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Your baby is 27 weeks and is growing fast. Their feeding and demands only get higher as you find them waking up several times in the night crying from hunger. If you’re wondering what your baby at 27 weeks should be doing then continue reading, here’s everything you need to know:
A 27 Week-Old Baby’s Development
This phase is quite a busy time for your baby; they are developing, physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. You would notice that they are increasingly becoming aware of what they want and even show a little anger in their shrieks when things don’t go their way. You would also see that their bodies are working all day and night on mobility skills.
A Twenty-Seven Week-Old Baby’s Milestones
Babies grow at different rates and not all reach their development milestones at the same time, and quite often they show up when you are least expecting. By 27 weeks some babies are just sitting, some maybe crawling and some just seem to cruise. Since reaching milestones occur on a broad time frame, try not to worry if your baby is a late bloomer. However, consult their paediatrician if you notice any problems. Here are general pointers on what you can expect:
- You’d find that your baby is quite happy on their tummy, rolling or trying to get up. This is a good time to help them sit upright. Support them in a sitting position while playing, so they develop that important motor skill.
- Some babies might begin to teeth by this time, and you can help ease their toothache by cold foods and teether toys. Pay attention to their moods and behaviours and if you see that their gums are red or swollen, ease the pain with a cold teething ring.
- By now they start understanding your facial expression and related emotions. They can tell when you are appreciating what they are doing and when you are annoyed. They can differentiate between surprised, happy, fearful and sad faces and the vocal tones associated with them.
You can now introduce solid foods to your baby without hestitation. The belief in the past was that delaying the commonly allergenic foods lowered their risk of allergies. New research says that it is just the opposite. Introducing as many different types of foods early as they begin on solids is a good way to boost their immunity. Common allergenic foods such as eggs, nuts, wheat, soy, dairy, seafood etc. should all be introduced in small quantities as soon as the solid foods begin. They can be introduced to nuts safely through nut butter, however, avoid honey, fast food, sweet desserts and junk.
Introduce your baby to different types of spices, herbs and foods commonly used in your family and rather than making separate meals for them, see what you can adapt from your own to suit the baby’s needs.
A 27-week old baby sleep should be around 14-15 hours a day. Babies fuss during sleep time if they are emotionally drained or fatigued and ache from a whole day’s play time. Their sensory inputs throughout the day can also be overwhelming, and they can get cranky by the end of the day requiring reassurance and comfort to settle down. By watching them throughout the day, you can quickly learn when it is that they have had too much activity and stepped in to help them relax. It’s also seen in research that a 30-minute nap after any new task helps them remember and apply it the next time.
A 27 Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips
- Now is definitely a good time to baby-proof your house. As they learn how to crawl, you’d notice all the stuff in the shelves that’s within their reach begins to come off. This is the right time to fasten shelf to the walls and buy gates that seal off stairs and other dangerous areas like the balcony, kitchen and the bathroom. It’s also important to plug open electrical sockets.
- They may like bearing weight on their legs when you hold them upright. Allow them to do it; the weight on their legs stimulates the muscles to develop strength and gross motor control. Don’t listen to the old wives tale that it would make them bandy-legged. If they enjoy it, allow them to bear weight on it. On the other hand, don’t force them to do it if they show signs of displeasure.
- Pick them up and comfort them often. Experts agree that it’s impossible to spoil a child with too much love within their first year. If you are worried that picking your baby up at their first whimper spoils them, try figuring out why they are maybe crying first.
- Your baby can now choose their first comfort object or “Lovey”- a teddy bear, a soft blanket or any toy that they’ll favour and stick to for years to come. These are what experts call “transitional objects” as it helps infants to bridge the gap between dependence and autonomy. They offer comfort and reassurance when you’re not around. So whatever they pick, try and buy several others just in case.
- This is also a good time to work on separation anxiety; it can be tough on both the baby and the parents. Try and spend a little time away from them every day while they are being looked after by another family member or a caretaker. Start with a ritual: hug and kiss your baby and hand them over their lovey and leave. Do not drag your departure, even if they are crying. They’ll be fine two minutes after you walk out of the door.
Tests and Vaccinations
Physical tests include:
- Weigh and measure the baby to plot it on a growth chart. It gives them an idea of their growth rate.
- Heart and lungs are examined for abnormal rhythms or breathing problems
- The eyes are examined for congenital conditions and blocked ducts.
- The ears are examined for signs of infections and how your baby responds to sounds.
- Mouth examination is done for signs or yeast infections such as thrush and new teeth.
- The head is checked for soft spots (fontanels) and its shape.
- The body is examined for reflexes, muscle tone and the skin is examined for rashes. Their muscle control is also assessed while sitting, grabbing things and other interactions. Baby’s arms and legs are moved around to look for problems in the joints.
Your baby’s vaccinations include DTaP, polio, hepatitis B, pneumococcal and Hib which are given combined in two or three shots. They would also receive a rotavirus vaccine which is given orally.
Games and Activities
Here are two fun games you can try with your baby:
1. The Hide and Eat
This game develops their fine motor skills and helps in building the sense of object permanence. You’ll need a clean towel, some finger foods and some opaque cup for this activity. The game starts with showing your baby the snack and covering it up with the towel. Let the baby lift off the veil to discover the snack is still there even though they couldn’t see it a moment ago.
You can try the same game with a little bit of a magician’s touch. Cover the snack with one of the opaque cups and place two other cups next to it. Shuffle the cups around and let them find their snack underneath by lifting the cups.
2. The Great Fall
Babies love games that have a surprise ending, especially one that involves movement. This game develops gross motor skills and builds a sense of cause and effect. On a soft rug indoors or outdoors or on your lawn, lay down on your back with your knees raised. Your baby sits on your belly facing you while leaning back on your knees. Steady them with your hands and sway from one side to another while reciting a nursery rhyme such as Humpty Dumpty. Every time the word “fall” comes in the rhyme, sway to one side and come back up. If needed use some cushions on the side for safety.
When to Consult a Doctor
You notice any of the following:
- Your baby doesn’t respond to sound stimulus by turning towards the sound.
- Their eyes do not follow you or moving objects and appear cross-eyes at times.
- You notice something is off with the way they crawl favouring one limb over another or tilt sideways.
- They show allergic reactions to new foods that you may try to feed them.
- Their bowel movement is dry and pellet like.
Each baby develops at its own pace and reaches milestones on their own eventually. Wait for it patiently in case yours is yet to get there. In the meantime, enjoy the parenting journey.