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Understanding the growth and development of your baby at different portions of his life is critical. By understanding how your baby grows, where he is in his growth cycle compared to other children his age, and checking if he is growing normally, you can be prepared for any challenge that may come your way.
Growth of Baby
Each week that passes during this phase of his life will show significant physical growth in terms of physique, strength, and mobility. When considering the growth of your child at this age, the measurements that come into consideration are:
- Head Circumference
- Limb Movement
One of the most notable aspects of child growth at this time is the need to socialize. This is around the age when your baby has begun to grow awareness of his surroundings and begins interacting with other children and adults. This is also the time when the baby begins to recognize you and your partner as his primary caregivers. Things to consider for the baby’s growth include diet, his feeding schedules, sleep, types of activity and physical health. Your baby’s medical specialist will give you developmental milestones to look out for on a monthly basis. If your baby doesn’t hit these milestones immediately, do not worry. Every baby develops at his own pace.
20 Week Old Baby Development
A key milestone to recognise during this week of your child’s development is the ability to recognize individuals. Your baby at this point in his life knows who you are and when he hears your voice he will react by gurgling or smiling.
21 Week Old Baby Development
This week is critical for your baby. He will attempt to turn in one direction. He also will become more verbal and slowly begin to move his limbs based on the sounds around him, most likely due to your voice or your partner’s voice.
22 Week Old Baby Development
This week of his development is particularly exciting as his growth includes improved strength from the neck down to his feet. This is also when you can expect your child to try lifting his upper torso during tummy time.
23 Week Old Baby Development
This is a crucial week for his physical development. This is around the time when your baby will be able to sit upright with support. Expect your baby to also have more coordinated muscle movement and he will become far more verbal during this period.
The monitoring of the milestones of your child can also help you get him the care and help he may need to reach these milestones. Under the circumstances that your baby cannot reach these milestones by significant margins, it could indicate a form of a developmental disorder that you may need to be prepared for.
One of the most important indicators of your baby’s health being abnormal is the lack of development. During this time, it is absolutely essential that you keep an eye on your baby’s physical activity. Watch if he is less active physically. If this is the case, it could be an indicator that something is wrong. A baby at 5 months of age should be attempting to move his limbs more frequently and should be trying to mimic sounds around them. He should be making noise.
Keep an eye on your baby to see if he is crying a lot more than usual. This is your baby’s way of telling you something is wrong. Although babies at this age cry quite often, if the frequency increases significantly, it could be an indicator of something being abnormal.
It is recommended that you have a baby thermometer at home to check his temperature if you notice something abnormal. It is also recommended that you have your doctor on speed dial and follow up on appointments made. A critical aspect for your baby to stay healthy at this age is following up with his vaccines. Get him vaccinated on schedule and ensure you understand the function and timeline of each vaccination.
Remember not to overlook the vaccinations you need to take either. This is extremely important to battle conditions like a whooping cough. Talk to your doctor about what immunizations should be taken as per the immunization chart during this period.
Baby Milestones – 5 Months
There are numerous activities that are used as developmental markers for your child at this age. Here are some of the five months baby activities used to measure his development.
- Sitting Down – This is the age when your baby is fairly active. One of the most exciting activities at this age to look out for is your baby attempting to sit up by himself, which is considered a fairly significant milestone for development.
- Rolling Over – A crucial activity that shows development at this period is the ability to roll over to at least one side. Some myths claim that the direction he rolls in matters. It is important to understand that this is purely a myth. What is more important is that he can roll over in a direction.
- Grip – Another key action that says your baby is developing well is his grip. The fact that your baby will attempt to hold things in his hands and that he has more control and a stronger grip is a good sign of his strength developing.
- Identifying Flavour – A key milestone at this point is your baby’s ability to distinguish taste when feeding. This is when your baby can become a bit fussy about what he eats. You should start noticing his flavour preferences during this time. A way to identify the development is your baby spitting food out.
- Ability to Recognize Sound – This is also when your baby’s auditory senses build to a significant level. He begins to recognize sounds. To identify if your baby is hitting this milestone, observe his level of engagement when you are playing with them. If he reacts to the sound of your voice, the sounds around them or the sound of others, be it positive or negative, it can be a good sign.
