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By 22 weeks, your baby is probably able to move around, and has a better understanding of the world around him. However, remember that developmental milestones are more like guidelines and not specific plans for the growth of the child- they might occur a little early or a little late, but they will occur for sure.
A 22 Week-Old Baby’s Development
By this time, there would definitely have been a growth spurt in 22-week old baby- your child will not be the baby you brought home five months ago. Around this time, most babies would be trying to move around and be more active. Moving around involves activities like rolling around on the tummy, scooting on the ground or even crawling. If you have a crawler in your hands, you have to take a look at what is on the floor of your home- during this age; babies have the tendency to put everything they can get their hands on directly into their mouth.
In terms of physical growth, the baby weight at 22 week age will be a lot more than his weight during the birth. Your baby might be able to move stuff using his fingers and even grab onto simple items, like feeding bottles. The brain of the child will have progressed by leaps and bounds, with the baby being more aware of his surroundings at this age. He will have an idea of the differences between animate and inanimate things, with his basic understanding being that animate items move on their own, and inanimate things need help to move on their own. This would be a great time to start baby proofing your home, too. Mood swings are a thing too- you might find your baby crying uncontrollably in one moment, and the next moment, he will be giggling and smiling.
A 22 Week-Old Baby’s Milestones
- During this period, your child must be able to move something in front of him with his fingers.
- Grabbing also becomes the norm, but he is usually unable to feed himself.
- If you have introduced something other than breast milk to your child, he might be able to take a small piece of it and bring it to his mouth to eat- although, this is rare.
- You might find your child moving around a lot, and always being active.
- Your child might like the sounds things make, so you might find him dropping whatever he can get to hear many sounds.
Even though your baby might be becoming more hungry and you might be tempted to introduce more solid food into his diet, it is extremely important that breast milk still remains the primary item he consumes. This is because there is nothing more nourishing than breast milk, at this age- it improves the immune system of the child, and makes him stronger as he grows. Breast milk, and to some extent, formula, has the right balance of nutrients the baby needs for brain and muscle development. The digestive system of the child is not strong enough to extract such nutrients from solid food yet.
If you are giving formula to your child, you will have to increase the amount of milk you give your child in a meal gradually as he grows up. However, this is not necessary if you have been only breastfeeding your child. This difference is because, during breastfeeding, the child has more opportunities to drink to his desire, and can space out the amount of milk in his stomach naturally due to milk-ejections. Also, breastmilk contains hormones like leptin, adiponectin and cholecystokinin, unlike formula. These hormones aid in the metabolism and appetite control in the baby and help digestion occur smoothly. The hormones also help the child sleep well, which means that formula fed babies require more energy to simply sleep off. Also, breast milk is digested more easily by the growing digestive system of the child. Also, the amount of formula a child needs to be healthy depends upon his weight- so you need to consult with a doctor to find out the right amount for your child.
Your baby is in the pre-crawling stage now- however, he might have already started crawling a month ago. In any case, this means that he is more likely to wake up during naps, so you have a lot more sleep interruptions to look forward to. However, 22-week old baby sleep still remains the same number of hours, in total. During this period, the muscles of the baby are preparing and becoming stronger to support crawling movements. This preparation involves practising those actions, and most of this practising is carried out when the baby sleeps. Therefore, it is common for parents to find their baby in a completely different position every time they wake up- they might even wake up at ungodly hours and cry for your support in order to go back to sleep.
This disruption of sleep occurs before every major development in terms of locomotion- crawling, sitting, standing and walking included. So, sleep regression will definitely become a thing for the next few months. Some parents try co-sleeping during this period so that disruption is reduced and each of them gets quality sleeping time.
A 22 Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips
Here are a few baby care tips that you can use, so as to make this period easier for both you and your precious baby.
- Always have something that can keep your child engaged ready- it can be a chew toy or just a great bouncy seat. This will help you get a small break from looking after your child when required.
- Bonding is great for both you and the baby, but you cannot expect your child to be receptive to your presence all the time. So put him down for a nap when you think that he looks tired.
- Baby-proof your home as soon as possible and start with the items close to your child’s crib.
Tests and Vaccination
Your doctor will have scheduled a 6-month check up for your child, which will be due in two more weeks. The vaccinations scheduled at this time will be against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. The PCV protects the child against meningitis, ear infections and pneumonia. For stomach flu, the rotavirus oral vaccine is prescribed, and the Hib vaccine is to combat the Haemophilus influenza type b bacteria which can cause epiglottitis or pneumonia in the child.
The possible side effects of vaccinations include only rashes and fever, so the risk of not getting vaccinated far outweighs these small, unimportant symptoms.
Games and Activities
There are a few activities that you can choose to play with your child in this week, which is both fun and work well to improve the motor skills and development of the child.
1. Where’s my teddy?
This improves the sense of understanding the baby has about the world around him, using his favourite teddy bear. You need to wrap up the child in at least five layers of clothing or bags, with the doll being hidden at first. Peel off each layer and ask him where his teddy is, and finally watch him be delighted when the teddy appears from the last bag.
2. Treasure Hunt
This activity is simple, and it develops the fine motor skills of the child in a huge manner. Whenever you go outdoors or to a special place, carry a small basket along with you. When you see something pretty, like a flower, pluck it and show it to your child- then place it into the basket in front of him. Pretty soon, the child will start pointing towards the items that he wants. Try and collect them, but remember to stay away from anything poisonous or which poses a choking hazard to the child. Let your child play with these items once he gets home, and maybe even pin his favourite items up on the refrigerator.
When to Consult a Doctor
As the mother of the child, your instincts need to be trusted more than your logical side. If you ever feel that something is off with the baby, in his actions or the way he is behaving, it is best to pay a visit to your doctor. If any symptoms of vaccination last too long or the child has swallowed something that he was not supposed to, you should go the doctor as soon as possible.
Parenthood is a wonderful thing, and even though looking after your child can be a difficult ordeal, the satisfaction you get in the long run is more than worth it. Let him move around during this time, but pay your doctor a visit quickly if you sense something off with the child.