My Baby – Week 43
Is your little one responding to single-step commands? Many babies are able to follow simple commands by week 43, such as, “Give that to Mommy.” In addition to increased comprehension, your baby's ability to communicate increases each week as well. It is probably becoming easier and easier to understand what he wants, as he begins to indicate this in ways other than crying.
It's fairly common for children of this age to pull at their own hair when they are tired or fussy. Hair pulling has a lot in common with another familiar habit: thumb sucking. Just like thumb sucking, hair pulling is a way for your child to comfort herself during stressful times; and also just like thumb sucking, this habit is usually harmless and will disappear by itself as she grows.
Some babies, however, pull their hair so hard that it can result in hair loss. In this case, try creative approaches to quell this vigorous tugging. Because hair pulling is a form of comfort for your baby, try giving your child a little more attention when you sense he is feeling stressed or anxious. You can also try to refocus his energy by giving him something else to tug on, like a particular soft stuffed animal. Or, play a game with him that involves his hands when he starts tugging on his hair. Remember, you can always speak to your baby's pediatrician if you have concerns.
Another stress relieving tactic that some babies employ is teeth grinding. This is especially common when they are asleep. Some parents find that their baby is less likely to grind her teeth if they have many outlets for tension during the day, like lots of physical activity. If you have concerns about your baby's teeth grinding, remember to check with your baby's pediatrician, or even your dentist.
As you approach your child’s first birthday, you may start to hear more questions about when you plan to wean. It is well-documented that the AAP suggests nursing through at least the first year, but they additionally encourage nursing to continue for as long as mutually desired beyond that. The World Health Organization, and many other international groups, also suggests nursing through the second year, and beyond. Weaning is an important process for a mother and baby. If one or both of you aren’t ready for it, don’t allow others to pressure you. It is perfectly healthy and normal to continue to breastfeed your toddler. On the other hand, if you can’t wait for the day you are done, now may be a good time to do some research on gradual weaning, so that both you and your child can benefit from a peaceful end to the breastfeeding experience.