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Your baby is learning new skills each week, making you proud of him. He must have started crawling (or maybe not). He is probably cruising too and achieving new milestones related to physical development. Now is a good time to baby-proof your home. At 40 weeks, your baby’s language development will also take place at a quick pace, so you need to engage him in conversations to get him to talk and build his vocabulary from early on. There’s a whole lot of development that will happen this week. Track your 40-week-old baby’s development here. Learn about the different milestones he might acheive and find out how you should take care of him during this time.
Your 40-week-old Baby’s Development
At 40 weeks, you will see a development in your baby’s personality. He may be quite social, smiling at everyone or he could be shy, hiding his face when someone new comes along and tries to engage with him. Babies start assessing situations before accepting someone new in their life when they are 10 months old. This can also result in quick and drastic mood swings. They will gesture to get your attention and may even wave goodbye when you indicate that you are leaving the house. This is the age when your baby may even be able to stand alone on his own.
[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Growth and Development]
Your 40-week-old Baby’s Developmental Milestones
Below are a few milestones your little one might achieve at this week:
- Your baby will be able to roll back a ball you roll towards him.
- Your baby will be able to stand alone for a short period of time.
- Your baby will be comfortable saying ‘mama’ or ‘papa’.
- Your baby will say one or two more words other than ‘mama’ or ‘papa’.
- Your baby will be able to pick up small objects between his forefinger and thumb.
- Your baby will be able to drink on his own from a cup.
- Your baby will be able to respond to any one-step comment you give him, along with hand gestures like, “give that to me” with your hand stretched out.
- Your baby will be able to stand alone quite well.
- Your baby will learn how to sit back down from a standing position. His brain will slowly work out how to do the squatting movements to get up and sit back down.
[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Milestones]
Water bottles become highly attractive for babies at 40 weeks because of the water in them, and because of the way they roll around. Your baby will watch you drink and try to imitate you. If he spends a lot of time around other babies, you might have to constantly retrieve sippy cups that do not belong to him from his hands. 40 weeks is a good age to get your baby to start drinking from a cup. While he will get most of his hydration from breastfeeding, using his interest in water bottles to teach him to drink from a cup will be highly useful in preparing your baby for weaning. It is always better to let your baby drink water or milk from a cup. Juice is high in sugar and can cause dental problems or obesity, so help your baby get into the habit of drinking only water and milk from his cup even after weaning. Encourage your baby to drink a cup of water with each meal, to also let him know that water can quench thirst. Keep a sippy cup around your baby all day so he can drink water whenever he wants.
[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Food]
Your 40-week-old baby will experience sleep disruption at this stage due to a lot of different and simultaneous developments. His four top teeth will grow underneath his gums and will cause him discomfort. Along with the mental and mobility development he will experience, this pain will be enough to disrupt his sleep and keep him awake at night. Since he will not be able to sleep well at night, he might be grumpy and clingy during the day. Eating solid food or sucking from the breast might start to hurt, courtesy his swollen gums, leading to frustration. Once his teeth erupt, only then will he experience some relief. Till then, your baby might need you to feed, hold or carry him until he can forget the discomfort and go to sleep. Babies usually cling most to their mothers during this stage and refuse to go to anyone else. So be patient and do what you can to help your baby get through this painful teething stage.
[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Sleep Basics]
Tips to Take Care of Your 40-week-old Baby
Here are a few ways you can take care of your 40-week-old baby:
- Babies deal with separation anxiety at this age. Try not to sneak away when your baby is not paying attention. Let him see you go, wave goodbye and say you’ll be back. This will let him understand you are coming back.
- If you leave your baby with a sitter, make sure that person has enough games and activities so your baby doesn’t experience sadness when you are away.
- If your baby looks at something, look at it too, point it out and describe it. This will teach him to ask ‘what is that’ about something, knowing that you will give him the answer.
- It is common at 40 weeks for babies to wake up suddenly and pull themselves up to cruise around the crib. Gently lay your baby back down, pat him on the back and encourage him to go back to sleep.
- If your baby has not had a good night’s sleep due to teething discomfort or extra energy, put him down for a long daytime nap the next day.
- Encourage your baby to try out his physical abilities by giving him a lot of floor space to walk, and cruise. This will develop his leg muscles.
- Babies will be prone to falling or bumping into things when they try walking so keep a first aid kit with bandages, gauze, tweezers and ointment on hand always.
- If your baby starts to act out, put him in a safe place like a playpen or crib so that he doesn’t injure himself. Avoid resorting to picking him up always.
Tests and Vaccinations
There will be a physical exam when your baby is 40-weeks-old which will be done by the doctor based on the individual needs of the baby.
The doctors can conduct a blood test to determine levels of iron, haemoglobin and lead in your baby’s blood to rule out anaemia in your baby.
The doctor will give your baby a shot of the measles vaccine and the fifth dose of oral Polio drops if your baby has been getting the dosage regularly.
Games and Activities
Here are a few games you can play with your 40-week-old baby:
This game can help your baby get over separation anxiety. Hiding your face with a towel then uncovering it again helps them know you are physically present even if they can’t see you.
2. Clapping Hands
Play a game of clapping your hands and encourage your baby to as well. This can help him coordinate his hand movements.
3. Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Play a game where you ask your baby to point out where his eyes, nose and mouth are. This can help him learn the names of different body parts.
4. Dance and Sing
As your baby will be able to walk now, you can further encourage his mobility by dancing and singing alongside him.
[Also Read: 9 Months Old Baby Games and Activities]
When to Consult a Doctor
Consult your doctor regarding your 40-week-old infant’s development for the following:
- To seek guidance on topics like your baby’s feeding, sleeping, safety and development routine over the next one month, and what 40-week-old baby milestones to expect.
- To confirm what new foods you can add to your baby’s diet. Check with your baby’s doctor when can you introduce fish, meat, egg whites and citrus in your baby’s diet (if you haven’t introduced already), and when you can start weaning your baby off breast milk or the bottle.
At 40 weeks, you will see physical and language development in your baby. But in case, your baby doesn’t cruise or speak a few words, don’t worry. Give him some time, each baby develops at his own place, and your little one will start cruising and repeating after you soon enough.
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