Your 36 Week Old Baby – Development, Milestones & Care

A baby boy walking on the beach with his father

The 36-week mark signifies a lot of development taking place in your little one. From crawling to sitting and observing his surroundings, your baby will start getting accustomed to his surroundings and relish new experiences every day. As his emotional, physical, motor and cognitive development take place all together at the same time, you’ll notice him accomplishing major milestones. Here’s what you need to know.

A 36 Week-Old Baby’s Development

From developing the fear of staying alone in a room or separation anxiety to being surprised from bumping into things or exploring the nuances of cause and effect, you will notice a 36-week old baby growth spurt pretty soon. Stay prepared for napping on the go since your little one will be dozing off unexpectedly and be ready for making changes to your lifestyle and schedule. You’ll need to be flexible and adaptive at this stage. From feeding to napping, playing and taking your young one out for some fun, this is the time they learn a lot and develop rapidly. Whether their growth is slow or fast, here are a couple of development milestones you have to watch out for. Read on below to find out.

[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Development]

A 36 Week-Old Baby’s Developmental Milestones

Watch out for the following milestones since they’re likely to occur during this stage. As always, there are no fixed rules, and these are common milestones. Results may vary from baby to baby-

  • First Words– Your baby may utter his first words like ‘bankee’ for a blanket or some made up versions of ‘uh’ for up. Notice his intentions and gestures when he’s pronouncing his first words. It may be unclear at first, but he’s definitely picking up.
  • Standing with Support – Your baby will be able to grab your nearby coffee table or ottoman and stand with support. He may even be able to walk with support too on his own, at least a few or so steps.
  • Crawling and Sitting – You’ll notice your little one zip away from one room to the next or circle around furnishings pretty easily. He should be able to sit comfortably on his own and enter seated positions without support.

[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Milestones]

Feeding

A baby being spoon fed

Stick to the old adage of ‘Parents Provide; Children Decide’ where feeding is concerned. You may at first find it frustrating to notice that your baby is no longer enjoying the old foods he ate before this stage. This is because some novelties become routines for them and it’s important to switch things up. Give him a mix of solids, purees and mashed foods for added variety and let him decide what he wants to eat and how often he wants to. You may notice surges or fluctuations in his appetite, and this is because he’s simply busy exploring and moving around. Eating becomes a second priority but still a priority nonetheless. Don’t force your little one to eat what he doesn’t want to and let him explore his appetite mindfully since this leads to encouraging and developing healthy eating habits.

Teething will also start taking place, and since it’ll be in the process, your baby may give preference for softer foods over hard solids every now and then. Ensure that you provide him with a plethora of options to explore tastes and textures. These could include crunchy carrots, sweet apples and soft oats. If you’re concerned about getting enough nutrients, then don’t worry. As long as you keep providing him, he’ll keep eating and meeting his dietary requirements automatically.

Breastfeeding will continue up to his first birthday and make sure not to give your baby cow’s milk since his digestive system won’t be ready for it until then or anytime soon.

[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Food]

Sleeping

Your 36-week old baby sleep patterns will be cranky at this stage. Most babies enter the phase of ‘junk sleeping’ where they suddenly drift away to dreamland before dinner or fall asleep while playing. Your baby’s daytime naps may be divided into two parts now, and you won’t be noticing any routine sleep patterns anytime soon. Consider co-sleeping with your little one and have safe bed-sharing practices to ensure he feels comfy and gets sound sleep. If you’re having trouble settling your baby after waking up, then let him roam around and play his heart away until he gets tired enough for a snooze. Establish rhythmic sleeping cues like rocking the cradle/pram or moving the baby carrier in a gentle and rhythmic way to encourage drifting to sleep. Babies like listening to brown noise and sleep music too at this age before transitioning to bedtime (or naptime).

[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Sleep Basics]

A 36 Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips

  • Distract him when breastfeeding – Nine-month-olds are curious and explorative creatures and them sure as hell won’t pause for milk stops. Make sure breastfeed first thing in the morning or right before he falls asleep during the night. Turn off the lights during breastfeeding time to prevent him from being distracted and fidgety.
  • Give Him Snacks – Your baby will be mastering the pincer grip, and it’s an awesome idea to help him out with that. Give him oyster crackers and simple foods that he can grab with his thumb and forefinger. Make sure they’re not choking hazards and are edible. Add variety to enable him to explore different tastes/textures and discover what he likes/dislikes.
  • Teething Jelly– Teething will be taking place, and his gums may hurt. Give him some teethers loaded with teething jelly and soothe himself.

Tests and Vaccinations

Your baby won’t be needing any vaccinations at this age (unless he missed a few during the first six months) and where tests are concerned, they’ll be pretty generic in nature. Your baby’s paediatrician may ask your little one to demonstrate crawling on the floor, show off his pincer grasp and assess how he moves, grabs, plays and more. You’ll be asked questions about your babies are eating and sleeping patterns so far as testing goes which is why to make sure to keep a note of all that before taking him/her to the paediatrician.

Games and Activities

There are mainly two games and activities you can try at this age to nurture observation, hearing, and sensory development. They are-

  • Fruit Faces– Cut up pieces of fruit like kiwis, apples, watermelons and bananas and show your little one how to make faces with them. Make funny fruit faces and encourage them to mimic you. Once you’re done, eat up the features and enjoy!
  • Spending time in Nature– This is a good age to inculcate mindfulness and develop their observational skills too. Take your child out to a park or gardens and lie down on the grass. Close your eyes and ask him to describe what sounds/noises he is hearing (with his eyes closed, of course). When he’s bored, simply open both your eyes and enjoy gazing at the clouds. Ask them to describe the shapes and patterns on the sky too.

[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]

When to Consult a Doctor

Consult a doctor if-

  • Your baby is not moving around a lot
  • Is unable to sit properly without support or on his own
  • Is not eating anything or has a consistently low appetite
  • Has a fever of over a 100.4 degrees Celsius

Your baby may even begin walking, talking a bit or crawling masterfully at this age. Sometimes things develop at such a pace that it feels there are developmental delays or too much of growth spurts when in reality, everything’s fine. Be patient where feeding and settling your little one to sleep are concerned. Really, all it takes is a little time since he’s growing and exploring and as a parent, the best thing to do is stay flexible and accommodative of new perspectives.

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