Your baby: Week 22


 What's the baby up to?

Growth points

And they're off...Crawling babies are such fun, and incredibly hard to catch. Your sitting baby will soon
realise that he can push himself forward onto his hands and knees. He'll do this for a month or two before
he actually crawls. At first he might only rock a bit on his hands and knees and then sit again, but soon he will begin to explore and move forward or backward. Now is the time to make sure your home is childproof, before he does get going.  

The reflex to crawl emerges at 6 to 9 months, but will fade as your baby learns to stand and walk. Most babies start to crawl between 7 to 10 months. Crawling teaches your baby to operate the upper and lower part of his body independently of each other. It all has to do with the symmetric tonic neck reflex which tells the neck and arms to work in opposition to our legs, so if the arms bend, the legs want to be straight and if the arms are straight, the legs want to bend. Lifting the body off the floor while on all fours helps align the spinal cord for standing and walking later on. The crawling stage helps develop binocular vision, because it trains the eyes to look off into the distance and then back at the hands while crawling.  Some babies crawl on hands and knees, others scoot on their bottom or hands and one foot. Each child is different, and it’s fascinating to watch them develop their own style of getting moving.

Other stuff to think about

Ready for solids

The World Health Organisation recommends that solids should be introduced to babies from about 6 months.
Speak to your doctor if you are not sure when you should start weaning your baby onto solids. If he's interested in your food, is feeding more often and starts waking at night after sleeping through, he is
probably ready.

How to introduce solids

Get your baby used to solid food gradually over several weeks or months, starting at about 6 months of age. Cereal is generally the first food introduced into a baby's diet (mixed with a little breast milk or formula),
with purés of vegetables and fruits and meats to follow. 

How much and how often your baby eats solids can be increased gradually, but don't be too impatient to add new
foods too often. Giving solid food at about 6 months is important to ensure normal chewing and speech development. 
Finger food is a great way to make your baby aware of different tastes and textures, but get him used to smoother
textures first.

Top 5 solid food tips 

1. Don't feed him when he is tired or in a bad mood.
2. Invest in a sturdy high chair with straps to keep him safe.
3. Start with small amounts. Your baby will show you when he's had enough to eat by closing his mouth, 
turning his head away and even crying if you keep trying.
4. Use bibs from the start to get your child into the habit of wearing them. You may also want to cover
the floor with newspaper. It's amazing how far a baby can spit mashed butternut.
5. Use the correct spoon: any small spoon will do but preferably use a plastic coated one which is gentler
on the gums.

Go back to the complete list of Baby week-by-week updates.

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