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By now, it has been almost nine months since you came home from the hospital holding your bundle of joy. For your 35 week-old baby, growth spurts would have been common- even though you do not remember much of the last nine months, your baby would have grown leaps and bounds.
A 35 Week-Old Baby’s Development
By this time, your baby will have improved a lot in terms of motor development. His pincer grasp will be stronger than ever, so it will be possible for him to feed himself by holding the bottle. He can also grasp small food items from the plate and feed himself, so encourage this as much as possible- it may lead to him having more food and accepting it better.
At this age, your child is also a keen listener. He is sure to be listening to every conversation you have with him and will try imitating your voice and sounds. This means that his babble is more structured, and sounds more like a conversation at this age. His first words might already have been said, as he would have learnt the meaning of simple sounds like ‘no’, ‘milk’, ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. He might also be able to understand parts of what you speak to him, as he will most likely respond to simple requests like ‘give me that’ or ‘no’.
Cognitive skills of the child also increase a lot, as the child will now be able to work out various aspects of the environment around him. A few weeks ago, the disappearance of his favourite ball would have resulted in the baby crying uncontrollably- however, your child will now sit and try to understand where the ball has rolled away.
Motor skills, especially movement, will also have developed considerably. Your child will be able to crawl around at a faster pace and stand up using support around him. Some kids may even walk at this age, either using support or fall down after a few steps. Either way, falling down becomes a way of life for the child- so keep an eye on him!
Your baby will be likely to gain a sense of independence, as his improved movement and motor skills combine. He is more likely to crawl for a toy to get it himself, rather than wait for you to bring it or cry out for you.
In order to hone his understanding of the world as much as possible, it is important that you speak to him as much as possible. He is sure to listen to everything you say, so help him associate various words to their meanings.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Development]
A Thirty-Five Week-Old Baby’s Milestones
- Your baby will start interacting with you more, and thus you will be able to play simple games with him.
- If you roll a ball over to him, he will roll it back to you- after giggling, of course.
- Your baby will be able to stand up using furniture, and maybe even walk a few steps holding the furniture as support.
- His babble is more likely to sound like real conversation, and he would have understood the basics of conversation like having to wait for a pause to speak.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Milestones]
Feeding behaviour of the baby may change dramatically around this time, as it did around 4 months ago. As a result of the many developmental changes occurring in the child, he can refuse to drink breast milk- this is also called a nursing strike. Due to this phenomenon, grandmothers and others advise the new generation of mothers to wean during this refusal- however, this is wrong. Breast milk is recommended for children up to the age of two years when weaning occurs on its own. It is a natural process that accelerates naturally as the baby gains independence.
Your baby’s interest in eating during the daytime can reduce during this time- it occurs because of the distraction of other activities in the day, and some other factors. Eating solids during the day is preferred, and breast milk is preferred for those leisurely night time feeds.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Food]
In a 35 week old baby, sleep regression is a common occurrence. This means that the child will be unable to sleep through the night without any interruptions and will wake up during the night crying for attention. However, sleep regression is not the right term for this problem, as it implies that this is the first time this has been happening. Every time the baby goes through large developmental changes, it is common for the child to have an unstable sleep pattern. This holds true in the case of teething, rolling, crawling and even standing.
Sleeping through the night becomes a thing of the past, as the child is sure to wake up at odd hours craving attention. Co-sleeping will be a great idea to implement at this stage, as it can help the parents manage the child effectively without losing a lot of sleep. However, as the change occurs gradually, you will find that the baby sleeps better at night. This means that after a few days, you will be getting your sleep back- until the next development, of course.
[Also Read: 8 Months Old Baby Sleep Basics]
A 35 Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips
Here are a few tips that can help you manage your child and also help him improve his motor and mental skills.
- Talk to your baby as much as possible and try to give everything around him a name. This improves his understanding of the world, as he associates the sounds with something he sees around him. Also, speak his name as much as possible, so that he gets the impression that that particular sound is somehow related to his identity.
- Read stories to your child and vary your tone to reflect emotions as much as possible. This gives him an idea about speech patterns, and how the sounds and tone are varied in order to convey different emotions.
- Listen to your baby as much as possible and try to interact with him through conversation. Give him the impression that you are listening intently to his babbles and respond to it with your own words. If you think that he is asking for something, point to what he might want and ask him whether he wants it- wait for him to respond, always.
- Improve his motor skills by playing simple games with him, and letting him move around the house as much as possible. However, ensure that your home is baby-proofed.
Tests and Vaccinations
During this period, you may have been scheduled for Hepatitis B and polio vaccines by the paediatrician. Both of these vaccines can be administered any time between the ages of 6 months to 18 months. However, all other major vaccinations will be scheduled after the baby has crossed the age of one.
Games and Activities
Games are extremely important for children at this age, as they can directly affect the cognitive and physical growth of the child. During bath time, you can play water games with your child using water and a few cups. Show your baby how he can fill a cup or a spoon with water, and pour it back into the bath. Encourage him to do it- this is a great way to improve his hand-eye coordination.
Play some familiar music to your child and see if he recognises these sounds. Soon, your child will start ‘singing’ along himself, with a range of wonderful sounds conveying his delight.
You can also take your child to the outdoors a lot, even if it to your local park. Make sure to point out things to him and say their name out loud. This not only helps improve her spatial skills but also helps form word associations in her mind.
When to Consult a Doctor
As a mother, there are few things that trump your motherly instinct. Therefore, if you feel that there is something wrong in the way your child is behaving, you will be better off seeing a doctor- it is best to be safe rather than sorry. Vaccinations are a must too, and if your child is affected by any disease, even if it is a simple cold, for too long, pay the doctor a visit.
Your child is well on his way to becoming a toddler by now, with his ability to walk and talk starting to develop at a breakneck pace. This is also the time when the baby is most playful, so make sure you put aside plenty of time for bonding with him and to watch him do amazing things on his own.
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