Your baby is now eleven months old, and it might be hard to imagine him as the tiny newborn he was 48 weeks ago. He will now be moving around confidently, holding onto furniture for support and his first independent steps are not long around the corner (if he isn’t already walking). His brain is also developing rapidly, understanding complex processes, with language development being an important focus. Communication becomes a high priority when your baby grows into a toddler, and there may be times when you wish that you could understand his thoughts more easily. But as your baby gets into the last few weeks of his first year, there may be still a few pleasant surprises left!
48 Week Old Baby’s Development
At 48 weeks, your baby will probably be talking up a storm. He may not be saying actual words, but if you listen closely, you will notice that his ramblings are following a pattern just like a flowing conversation as if they make sense if replaced by real words. For example, his tone and intonation might go up and down depending on if he is saying a sentence or asking a question. This means he has grasped the basic concept of conversing and it is only a matter of time till he starts stringing words together. At times when he is earnestly talking to you about something in gibberish, make sure to reply as if you understand, like ‘Really? And then what happened?’ If you keep doing this, you’re soon to hear a real word or two amidst his babbling.
48 Week Old Baby’s Developmental Milestones
Below are a few 48-week-old baby milestones you can watch out for:
- Your baby will be able to stand alone independently
- Your baby will be able to drink from a cup on his own
- Your baby will be able to say two or three more distinct words other than ‘mama’ or ‘papa.’
- Your baby will be able to roll back a ball which is rolled to him
- Your baby will be able to respond to a one-step instruction like ‘give me that ball’ without gestures from you
- Your baby might start to walk on his own
- Your baby will be able to show what he wants in ways other than crying
- Your baby will be able to pick up small toys and food pieces by pinching them between his thumb and index finger
- Don’t be surprised if he gives you flying kisses, and waves
You can gradually start introducing bowls, plates, and cutlery into your 48-week-old baby’s mealtimes. This is because at this stage your baby’s motor skills will be increasingly developed, allowing him to direct his hand to a plate or container, grasp a small piece of food and take it to his mouth. Once he understands this process, he will further incorporate it with spoons and forks. To prevent your baby from throwing things from his high chair, get plates, spoons, and cups which can stick to the tray using suction. Use wide or flat dishes rather than high containers to make it easy for your baby to pick up food. As using forks and spoons require extensive hand-eye coordination and dexterity from your baby, get ready for a lot of inevitable dropping of cutlery onto the floor from the high chair. Keep multiple clean mats around the chair so that you can pick up the fallen item and return it to the tray. Also, choose spoons with bigger handles which will be easier for your older baby to hold rather than the small ones you used to feed puree to your newborns with.
Your 48-week-old baby will soon see the growth of teeth, with the first 8 firmly in his mouth by the age of 13 months. His teeth might be currently moving about under his gums ready for eruption. This will cause a lot of teething pain and discomfort which will keep your baby up at night. His gums will be swollen, especially where the top four teeth will come out, and this can cause him to be uncomfortable, making it harder for him to fall asleep. That’s why at this time, your baby will need extra love and attention. Breastfeeding, patting, rocking and other relaxing techniques can soothe your baby to sleep. If your baby’s teething pain seems to be unbearable for him, speak to your paediatrician to see what you can do to relieve the pain.
Care Tips for Your 48-week-old Baby
A few ways you can help take care of your 48-week-old baby:
- Ensure your baby has a safe environment to practice his motor skills. Never leave him alone and make sure the area is childproofed
- Encourage your baby to walk by standing in front of him and holding out your hands so that he can take steps with your support
- This week is the week to use the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to your baby so that he can pick it up along with the situations in which to use them
- Babies at this age soak up everything they hear and mimic their parents. So don’t swear or yell at older children in front of your baby, he may try and mimic you
- Don’t use the word ‘no’ too much. Reserve your ‘no’ for something truly dangerous which your baby might attempt to do, like touch electrical sockets or go near the stairs
- If your baby resists spoon feeding, give him the spoon to hold. This will help him practice to scoop food to his mouth by himself.
- Try joining a playgroup with your baby to get him more acclimatised to playing with other babies and to burn off excess energy
Tests and Vaccinations
Most doctors do not schedule any medical checkups at this age until your baby turns one-year-old.
If your baby is showing symptoms of anaemia or some other disorder, your doctor may schedule a blood test to check the levels of haemoglobin, lead, and iron in your baby’s blood. He may also routinely measure your baby’s height and weight to track his development.
Your baby may need the final dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine and the third dose of the IPV (polio) vaccine, both which need to be administered between 6-18 months. Based on the doctor’s recommendation, your baby may also need a shot of the influenza vaccine.
Games and Activities
Here are some activities and games you and your 48-week-old baby can play:
Play this game while hiding behind doors or objects. This will make your baby laugh and participate in the game.
If your baby is walking or crawling, mimic his movement and try racing against him across a room. This can help develop his motor skills and the concept of distance and speed.
3. Reading a book
Read a book together with your baby, preferably one which has bright pictures, and encourage him to name the things you are pointing out in the book. If he doesn’t know, repeat the name to your baby while pointing so that his mind can remember by association.
4. Try and walk
Stand in front of your baby and hold hid hands aloft in yours. Take small steps and encourage him to walk forward while you walk backwards holding him. This will help your baby get a sense of the movement of walking and help his muscles remember it so that he can walk on his own soon.
When to Consult a Doctor
In your 48-week-old infant’s development, here are the following instances in which to consult a doctor:
- If your baby shows low-grade fever and itchy red spots on his body which develop into brown crusts. Consult your doctor immediately as your baby may have chicken pox.
- If you see your baby exhibit an allergic reaction complete with a runny nose, watery eyes, a fever and rashes to any food item or anything at home, consult your doctor.
Every baby has a pace at which they start to walk. Your baby might be taking a few steps by now, or he may still be content with crawling. Don’t worry; they will acquire their motor skills on their own time. Make sure to always have your camera ready to click a picture!