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As your baby becomes 43 weeks old, there are so many things that keep her busy. Firstly, she is trying to reach the next milestone of learning what she can do and what you will allow her to do. She’s learning different tastes of food that she likes and food that she doesn’t like. She’s learning different ways to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. Your baby will be in a stage of sensory development where her brain is processing, downloading and installing updates so to say.
43 Week-Old Baby’s Development
At this age, you might notice that your baby imitates everything you do. She might try to feed you something using the spoon while you are feeding her or bang on the computer keyboard while you are writing an email or try to rub you instead with soap while you are washing her. Babies learn a lot by watching you but take care not to exhibit negative behaviour like yelling in front of them as they make pick up that too. Your baby will be able to understand a sense of belonging now and will start to identify toys as hers. If you have been pointing out body parts to your baby while naming them all this while, at this stage, you will finally see her pointing correctly to her eyes, nose and ears when you prompt her. She will also crave social interaction. Some babies at 43 weeks can walk already and probably crawl over cushions and people’s legs. So make sure your house is baby proofed for safety.
Forty-Three Week-Old Baby’s Developmental Milestones
You can expect to see the following 43-week old baby milestones at this stage:
- Your baby will be able to stand alone during short moments
- Your baby will be able to point to something to express that she needs it
- Your baby will be able to say ‘mama’ or ‘papa’ constantly and another one or two common words.
- Your baby might be able to walk or toddle for short whiles
- Your baby will be able to pick up gestures you do and mimic them from time to time
- Your baby will be able to understand the meaning of ‘no’ even though it may not often please her to be told that
By this age, your baby is already eating solid food and drinking water from a cup. If you are a working mother, you don’t need to pump breast milk each time for your baby when you are away for short periods. But you might worry you won’t be able to pump enough breast milk to keep his needs met during the day if you are away from her at your workplace. If you have arranged for a carer for your baby, don’t worry they will have their ways to comfort your baby. It is important you keep pumping breast milk every 3-4 hours even when you are away as it prevents your breast from becoming full and painful. You can then give this milk to your baby’s carer for times when you are away. Calculate the volume of milk based on your baby’s needs. Expect an average feed of 70-80ml. Tell the carer to offer breast milk to the baby in a cup with meals when you are away if she uses techniques like patting, rocking or cuddling your baby before sleep time.
Since your baby is processing mentally, developmentally and physically at 43 weeks of age, she will be less likely to sleep at night. She will have an extremely disturbed sleep, and as parents, you might find it difficult to keep getting up to resettle your baby again. To get through this period, you can try resorting to co-sleeping – meaning sleeping with your baby on the same bed so that you can immediately be on hand to help her go back to sleep in case she wakes up. This is one way to approach nighttime parenting but make sure to observe safe sleeping guidelines for your baby.
A 43 Week-Old Baby’s Care Tips
Here are a few tips to care for your 43-week old baby:
- Provide a safe, structured environment for your baby to move around in. She will be more mobile and independent at this stage so keeping physical barriers like closed doors and baby gates can provide a safe space for her to explore.
- Your baby will drop things purposely for you to pick up. If she keeps doing this, take the object away for some time and distract her with a game like peekaboo.
- When your baby throws tantrums, ignoring it is very effective. The more attention you draw to undisciplined behaviour, the more your baby is likely to misbehave. You can use a firm ‘no’ when it comes to dangerous situations involving your baby’s safety.
- Never spank your baby as it will cause emotional trauma as well as mistrust into her growing years.
- If you are leaving your baby with another person for some time, make sure to reassure her by showing approval toward the new person and telling your baby you will be back very soon.
- Since your baby will start walking soon or is already walking, consider buying some baby shoes with breathable fabric if you want to take her outside and toddle around while holding your hand.
Tests and Vaccinations
The doctor usually will not schedule any medical checkups at the 10-month mark for your baby.
The doctor may advise a blood test if your baby shows signs of anaemia to check her haemoglobin, iron and lead levels.
Your baby may need the 3rd dose of the IPV (polio) vaccine at this age and also the final dosage of the Hepatitis B Vaccine (both to be taken between 6 to 18 months). Based on your doctor’s recommendation, your baby may also need an influenza vaccine shot.
Games and Activities
Here are a few games you can play with your 43-week old baby:
1. Patty Cake
You can teach your baby to play patty cake along with the words and gestures so that she can practice her hand mobility.
2. Hold Up Your Arms
You can play this game while your baby is getting dressed, asking her to hold out her arms for you to pull the dress on her head.
3. Hide and Seek
You can play hide and seek with your baby in the house. Make sure never to hide for too long and to have the house baby proofed for this.
You can play a racing game with your baby on who can crawl the fastest across a room and back. This will help her pick up the concept of distance and speed.
When to Consult a Doctor
Here are the times you need to consult a doctor during your 43-week old infant development:
- If your baby has a cold or flu which is being resistant to cure, consult your doctor to check whether if there isn’t any deeper health issue which needs stronger medication.
- Sometimes teeth grinding is a way babies use to release tension and experiment with feeling their teeth. This can affect the development of teeth and become dangerous is continued for long periods. If teeth grinding becomes more frequent and does not stop, you should consult your baby’s doctor.
- If your baby is experiencing sleep apnea – temporary periods when she stops breathing – at night, consult your doctor who will advise you of some measures to help deal with this condition.
- If your baby experiences an allergic reaction to something and exhibits swelling of the tongue, hands or feet, fever, vomiting or a rash, take her to the doctor.
At 43 weeks, babies are playful and love to explore. But she might also develop fear towards many things like the sound of dishes or a vacuum cleaner. This is because as babies grow, they become more and more aware of the dangerous things in our world. To help your baby get over these fears, you can get her used to noises by doing such activities when she is awake. Or another option is to buy your baby her toy vacuum cleaner and ask her to clean with you. It will be very cute to see your little one mimicking your actions alongside you. This will help her with her fears as well as help her motor skill development and mobility.