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Your 20-Week-Old Baby – Development & Growth

Table of Contents

20-Week-Old Baby

Table of Contents

At week 20, it’s time for the swaddle transition and to get your vulnerable baby a handy first-aid kit.

Your baby's twentieth week after birth

As your little one has hit the 20-week mark, if you are not well versed with their growth and development, it might surprise you. By this time, your baby is full of personality and you’re reaping all the rewards. You’ll be excited about all the giggles and adorable tricks. Also, if you’re concerned about your baby’s weight (underweight or overweight), visit a pediatrician and they’ll help you figure out a suitable solution. 

Additionally, your little one should settle into a feeding schedule. They’ll have a good sleep and have a calming bedtime routine. Moreover, there are so many fun firsts that you can look forward to!

Your 20-week-old baby's development and physical growth

1. Your baby’s weight:

  • At this stage, your little one has doubled their birth weight. 
  • During the first 6 months of your baby’s life, their weight-gain rate is the fastest. 
  • After that, your baby will go through some growth spurts but their overall growth will slow down. 
  • Sometimes you might stress about their weight gain. 
  • However, your doctor will track your little one’s weight on a growth chart. 
  • If your baby is always around the 75th percentile and their progress is steady, you don’t need to worry. 
  • Avoid force-feeding your baby to encourage healthy weight gain. 
  • Don’t coax your little one into having just one more bite.

2. Your baby’s diet:

  • If you’re breastfeeding your baby, they need around 24 to 36 ounces of breastmilk every day, which is spread out over about 5 or 6 feeds. 
  • Whereas, formula-fed babies need to eat around 24 to 36 ounces of formula in about 5 feeds. 
  • During this week, your little one’s eating habits will change significantly as solid foods will pique their interest.
  • Sometimes they might grab some stuff from your plate when you’re eating. 
  • Introduce well-cooked food items that your little one can chew. 
  • Make sure that your baby does not choke on the food.

3. Your baby’s sleep:

  • At this age, most babies need to for 10 to 12 hours during the night and wake up for a feeding or two (usually not necessary at this point). 
  • Also, your baby will need to take naps for 3 to 5 hours a day, spaced between 2 or 3 naps. 
  • You might notice that your baby has started turning and rolling slightly and there are some changes in their sleep schedule too. 
  • Watch out for your baby’s movements when they are sleeping because they could sleep in uncomfortable positions. 
  • So, you should help them sleep properly. 
  • Due to the sudden change in their sleep schedule, they might experience sleep regression, which is extremely common.

Your 20-week-old baby's reflexes

Here are some major developmental milestones for your 20-week-old baby:

  • One huge step in their life is that your baby can now pass around toys and push anything that they can access.
  • Your little one will show certain behavioral changes that you never saw before and will do something today and completely forget about it tomorrow.
  • As their eating habits slowly start to change, it will influence their growth and development.
  • Watch out for some changes as your little one could go through teething at this stage.
  • You can expect your baby to be fussy and grumpy at times, and they’ll cry and shout, too. This is normal at this time.
  • Now, your little one can easily roll from their back to belly and back again and they’ll frequently do it.
  • By now, they can sit up and support themselves with their hands.
  • Also, they will be able to locate sounds, and they can turn their head to check out where the sound is coming from.
  • Additionally, your little one is attracted to movement and enjoys watching it.

Your 20-week-old baby's health

1. Teething:

  • At 20 weeks, your little one might’ve started teething so ease their pain by giving them something to chew on. 
  • You can use some teething toy or ring. 
  • You can even use something cold such as a partially-frozen wet washcloth as frozen teething items are too hard for babies’ sensitive mouths. 
  • Don’t use benzocaine-based teething gels or anything labeled homeopathic to numb their pain.

2. Allergies:

  • Some babies might develop allergies due to irritants such as pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites. 
  • Keep an eye on some allergy symptoms in your baby. 
  • As they tend to resemble those of cold symptoms, and it will include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and congestion.

3. Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD):

  • HFMD is very common among babies and children under the age of 5. 
  • It tends to be a fairly mild infection. 
  • You might notice some painful, bumpy, red rash or blisters appear on the hands, soles of the feet, and inside of the mouth of your baby.

4. Tests and vaccinations:

  • Stay updated about your baby’s vaccinations. 
  • Make sure that your little one has regular checkups and tests.  
  • By now, most prescribed vaccinations are already given to the baby. 
  • However, re-check with your pediatrician, if there is any pending. 
  • When you visit the doctor, confirm if your baby is developing as expected. 
  • Also, if you think your baby’s health has been taking a toll, consult your pediatrician.

