Your 36-Week-Old Baby – Development, Milestones & Care
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Your little one is 36 weeks already; it’s time that you prepare yourself to run after your baby and stop him from putting everything in his mouth! Your munchkin will start crawling this week, i.e., if he hasn’t started already. He will also attempt to sit and take in his surroundings. Your little one’s emotional, physical, moto,r and cognitive development will be in its full force. Be ready to see him achieving some major milestones. Want to know more how your baby will develop at 36 weeks? Read on!
A 36 Week-Old Baby’s Development
From developing the fear of staying alone in a room or experiencing separation anxiety to being surprised from bumping into things or exploring the nuances of cause and effect, your baby’s cognitive, social and emotional, and physical development will be in full swing. Stay prepared for napping on the go since your little one will be dozing off unexpectedly. The new routine to which you adjusted fairly well a couple of months after your baby’s birth, well, that may change now. You’ll need to be flexible and adaptive at this stage. Your baby’s feeding and napping schedule may undergo slight changes, and you will need to take them out for some playtime too. This is the time when he will learn a lot and develop rapidly. Whether your child is growing just right for his age or not, here are a couple of development milestones you must watch out for.
[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. But if they don’t, then don’t panic. Your little one will achieve these milestones soon enough:
- 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 soon attempt to stand by holding on to that coffee table in the living room of your house. He might also try to walk with support on his own, or at least will take a few 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 sit on his own.
[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Milestones]
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 foods he ate before this stage. This is because some novelties become routines for them and it’s important to mix 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. 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.
Your baby may also begin teething, and since it’ll be in the process, your baby is likely to prefer soft 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.
Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, continue doing so up until his first birthday or even later. Don’t start your baby on cow’s milk as early as 12 months since his digestive system won’t be ready for it until then or anytime soon.
[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Food]
Your 36-week old baby sleep patterns will be erratic and he is likely to 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]
Tips to Take Care of a 36 Week-Old Baby
Here’s how you can take care of your little one this week:
- Distract When Breastfeeding: Nine-month-olds are curious and love to explore, but that should not stop him from breastfeeding. He may turn his head to observe his surroundings while breastfeeding, so make sure you engage him by talking with him. Breastfeed him 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.
- Offer Snacks: Your baby will be exercising pincer grasp often now; to stimulate it, you can offer finger foods or snacks. Give him carrot sticks 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 or dislikes.
- Teething Jelly: Your baby will also start teething, and teething phase can be painful for a child. Your little one’s gums might hurt and he may develop a fever too. To ease teething pain, you can give him teethers loaded with teething jelly.
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 crawl on the floor or exercise his pincer grasp to assess how he moves, grabs, plays, and more. You’ll be asked questions about your baby’s 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 to a 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 your child to do the same. Then ask him to describe what sounds/noises he is hearing. When he’s bored, simply open both your eyes and enjoy gazing at the clouds. Ask them to describe the shapes and patterns in 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.
- he is unable to sit properly without support or on his own.
- he is not eating anything or has a low appetite consistently.
- he 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. Let your child explore as he is growing, and as a parent, the best thing to do is stay flexible and accommodative of new perspectives.
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