Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 16 week old baby?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

Development & Behavior

How should my baby be developing?

When placed on their stomach, your baby will probably lift their head and shoulders highly, and use their arms for support. This mini push-up helps strengthen their muscles and and gives them a better view of what’s going on. They may even amaze you (and himself!) by rolling from their back to their front or vice versa.

You can encourage this rolling skill through playing this: wiggle a toy next to the side they customarily rolls to in case they are interested enough to try again. Applaud for their efforts and smile. They may need your reassurance as this new skill can be a little frightening.

In the last week of the 3rd month, they are able to:

  • Put weight on legs when held upright;
  • Grasp or grab objects;
  • Keep flush with the body when pulling sit up;
  • Attend to the source of the voice directly, especially mother’s voice;
  • Say a consonant combinations;
  • When you put your baby lie, they can raise the head and shoulders by pushing hand. Activity can help strengthen muscles and help them see better what is happening around. Even baby can make you and themselves surprised when fliping from lying supine and vice versa.

How to support my baby?

You can encourage them to flip by gently shaking a baby toy towards the side that your baby often roll over. Praise your child’s efforts and smile at them. Sometimes you need to calm your baby because new skills will make your baby a little bit afraid and shy.

Health & Safety

What should I discuss with my doctor?

Each doctor will have their own methods for infant health examination based on the specific situation. The overall physical tests the quantity and type of techniques to diagnose and how to perform procedures will vary depending on the condition of each child. Your doctor may:

  • Measure weight, height, head circumference and developmental progress of the baby after birth;
  • Do physical exam, including check previous issues;
  • Instruct you on what to consider in the next month related to feeding, sleeping, growth and safety for babies;
  • Answer the question you wonder: What reactions they have when your baby is immunized? You should respond like what? You should call your doctor if your child has any reaction?

You also need to consider the problem that occurs more than a month for infant health, feeding/breastfeeding issues, or changes in the family. Please record the information and guidance of your doctor as well asall required information (child’s weight, height, head circumference, birthmarks, vaccinations, illnesses, administered medications, test results …) into the paper of your baby’s health.

What should I know?

Here are some things you should know about:

Obesity

Obesity has become a common health term. While the adults who are overweight can have a lot of concerns, then a chubby baby dosen’t seem to cause you too much worries. Some babies are chubby when they were born, the other baby begin chubby up when they are bigger. But this is not caused by unhealthy diet or by that your infant has less movements. The reason is that the baby doesn’t develop enough muscle. This situation can be improved when they are bigger.

If you are concerned that your child may be obese, please take them to a doctor to be examined more carefully. To assess obesity, first, the doctor will check the weight and height of the child based on age criteria. If your baby is overweight, your doctor will examine how child develops. Few doctors emphasize the weight of the baby at this age, especially when they have not started to eat solid foods.

A plump body is not the harbinger of that child will be obese when they become an adult. Many children start to lose weight when starting to crawl and learning to walk. As baby gets older, you can encourage your child to play on the floor, just feed when they are hungry and avoid breastfeeding just to soothe him. This will help minimize the possibility that they are overweight.

Playing rough

Your baby may show extreme enjoyment when you toss them in the air and catch them repeatedly. However, this is very dangerous. Some games can be extremely dangerous for children under two years old. They may be injured when being bounced or shaken. Since the baby’s head weighs equivalently to the entire rest of the body, the neck muscles are not yet fully developed so the support force for the baby’s head is very weak. When shaking, the baby’s head is tilted back and dived back in front, which can cause brain collides with the skull. Brain damage can cause swelling, bleeding, pressure or nerve damage and your infant may be affected mentally or physically in life.

They can also injure their eyes. If the retina is separated, their nerve might get hurt, this could affect your baby’s vision, and may lead to blindness.

Injuries can occur when a baby is being shaken while you play with the baby. Therefore, avoid to playing rough and always support your baby’s head and neck with your hand. Also, avoid jogging or bouncing them up while you hold them (instead of letting the baby sit in stroller). That does not mean you are not playing with the baby, you can still play with your baby gently and always put safety first.

My Concerns

What I am concerned about?

Here are some things you may be concerned about:

Baby still use a pacifier

Things that can make your child feel comfortable include nipples, milk bottle, lullabies or pacifiers. Once they have a habit, it will be difficult for the baby to quit. If you do not want your baby to get a pacifier addiction, then now is the ideal time for them to temporarily stop using these items. At this age, the baby’s ability to memorize is limited, so child will easily forget the pacifier if they don’t come into contact with it again. Another cause for advice that you should let your child quit a pacifier is that children at this age can adjust with the change better than big children and withdrawing soothers soon will become easier.

To help them feel more comfortable when there is no pacifier, try rocking cradle, lullaby, let baby suck your sleeve (or self-sucking baby’s hands). If your baby seems not ready to leave the pacifier, you can restrict the use of pacifiers by just letting your baby use it only during naps or at night.

Early weaning

Typically, the first three months of life is the time that your baby is very pleasant and adaptable. So if you’re choosing the most appropriate time to wean your baby, it is now. Although baby loves breastfeeding, but the infant weaned at this time will not be too difficult in comparision with the baby who weans when they are six months old. When you want to early wean your baby, it’s best to start by let your baby drink supplemented infant formula or you can express breast milk into the bottle in approximately 4-6 weeks to gradually let your baby get used to it. You may have to try different ways to know which method that your baby really likes. At this point, it’s best to give your baby formula to gradually reduce the supply of breast milk. Be persistent but not too reluctant to perform this task.

Try to bottle feed before breastfeeding. If your baby refuses a bottle for the first time, try again next time. You should keep trying until your baby drink at least 30-60 ml of the bottle. When your child has done that, let’s replace a formula feeding instead of breast milk. A few days after that, you continue to substitute a different feeding with formula instead of breast milk. Make gradual transition to let your chest adjust with milk supply.

You should also note that you should not prolong breastfeeding in the evening so that you and your baby have more quiet time and can relax together after you get home from work. If you prefer, you can continue to breastfeed once a day if you still have milk and your baby still craves milk. Take your time to fully wean for infant or wait until you no longer have milk.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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