Postpartum baby tips: Week 20 after birth

Understand that your baby is ready to sit

  • Yep! It’s time to get ready for another photo op. 
  • Any day now, your little one might be able to sit up without any help. 
  • As parents, you can expect this developmental milestone to first occur when your baby is around 5 months of age. 
  • At first, your little one will be pretty shaky and will lean forward on their hands for balance.
  • With time, your baby will get steadier and steadier. 
  • Usually, it takes around 9 months to be able to keep themselves upright without falling. 
  • Tummy time has made your baby a lot stronger. 
  • During this week, as your baby is lying on their belly, they might be able to lift both their arms and legs off the floor (as if they’re flying).

Understanding your active baby

  • At this stage, your little one is a bundle of energy. 
  • During the day, they are more awake and are probably down to two solid naps (one, after getting up and another post lunchtime). 
  • Your little one can spend their time practicing their new skills. 
  • They can grab things, roll around, chatter away, and play quietly all by themselves.
  • If your baby has started solids, they’ll have a strong drive to suck, which helps strengthen their mouth muscles. 
  • With their improving hand-eye coordination, they want everything in sight which includes your grubby running shoes, the dog’s tail, and crumbs on the kitchen floor. 
  • If your baby puts something yucky in their mouth, don’t stress about it much. 
  • This is your baby’s main way of exploring. 

However, do keep the objectionable things away and replace them with something they can go to town on, such as baby teethers.

The mother after childbirth: What is happening in the twentieth week after giving birth?

Your baby is transitioning out of swaddles

  • When you swaddle sleeping newborns, it makes them feel snug and secure. 
  • After they start rolling, remember to keep their arms free. 
  • This way when they turn onto their tummies in their sleep, they can safely reposition themselves.
  • So, it’s time to transition to a sleep sack. 
  • Sleep sacks are cozy and they allow babies to move their legs and arms. 
  • As parents, you can easily maneuver it during a middle-of-the-night diaper change.
  • For a few nights, start by swaddling your little one with one arm out as they’ll get used to having an arm free. 
  • You can then try with both arms. 
  • Changing your baby’s sleep routine can be nerve-wracking but babies are more adaptable to change than we think. Also, it’s important to keep them safe!

You need to get a first aid kit

  • As parents, it’s always best to be prepared. 
  • Although you’d much prefer for your little one to never get a boo-boo or came down with a bug.
  • With a first aid kit, you can avoid frantically digging through the grown-up medicine cabinet. 
  • You can easily reach for a baby-specific first aid kit, which is packed with all the essentials you need. 
  • Now you can tackle almost any situation!
  • A baby first aid kits usually include things like a thermometer, bandages, ointments, saline spray, nasal aspirator, medicine dispensers, and even grooming gear.

Final Thoughts

At 20 weeks, your little one is starting to develop and adapt to patterns and routines around you. Can you believe it? 20 weeks ago, you brought home this beautiful bundle of joy. Now, you can watch them laugh, play, cry and even make you angry. Remember that this week is a huge milestone for you and your little one! Give them some space to play and have fun and also try to join in their activities and celebrate your time together!

FAQs- Your 20-Week-Old Baby

1. How far can a 20-week old baby see?

Babies still don't have 20/20 vision by now. However, your little one can see well at different distances and their eyes can't focus together without crossing. Also, their color perception has sharpened too. Now, they can tell the difference between two shades of the same color.

2. What should a 20-week old baby be doing?

At 20 weeks, your little one can roll from tummy to back and tummy to side. So, your baby will more likely move around a lot during sleep, practice their mobility, and they’ll get into awkward positions.

3. What are some games and activities for your 20-week old baby?

  • Body Massage: Gently massage your baby (from top to bottom), after a bath or during changing.
  • Noise Makers: Give your baby toys that will make noise as it helps them learn to play with toys in different ways to see how they move and sound.
  • Ten Toe Surprise: Try to touch their toes, and say a number for each one, or singing “This Little Piggy”. This helps your little one learn to focus attention while using their eyes to follow your movements.
  • Yummy in My Tummy: Talk to your baby about the pureed food when you’ll feed them as it helps the baby develop language skills.
  • Reviewed By-

    Nimrat, Pediatrics

    Nimrat, Pediatrics

    Dr. Nimrat S Sidhu is a practicing pediatrician for about 5 years now and holds an MD pediatrics degree. She was the topper of her batch, has always had a keen interest in her core medical field, and is specially trained for neonatal resuscitation.

    On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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