It is important to ensure you engage with your baby during this period of his development. This is also the time when a lot of agencies will try to sell you educational toys or products to boost his development. It is essential that you do not engage with that. Your baby at this point is growing naturally and will not gravitate to toys that he cannot identify with. Your baby’s growth can be aided by social interactions like spending time with him, talking or playing with him. This is also an age where your baby will begin to show “attachments”, be it to a person or a toy. This is a good sign as it shows a healthy development of his emotional sensitivity and emotional development. Something to keep in mind during this time is the danger certain items may pose during bedtime; this includes products like teddy bears, blankets and pillows. These items and any products that can potentially cover your baby’s face is considered dangerous as it can lead to suffocation. While it may help to put them to bed by providing comfort, it is recommended that you keep the surroundings around where he sleeps completely clear.
5 Month Old Baby Activities
Below are some of the activities you can do with your little one to help them grow:
- Eye Spy: Your baby is obviously filled with wonder and amazement at the world around him. It wouldn’t be unusual for him to stare away at a bird flying or a gawk at a whizzing car. Make sure you take advantage of this when you play the eye spy game where you can help stimulate his visual senses. Choose a toy that is visually appealing and is of interest to him. Place it about a foot away from him and then move it around in different directions. Do it in such a way that his eyes are trained on the toy alone. Moving it around at an acceptable pace helps your baby improve his eye coordination.
- Lift: This is an activity that your baby will enjoy just as much as you. As the name suggests, lift your baby up every 10 to 15 seconds. This will help improve his sense of direction and comprehend the concept of space. It works well for his sense of touch and improves balance. When playing, make sure that you give off that feeling of anticipation so that he is prepared for the next lift.
- Treasure Box: Put a box in front of them filled with toys and objects that are bound to get their attention. Go for toys that are hard, soft and anything big enough to not be choking hazards. This works well to improve their motor system as they lack the dexterity of holding objects. This fun little activity helps him hold things with ease and even gives him an idea of how much pressure he needs to hold it with.
5 Month Old Baby Care
Caring for your child at this time is crucial. This means performing certain activities that will help his growth. Here are a few ways to care for your baby during this stage of his development.
- Keep his sleep area obstruction free.
- Converse with them, engage with them verbally by making sounds or just talking to them.
- Let them play with bright coloured toys; these allow your child to recognize colour and stimulate his minds.
- Read to them. The more your baby hears your voice, the better. Read books with lots of bright pictures to help stimulate them.
Talk to your doctor about more methods of caring for your child’s developmental needs.
Good nutrition is essential for your baby’s development at this stage. Although he will begin eating baby food, be sure to slowly phase in solid food in a controlled manner after consulting your physician. At 5 months, your baby’s primary source of nutrition still needs to be breastmilk. You can introduce small external foods though. Remember that during this period, your baby will begin to recognise if he is hungry or if he just needs comfort. Keep a less regimented feeding cycle and try to create a gap between feeding time and nap time. Maintain baby weight charts and mark his physical development every month, to make sure your baby isn’t undernourished.
During this period, your baby will turn onto one side during his sleep. It is important that you monitor this and move them to his back whenever possible. Remember to swaddle your baby during nap time as this can stop him from rolling onto his belly. Sleeping on his tummy can be dangerous and lead to suffocation.
Remember, swaddle him if he rolls over in one direction only and stop doing so when he can roll over in both directions. Always try making him sleep on his back. It is also extremely important that you talk to your doctor about how to ensure that your baby sleeps in a safe manner. Keep his sleeping area and surroundings free of anything that can cover his face.
Tips for Parents
Here are a few tips to help with your baby’s development:
- Remember to stay calm and follow medical advice.
- Keep a developmental diary.
- Track all vaccinations.
- Engage with your baby, play with him and talk to him as often as possible.
- Keep yourself healthy; if you aren’t healthy, caring for your child can be impossible.
- Ensure you eat well. Remember that he is breastfeeding; so what you eat is what nourishes him and you.
It is important to keep in mind that all these milestones act as guidelines and that your baby develops at his own unique speed. It is always beneficial to talk to your doctors in detail about the needs, milestones and care methods for your baby. It is also important to have an open channel of communication with your partner and other caregivers.
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