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Is your baby finally 41 weeks old? Congratulations! Your little one has come far, but there is still a long way to go. At 41 weeks, your baby will start understanding simple phrases and words, so the most important thing right now is to keep talking to her. Her brain will work overtime now, as her fine and gross motor skills develop and as her physical growth and mental development takes place. At this stage, separation anxiety and sleep disruption due to teething may peak, but there are other exciting developments that you will notice in your little one.
A 41-Week-Old Baby’s Development
At this stage, your baby will be trying out her vocal skills. So avoid talking back in baby talk. Try as much as you can to respond to her babbling with proper full sentences. Like you can say “Really?” or “That’s interesting” in reply when she babbles something. Your baby will smile and keep chattering, but this is an excellent way to make her pick up proper words and understand phrases for her to promote language development in her.
You will also see a stark of difference in her physical growth. Yes, it will be rapid, so it might be time to increase size in clothing to accommodate her growth. She will move more actively and may start to pull herself up, stand, cruise, and learn to sit back down again. A baby at 41 weeks will constantly be on the move.
A Forty-One Week-Old Baby’s Developmental Milestones
Below are some 41-week old baby milestones that you can watch out for in your baby:
- Your baby will be able to stand while holding onto something or someone.
- Your baby will be able to participate in peekaboo games.
- Your baby will be able to say ‘mama’ and ‘papa.’
- Your baby will be able to push up into a standing position from sitting.
- Your baby may be able to have an exchange of gestures with you back and forth.
- Your baby will start to mimic your behaviour and actions.
- Your baby will be more creative and may understand how to get what she wants using tools. For example, if she can’t reach a ball, she might try to use something long to try and move it toward her.
Most babies at 41 weeks may refuse solid foods that they previously enjoyed, like purees or if you practice baby-led weaning. This is an important time to introduce your baby to a variety of foods, but you will see her going for limited choices. Though this might make you worry that she is not meeting her nutritional needs, you can rest assured as for the first 12 months, breast milk or formula feeding will be more than enough to supplement your baby’s nutrition. Try to go with your baby’s food choices as otherwise, she might scream a lot. Allow her to choose from a range of options and let her eat how much she wants without worrying about recommended servings. Refusing food can also result from teething pain, so offering soft, cold, and mashed foods will provide her with some relief. Frozen watermelon is great for teething pain, apart from that, you can also try out soft pieces of fish or chicken. Find out what she is comfortable with and then give her that.
At 41 weeks, your baby will exhibit fussiness during her sleep time. During this period, she may experience disturbed and unsettled nights due to a variety of factors like teething discomfort. Although her distress might trouble you, stay away from using gels or medication to ease her pain. The symptoms of teething include biting, drooling, rubbing ears, facial rash, wakefulness, less appetite, and mild fever. The symptoms that are not directly related to tooth eruption include disturbed sleep, loose stool, coughing, blocked nose, body rashes, vomiting and fever. If you are not sure why your baby has these symptoms, you can check once with your paediatrician.
A 41-Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips
Here are a few tips to care for a 41-week-old baby:
- The best way to promote your baby’s development is communication. Give names to the objects your baby points or you point out objects to her telling her the names so that she learns. Ask her daily about the same objects, this way she will be able to remember those names.
- Do not baby talk with your little one. Talk and reply to your baby using proper words and sentences, it will help in her development.
- Tell your baby what you are doing while doing it. For example, while placing her in a stroller to take her to a park, tell her – “I’m buckling you in so that you feel comfortable and now we’re off to the park”
- Sing nursery rhymes to your baby and use words with associated actions so that she remember actions that go with the key phrases and words.
- Read to your baby often and point out pictures in books along with a description of each so that your baby can identify objects, people, and animals by name.
- Get your baby some ‘push-and-walk’ toys so that she can move around without assistance safely until she starts to walk on her own.
- Establish a regular pre-bedtime routine involving hugging, a little massage and some gentle rocking to help your baby relax before sleep.
Tests and Vaccinations
Many doctors don’t schedule regular checkups at this stage, but you can consult the doctor if you have any concerns.
Your baby’s paediatrician will check your baby’s height and weight to track her development. He may do a blood test to check levels of haemoglobin, iron, and lead in her blood.
Your baby might need to complete her Hepatitis B vaccine dosage at 41 weeks or a little later. She will also need a third dose of polio (IPV) vaccine somewhere around this stage. The paediatrician might also advise a dose of influenza vaccine.
Games and Activities
You can play the following games with your 41-week-old baby:
1. First Step Game
Sit across from another person and encourage your baby to ‘walk’ between the two of you. If she doesn’t walk as of now, let her crawl, or make her walk holding onto something. This will encourage your baby to develop her core muscles and practice the motion of walking.
Your baby will now be able to play peekaboo along with you and will respond actively to this game.
3. Dance and Sing
Put on some music, stand your baby up and dance a few moves with her. Babies love to sway to music at this stage
4. Hide and Seek
You can also start playing hide and seek with your baby. However, make sure not to leave her alone for more than a minute!
When to Consult a Doctor
You can consult your doctor for the following things:
- If your baby experiences sleep apnea at this stage. This is a disorder where she might stop breathing in her sleep either temporarily or repeatedly. The culprit may be allergies, a cleft palate, illness, adenoids, enlarged tonsils or a nervous system which is not fully developed. A baby with sleep apnea may cough, gasp, have trouble breathing and sweat copiously during sleep. She may also wake up multiple times at night. If you notice these signs, consult your baby’s paediatrician.
- If you see that teething is not the reason for your baby’s sleeplessness at night, and if your baby also shows symptoms like loose stool, fever, body rash and vomiting, consult a doctor.
Keep a track of your 41-week-old baby’s development. The most you will notice is sleep disruption at this stage along with an increased tendency to babble while your baby learns to form words and remember them. Though you might feel silly having proper conversations with your baby, this is a great way to help babies develop their language skills. You will also find it cute when your little one tries to mimic whatever you do, so enjoy this phase with her.