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We are halfway through year one! What to expect from the 6-month pediatrician appointment, and the importance of finding time to exercise. Let’s dive into week 26!
Your baby's twenty-sixth week after birth
At 26 weeks your little one will start to flex their tiny muscles. Due to their increased motor skills, your baby will slowly begin to walk upright. During this time, the part of your baby’s brain that’s receptive to sounds has become more active as it’s developing at a fast pace. By now, you can expect a significant increase in your baby’s sense of hearing and attention to voices. Moreover, you might notice that their milk teeth are about to sprout out as they are teething. It’s also a sign that your baby can start to have solid food.
Your 26-week-old baby's development and physical growth
1. Your baby’s weight:
- As of now, your baby is still growing but they won’t be gaining an ounce per day.
- At this stage, babies have more than doubled their birth weight on average.
- Some babies do add a few extra pounds.
- This marks a lot of big developmental milestones for your little one as they are getting stronger day by day.
2. Your baby’s diet:
- It’s time to introduce solid food, well semi-solids, to your little one.
- As it’s the transition period, their digestive system is still adapting to the new foods as opposed to breastmilk or formula.
- So, don’t be alarmed if you find any undigested pieces of food in their poop.
- They might even be constipated due to the transition.
- A simple remedy? Introduce fiber-rich foods such as papaya, prune juice, carrots, and spinach into their diet.
- Also, start introducing water in your little one’s diet and make sure to boil the water as their immune systems are still developing.
- Don’t feel disheartened, if your baby has not started eating solid food as they will do it sooner or later.
- Remember to avoid force-feeding because they still have their tongue-thrust reflex.
3. Your baby’s sleep:
At 26-weeks, some babies tend to sleep for longer durations, whereas others might not be so lucky.
If your little one has disturbed sleeping patterns or schedules, it could be because of various factors such as teething, night feedings, etc.
Please note: You might breastfeed your baby at least once during nighttime. Research suggests that at least 78% of babies tend to wake up during the nighttime.
Your 26-week-old baby's reflexes
- Your 26-week old baby might get a little agile with their fingers.
- You might notice your baby showing signs of independence. They would love to explore and take in their surroundings (be it the living room or the park).
- Due to their better hearing, your baby might start imitating some of the voices that they hear. Even with their limited speech-making capabilities expect them to start making some babbling sounds.
- Also, they’ll instantly react to any unusual sounds.
- Additionally, your little one might be able to sit without support for a few seconds or minutes.
Your 26-week-old baby's health
1. Test and Vaccinations:
Here are some of the tests and vaccinations that need to be done –
- DTaP and Hib
- Final hepatitis B dosage between now and 18 months.
- Influenza vaccine
- Tuberculosis can be fatal for infants so if you have any immediate family member with tuberculosis, get your baby tested as soon as possible.
- As babies are prone to getting cavities, go to the dentist for a dental check-up.
- Just to be on the safe side, go for a lead screening test, to see if they’ve consumed any poisonous substances.
Consult a Doctor, if:
- Due to teething, your baby has a very high fever (without any signs of stopping).
- Your baby is unresponsive to sounds as it might be a cause for concern.
- Your baby looks malnourished.
Postpartum baby tips: Week 26 after birth
Understanding the doctor’s 6-month visit
- To keep tabs on your six-month-old baby’s growth, they’ll check the weight, height, and head circumference measured (per usual).
- The healthcare provider will conduct an exam from head-to-toe to check their reflexes, heart, lungs, eyes, ears, belly, body movements, and the diaper area.
- Also, your little one’s doctor will take a close look at developmental milestones such as rolling, sitting, eating solid foods and teething, emerging language, and social skills.
- Make sure to write down all the questions you have ahead of time, in case you forget some.
- For instance, questions about introducing new foods, allergies, nap schedules, breastmilk or formula intake, and unusual poop.
- To make sure you won’t have an extra cranky baby, try to schedule this visit in between nap times.
Understand how to treat the bumps and bruises
- With a rapidly growing and moving baby (especially crawling), they might end up with a few bumps and bruises.
- Most scrapes are no big deal but learn to take your cues from your baby as you’re trying to figure how to treat an injury.
- Avoid fussing over your baby too much, as they might get worried and tear up again.
- If your baby is easily distracted, they might have been more scared than hurt.
- If your baby’s wound looks swollen, simply wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas in a washcloth or towel. Then, apply it to the owie for some minutes at a time.
- If your baby has a small cut, apply an adhesive bandage. To keep them from peeling it off and putting it in their mouth, wrap the bandage in cloth (mittens or a scarf). As this can be a choking hazard.
- If your baby is inconsolable and the bleeding is uncontrollable, call your pediatrician for help.
The mother's body after childbirth: What is happening in your body in the twenty-sixth week after giving birth?
You need to find time to exercise
As a mother, it can be challenging to find the time and energy to work out. You will always find a reason not to, you’re too tired, you don’t have any time, there’s no childcare, you’d rather watch something on Netflix, laundry, etc. These reasons are completely valid and it can be hard to power through them. You need to start small and do something that fits into your schedule so here are some tips to exercise more:
1. Don’t go overboard
You need to start slow and gradually build up the strength for more intense, longer workouts. Before jumping straight into the workout, try low-intensity classes or try power walks before jogging.
2. Planning ahead of time
You need to head into a new week with a flexible schedule. If your goal is exercising 3 times a week, you can plan some weekend class outside the house when someone is with the baby, or during the week one day, take a long walk with your baby and do an online workout during naptime. Want to get out of the house? Check if your local gym offers on-site childcare.
3. Do something you like
If you enjoy your workout, then you’ll feel more motivated to stick with it. There are so many options, you could do spinning, yoga, pilates, cardio, Zumba, jogging, power walking, hip-hop dance, etc.
4. Online workout
It’s easier to fit in a workout at home and there’re so many awesome online workouts to choose from. You can do them in your living room, with minimal or zero equipment.
5. Workout at work
If your office has an onsite gym or there’s one nearby, take advantage of it.
6. Chunk it out
Instead of aiming for a long workout, which doesn’t always work, you can do a couple of things in spurts throughout the day. For instance, start with a short Pilates video online, an impromptu ab session with your baby on the playmat, and go on a neighborhood walk.
Exercising with a baby at home isn’t easy and it will never go as planned. But remember that, even if it’s just 10 minutes, it’s a victory these days!
Your baby and caregiver’s bond
- If you’re a working mother, your little one gets to spend time with their caregiver.
- Truth is, sometimes you might be worried that their relationship is a little too good. Especially now, your baby does form tight connections with the people they spend time with.
- You might fear that your baby will prefer them over you, which is a natural fear.
- Sometimes you might feel a bit jealous that they get to witness all the amazing firsts in your little one’s development.
- However, do not worry as they know the difference between parents and caregivers by now.
- Also, it’s
Time flies so quickly. Your little one is 26 weeks old. There are lots of noticeable signs of development in them already. With all the important milestones and development that will take place this week and in the coming weeks, you need to relax and try to enjoy the fact that things are going so well with you and your little one!