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Your baby is officially 34 weeks old and he must be growing just fine. Now that she is using her hands to grasp toys, you will also see her using her hands to explore her body. From this week onwards, you will see your munchkin smiling more often and trying to reach out for the food on his plate at mealtimes. He will be learning new things every day and surprise you. Want to learn more how your baby will develop at 34 weeks? Read on!
A 34-Week-Old Baby’s Development
Your baby will grow a lot during this period and with each passing week. He will learn how to crawl, hear, touch, and explore. This week is an excellent time to introduce your little one to his surroundings and toys along with different foods.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Development]
A Thirty-Four Week-Old Baby’s Milestones
The following are the milestones you will notice during your baby’s 34th week of development-
- Ambidexterity – Your little one may show a preference for using his both hands.
- Chattiness – Your baby will be babbling a lot and laugh/smile too. He will be responsive to your voice and love listening to tunes sung by you.
- Diaper curiosity– Your baby will be curious about his private parts and may discover them during diaper time. It’s a normal process of sexuality, and you must make sure they do it only when they’re alone and not in front of others.
- Crawling – Your baby will make several attempts on crawling and master crawling during the upcoming days and weeks.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Milestones]
As far as feeding is concerned, your baby will slowly try to make a transition from purees and mashed foods to solid ones. It’s a good time to allow your little one to eat what he wants but don’t wean him off breastmilk or formula milk. He needs his nutrition after all. Your baby will be eating three meals a day plus snacks up to three times a day.
Buy a smock-on baby wipe which covers your baby’s front and whole arms. Keep some wipes ready on the side in case he spits or spills. Your baby will love getting introduced to new cutlery, and you’ll find plenty of options in the market for those. When you’re buying plates and containers for your baby, make sure they come with suction cups and are able to latch on properly to surfaces. Your little one is smart too and may upend those suction cups, spilling everything over along with the containers and plates, if you’re not careful.
Keep a set of small sealable containers for storing foods, yoghurt and mini-desserts at home. You may find special sealable slotted lunch-box sets and those work just as well. For snacks and food on the go, buy a few refilling pouches. You may need them when you need to pack foods in a rush.
Your baby will also try to feed himself and show interest in that by reaching out for foods on the plate by himself. You may try introducing finger foods but be sure to observe carefully when he’s eating just in case he’s at risk of choking. Soften the foods by steaming or mashing before you serve and make sure they’re easy to chew or nibble. At first, your baby will find it difficult to directly drink from his sippy cup and may spill a lot. Keep the floor ready for that and be patient. You may try giving your little one a doidy cup which looks like a slanted baby cup minus the lid. That’s a great alternative for those who spill.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Food]
A 34-week-old baby’s sleep patterns usually manifest as disturbances since he will be learning how to crawl at this age and also nears his teething stages. Besides sleeping for shorter periods, they will be awake longer. If you’re wondering when they will go back to their old sleeping patterns, you’ll be surprised to know that it will take them up to three months from the time they master crawling. We recommend that you don’t stick to the clock and watch out for sleeping cues. Adjust your work and lifestyle schedules to the rhythms of your baby’s sleep patterns since it will be in a transitory phase.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Sleep]
Tips to Take Care of a 34-Week-Old Baby
Some babies develop a little slow while others go extremely fast. Some may develop at an average rate. The important thing to consider is to keep certain checks and measures in mind for those unexpected times and spurts of development. The following are 34-week-old baby care tips for parents-
- Babyproof Medicine Cabinets– Since your baby will master crawling, he may try to make attempts reaching out for things at elevated levels. Even if you keep your medicines in lower cupboards out of their reach, you must label them if they’re hazardous and lock the cabinets. Don’t keep them in open areas as they will be naturally curious the more you try to keep them away from those.
- Be Chatty – Modulate your voice and sing rhymes to teach your baby new words and get him used to communicate non-verbally too. If you’re feeling creative, you could bring some toys and point at them, labelling them verbally aloud. Maybe even ask your little one to grab that toy truck for you.
- Take time off– Although it’s good to be chatty, take breaks in between. Repeat the same words every now and then to improve their retention rates and master nuances or unfamiliar strings of syllables.
- Buy cutlery and feeding equipment– Trust us, you’ll need them, as your little one will be spilling food and exploring cutlery with his hands, and sometimes bang them too.
- Babyproof Your Home – Keep choking hazards away, install washable mats (for spills) and keep wipes and food pouches at home for times when he’s hungry or in the mood for spilling. Remove sharp objects and maintain proper hygiene so that he doesn’t ingest harmful particles from the floor. A little dirt and dust ain’t bad when he’s crawling around but make sure it’s nothing too serious.
- Buy Toys– Your baby will be using his hands to grasp, transfer, exchange, and throw objects here and there. It’s a good idea to buy some new toys for those reasons and let them explore. It will aid in their physical and gross motor development which is actually something you definitely want as a parent.
Tests and Vaccinations
The following tests and vaccinations must be done if the baby’s milestones are delayed or in case of some other medical problem.
- Hearing and vision examinations
- Blood checkup for identifying blood group
- Screening tests for different common and rare diseases
- Lung tests
- Glucose, salts, calcium and other similar vitamins/mineral tests
- Urine tests
- Bilirubin level testing to check for jaundice
- Ultrasound screening tests to examine the development of your baby’s organs, brain and heart.
- RSV and Hepatitis B Vaccinations – These are important immunization routines which must be carried out especially if your baby was born preterm/premature
Note: No vaccine is administered in week 34. A vaccine can be given in this week in case it was missed. MMR vaccine is administered on completion of week 36.
Games and Activities
We recommend the following games and activities for babies at this age-
- Toy Box – Grab a toy box and fill it up with objects of different materials (like plastic, wood and fuzzy textures). Your baby will start exploring soon enough.
- A playmat – Use different fabrics to make up a playmat or ‘exploration sheet’. This is excellent for their sensory development and refines their sense of touch and textures.
- Socializing with others– You may find yourself bonding with other mothers and friends dropping in to greet your little one. Introduce your munchkin to them and let him play with kids his age.
- Hide And Seek – Hide some toys and objects and ask your baby to find them. This will make them master crawling and develop their visual perception too.
- Cause And Effect – Get some toys and building blocks to demonstrate cause and effect. Allow your baby to throw things around and notice what sounds they make when thrown around.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]
When to Consult a Doctor
Consult a doctor if:
- your baby is not eating or being fussy during breastfeeding times
- he shows a lack of interest in playing with toys
- he is not trying to crawl or is sitting still for long hours
- you notice any signs of unexpected or abnormal behaviour at this age
- you are worried about developmental delays and notice signs of those taking place
Every baby grows at their own pace. So let your child develop at his pace. As a parent, the best thing you can do is be patient and shower your little one with love, while also giving them time for exploration and development. Make sure to enjoy parenthood to the fullest because now is the time for that.
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