home! Your baby will have started having pureed solid food, making sounds, trying to crawl and constantly keeping you busy with his enthusiasm and energy.
You can document this growth in pictures and videos, and keep up with his antics by playing games, aiding his cognitive growth and ensuring he gets healthy and nutritious meals.
[Also Read: 7 Months Old Baby Development]
A Thirty-One Week-Old Baby’s Milestones
Your 31-week old baby would have developed cognitive, emotional, and physical milestones. Every day will be new, as your child will be unlocking a new milestone keeping in line with his development.
By this age, your baby should be able to achieve the following milestones:
- Sit without support
- Smile often, and at a lot of new things
- Play peek-a-boo or hide and seek
- Pick up objects with his fingers and hold them firmly
- Make different kinds of sounds to indicate different things
- Probably be able to crawl or move forward a bit
- Imitate speech sounds
[Also Read: 7 Months Old Baby Milestones]
As a mother, depending on whether you are working or staying at home, you may be deciding on breastfeeding schedules and feeding for your baby. It can get very taxing to plan when to start breast pumping, and also to ensure your baby starts having a bit of solid food. Breast milk meets all the required nutrients for a growing baby, especially in the first year, so if you are planning on breastfeeding till 12 months, then make sure you are preparing a schedule to meet different feeding sessions.
It is important to remember that while you have introduced solid food to your toddler, it can only supplement the breast milk, and not replace it until almost 2 years. If you are working, it can get demanding to breastfeed, and you might be tempted to cut down, so prepare a schedule so that your 31-week old baby will not be fussy, and will get proper nourishment.
If you have also introduced formula milk to your baby, then you can create a schedule to ensure that you give a mix of breast milk, formula milk, and solid foods. Take a cue from your baby and keep feeding until he decides to wean off the breast milk.
No matter what your feeding style is, it’s important to always offer milk, especially breast milk, to your baby first before solids so that he can get complete nutrition
[Also Read: 7 Months Old Baby Food]
Your 31-week old baby sleep will take a critical turn in the coming months. Your baby has now started to develop likes and dislikes and have a level of independence that will continue to grow stronger.
With large developmental leaps in combination with teething and increasing mobility, your toddler will have quite a few disturbed sleeps. Your baby may become more tired easily due to the challenging phase of his life. Your baby may be having trouble sleeping at night, and it’s important to minimize the distractions in order to bring order and ensure a sound sleep for your baby. Usually, if your baby has woken up due to some discomfort or movement, it helps to breastfeed him back to sleep.
[Also Read: 7 Months Old Baby Sleep]
A 31 Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips
No matter how exhausted you are at this stage, your toddler will bring you immense joy with his energy. A 31-week old baby growth spurt will amaze you and keep you entertained.
Here are a few tips to keep your toddler in the best of health and happiness
- Start introducing various vegetables and fruits to your toddler in variety forms i.e. pureed, mashed or finger foods.
- When it comes to sleeping, start creating a routine to ensure he falls into the habit of sleeping soundly.
- Encourage curiosity.
- Play games whenever you get time with him, to improve bonding.
- Ensure that you are giving adequate amount of breast milk balanced with solid foods.
- Start introducing different types of toys to develop his cognitive abilities.
- Be patient and understand if and why your baby is being upset.
- Create a positive environment at home so that your baby is getting good attention.
- Smile and laugh often with your 31-week old baby.
- Keep a diaper bag ready with toys, extra diapers, feeding bottles, tissues and extra underwear handy.
- Identify your baby’s personality traits and nurture any talent that you notice.
- As important it is to care for your baby, it is even more important to take care of yourself as parents. If your baby is taking a nap, take a nap with him.
- As parents, take little breaks, and help each other out to care for your little one.
Tests and Vaccinations
Getting your baby vaccinated is the best way to protect him from serious diseases and illnesses, which can also be life-threatening. Consult with your paediatrician, and ensure that you as parents do all the tests and get the vaccine for your 31-week old baby. Your child will have to get hepatitis B (3 shots), 3 shots of DTaP/DTwP, Hib, Polio, Rotavirus, measles, mumps, and rubella. Your doctor may also recommend Hepatitis A, HPV, Varicella, Pneumococcal, and Meningococcal shots for your baby. Some of the shots help protect your baby from dangerous viruses. The first and most important shot to get is the Hepatitis B, which guards against Hepatitis B virus, which damages the liver.
When you go to the doctor’s office, make sure you measure your baby’s growth, get a thorough physical examination, and a review of the medical history to ensure that your baby’s development is on track.
Games and Activities
Enjoy the time with your toddler and start playing some games with him to enhance bonding experience. Since your baby will get curious and start to pay attention to his surroundings during this age, start introducing different elements in his environment to keep him entertained.
As parents, the easiest game you can play at home with no toys is peek-a-boo. Whenever possible, play this game with your baby. In addition, you could also take a string toy, and get your baby to follow the toy by gently tugging on the string. Your baby will crawl to get to the toy, thereby enhancing his motor skills.
Another simple game you can play with your toddler is to clap. Clap your hands together, and your baby will start mimicking you. You can even start singing some nursery rhymes to your baby as at this stage, he is starting to recognise sounds and make associations. Another great game for your toddler is hiding his toy and encouraging him to find it. Usual hiding spots can be under the blanket, so that your baby is delighted when he finds it.
[Also Read: 7 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]
When to Consult a Doctor
Staying alert and watching your baby’s growth is important to ensure you contact your doctor at the right time. If your baby is in a lot of pain due to teething and is unable to sleep for days, then it is time to consult the doctor. If your baby has reddish watery eyes, then after observation, do consult a doctor. If your baby’s regular pattern is disrupted in any way due to diarrhoea, high fever, or any unusual symptoms which you can see physically, it’s time to consult a doctor. If your baby’s poop has blood in it, then make sure you call your doctor. If your baby has chest retractions, flaring of nostrils, heavy or noisy breathing, then he may be having respiratory distress. If your baby has dry lips and mouth, then he could be dehydrated. It is important to consult a doctor and be prepared for these scenarios.
Make sure you also keep a routine check-up in place for vaccinations, so that you can regularly visit your paediatrician.
Enjoy this time with your baby, as from now on, he will get more and more intuitive, curious and imaginative. Before you know it, your toddler will soon be a one year-old, so make the most to ensure a happy and healthy baby!
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