Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 21 week old baby?


Development & Behavior

How should my baby be developing?

At the week 21, the baby can:

Keep their head when leaning straight, lift up chest and belly leaning against with two hands. They will pay a lot of attention to small – sized objects (such objects should be out of reach of children);

  • Scream with joy;
  • Start to cry when you leave the room and be extremely excited when you return;
  • Laugh when they see playful gestures you make and also try to poke you laugh;
  • Reach objects around;
  • Suddenly laugh;
  • Laugh when you laugh;
  • Always try to keep head level with body when sitting.

How to support my child?

Now your child can identify where sounds come from and they will quickly turn to this new thing. One of the easiest ways to attract baby is to create the clink of keys. You can also use wind chimes to attract the attention of child.

If you want to attract the attention of your baby, talk to your baby. At this age, children do not learn the language from the TV or radio. So please turn them off and use the actual dialogue to help your child develop their language skills and wording instead.

Health & Safety

What should I discuss with my doctor?

You may not bring your child to a regular checkup this week. On the bright side, that means no shots for another month. It’s always recommended to keep your list of questions for your next visit.

If you see any sudden changes in your child’s sleep or eating patterns, you should discuss with your doctor right away. These issues are usually not serious and your baby may resolve on their own. But in rare cases, it can persists and is a sign of something more serious. It’s always best to check with your doctor. Better to be safe than sorry.

What should I know?

Here are some things you should know about:

The common cold

Your child may be suffering from a cold in the first year of life. There are countless types of viruses that cause colds and they are almost inevitable. In fact, it is estimated that children have a cold about 8 times a year.

The virus is spread from the surrounding air and can stick to the infected objects like doorknobs and toys. Because the immune systems are still incomplete, your child will be very susceptible to flu. Moreover, in this age, your baby will constantly put their hand near their eyes and mouths. Thus any kind of virus can easily penetrate into the baby’s body and then cause disease. If your child contacts with a group of other children or siblings, they are even more vulnerable to be attacked by hundreds of other flu virus. The common symptoms include runny nose, watery eyes, nasal congestion, cough, runny nose, crying, low-grade fever. These symptoms usually last about a week.

You can use a suction pump to remove mucus when they are stuffy and use a nebulizer or humidifier in your child’s bedroom. These steps will help make the nasal mucus thinner and thinner, so the baby will breathe easier. Remember that your child likes to breathe through the nose rather than the mouth. Therefore, nasal congestion may make him very uncomfortable.

If possible, try to lift their head off the cushion a couple of centimeters to relieve throat obstruction. Never use pillows to raise their head. If the buffer can not pry him, you can put your baby to sleep in the sitting position in the car with reclining posture about 45 degrees.

Don’t let your baby use any medication without your consulting with your doctor. Generally, children under 6 years of age are not recommended to get these medications because these medications can cause serious side effects. Antibiotics will not work with forms of flu caused by a virus. If your baby has a fever, your doctor may recommend you to let them use acetaminophen (paracetamol).

Call your doctor immediately if your child encounter the following symptoms:

  • Get a fever 38oC or higher;
  • Fast and heavy breathing, than 60 times a minute, worse cough, wheezing or gasping;
  • Eye abnormal, eye discharge. These may be signs of conjunctivitis or ear infection;
  • Constantly tugging ears, crying when feeding or crying in a very unusual way when being put to bed, this could be a sign that your child has an ear infection;
  • If your child is seriously ill after 5-7 days or the symptoms that persist for more than two weeks continuously.


On average, baby’s first teeth will grow at around 7 months, although the first teeth may also erupt earlier (in the 3rd month) or later (on the 12th month). Teeth often grow according to genetic factors, so if the baby’s parents teethe soon, the baby will be the same. However, the symptoms of teething usually appear about 2 or 3 months ago. These symptoms are very different in each child. When the baby teethe, they may experience one or all of the following:

  • Drool;
  • Rash on chin and face;
  • Mild cough;
  • Like to bite;
  • Hurt;
  • Uncomfortable;
  • Do not eat or drink;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Low grade fever;
  • Not to be asleep;
  • Hematoma in the gums;
  • Pull ears, rub the cheek.

Some folk tips which are still unprovenare believed to be effective in reducing the symptoms of teething in children. These ways include:

  • Give your baby something to chew;
  • Rub the baby with objects;
  • Give your baby drink cold drinks;
  • Offer cold food;
  • Adopt measures to reduce infant pain.

My Concerns

What I am concerned about?

Here are some things you may be concerned about:

How to make your baby get used to solids

You may need to pay attention to time, diets and tools for future meals.

  • The appropriate time. If you are breastfeeding your baby, everything should be done when your milk supply is at the lowest (most women usually have less milk in the late afternoon or early evening). On the other hand, if your baby seems hungry in the morning, you can give your baby solid foods at this time. Start with one meal a day, then increase with breakfast and dinner for the next month.
  • Create fun for baby: if you start to prepare food for your baby at 5 pm but find that they did not want to eat, you do not need to feed your baby as your plan. You can not try to let your infant eat when theyare tired or upset. Please arrange the meal when your child is awake and happy. Do not overfeed your baby. Be prepared to build a long-term process to help them build healthy habits when you wean them.
  • Do not overfeed your baby: start with an appetizer with a small amount of formula or breast milk. That way, they canbegin to experience new dishes and will not feel bored with these items.
  • Get ready for a long process when feeding: Do not cook food quickly because you are busy. Feeding is a process that takes longer, so be sure that you can spend a lot of time for this.
  • Play the role of support: if you give your baby a chance to finish the meal, they will eat much more quickly. Before trying to put food in their mouth, put some food on the table or high chair tray and give them a chance to look at, hydromassage, crush, grind, maybe even taste the dish.
  • Start by attracting your baby: some first meal are not needed meals but they are simply the prelude for your child to get used to food for weaning time. Please surf some food through baby’s lip and give your infant a little time to react. If your child find suitable flavor, they may open mouth wider to eat next time. Then you can give the spoon deeper in their mouth to help your baby swallow more easily. Be careful not to put the spoon too deep which can make your baby choke.
  • Know when to stop: you should never force the baby to continue the meal when they lose interest. Depending on the signs, you can know if your baby wants to stop eating, including crying, turning, mouth shut, releasing or throwing food around.
  • Weaning food: everyone agrees that the first perfect liquid food for baby is breast milk. But which does the first weaning food fit most babies? You can feed your baby cereal, fruits and vegetables. Please seek the advice of a pediatrician to select first weaning food which is suitable for your child.

Remember that you will not be able to accurately assess their feelings when you first try new dishes. Most babies are beginning to shut their mouth whether they enjoy with food, especially with spicy sour dishes or not. Let’s focus on the response of the baby if you want to try to feed your baby the second time.

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

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