Your 25 Week Old Baby
Your 25 week old baby spends a lot of her time smiling and chattering to anyone who engages her attention.
You will begin to recognise sounds she repeats as the beginnings of language – “Ba”, “Ma”, “Da”, “Ga”. “Na” – not coincidently, these sounds are those many societies have claimed to identify the most important people in a baby’s world.
While not first words as such, babies come to know that Mama responds best to “Ma” while Daddy gets excited by “Da”! Your repetition of these sounds in a call and respond pattern with your baby are the earliest seeds for a lifetime of communication.
As well as working on communication, your 25 week old baby is focused on mobility. Rolling from back to front and front to back is usually achieved by 7.5 months. So if you baby isn’t quite there yet, give her lots of encouragement and tummy time to practice. Other babies are already crawling or working hard on reaching that goal. And for some, shuffling around on their bottom is their way to move.
Feeding Your 25 Week Old Baby
You might be wondering how your 25 week old baby can chew food before he has the right teeth for the job. Well, you only need to put your finger in your little one’s mouth to feel the power of those jaws and gums!
With the first molars not due to appear until around 12 months or later, it's important not to delay offering your baby foods to chew until then. Pureed and mashed foods don’t promote the development of his mouth and jaw (which he will need in the second year) to power those molars and the ones which follow. Sticking with purees too long can even lead to an aversion to solid foods and you might find yourself stuck spoon-feeding into the toddler years. By 12 months, your baby should be eating the same foods as the rest of the family.
Many people get confused about their babies iron needs around six months. While it is true that naturally stored iron from pregnancy starts to run low, the iron your 25 week old baby gets from breastmilk or formula is still her main source. As you introduce naturally iron-rich foods into her diet (which are more readily absorbed and less likely to cause constipation), these will supplement what she gets from milk.
Choose foods like red meat, chicken, pork, seafood, leafy green vegetables and beans. Avoid iron-fortified rice cereal, which has little else to offer nutritionally, and look for more nourishing cereals like oats. Include foods high in Vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron from food.
Sleep and Settling
Your 25 week old baby is approaching yet another Wonder Week. If she is currently settling well and sleeping for extended periods, don’t be surprised if this changes again over the next few weeks.
You might be advised to fill your baby with solids in the evening, to make her settle and sleep longer. Her digestive system is working hard right now, adjusting to processing foods other than milk, so it is important not to overload her, especially at bedtime.
Rather than making her sleep longer, you could disturb her sleep through indigestion. Night waking is not something you can prevent with food – a rapidly developing baby will wake during the night regardless and breastfeeding her back to sleep is a natural way to help her. If your baby is no longer breastfed, giving formula during the night is also okay – your baby is just not yet ready to go through the night without feeds. If your baby is being breastfed, here are 8 reasons why nighttime breastfeeding is so important.
You might find your 25 week old baby is harder to get to sleep for naps during the day. Now she is mobile, play time offers her lots to see and do, as she rolls around the floor. She might need some quiet time to wind down before being ready to sleep. Many babies find a feed, play, feed, sleep pattern works best for them. Feeding – especially at the breast – relaxes babies and prepares their mind for sleep. Other babies this age have no trouble at all falling asleep, and do so wherever and whenever they need to.
The baby you left happily playing on the floor five minutes ago might be fast asleep when you check again. Some people worry that sleep outside the baby’s cot doesn’t count – some even call it, “junk sleep”, implying it's as bad as junk food! You can relax – sleep is sleep, and if your baby was content enough to fall asleep where she was, it is sleep she needs and will benefit from. Read more about this in our article, Does Your Baby Junk Sleep? 4 Surprising Facts About Baby Sleep.
Play and Development
Your 25 week old baby loves to play – and you are her favourite playmate! It can be frustrating to find you can’t leave your baby to play happily while you go about your work. After just 5-10 minutes alone on her play mat, she is looking for you and becomes distressed without you by her side.
It's normal for your baby to need your company, and she enjoys interacting with you and her toys for most of her play time. This often means you need to let go of all but the most essential household tasks, or do those while you wear her in a baby carrier, rather than expecting her to entertain herself.
As your baby becomes more mobile, it's important to give her as much space as she needs to explore and develop these new skills. You also need to keep her – and your belongings – safe, so you might be considering a playpen or other safety measures for your home. A too-small playpen won’t allow your baby much space to roll and begin to crawl, and once she is crawling well, it will be too restricted for her. Even a large playpen is really only suitable for short periods of time: perhaps while you shower, prepare dinner or mop the floors.
You might find it easiest to secure a whole room for your baby to safely explore, with baby gates on the doors to limit her range to this space. Clearing the room of small furniture which might topple when she tries to pull herself up to stand, and securing larger units to the wall will create a safe space you can confidently let her move around freely.
If you're feeling pressure from others to sleep train your baby, you may have concerns about how this would affect your baby. Sleep Training – 6 Things to Consider Before You Do It is great reading for all parents.