Wondering what is happening with your baby at 19 weeks?
He might be a bit fussy right now but when babies grow there is a lot going on. Your 19-week-old baby is dealing with some big development stages right now and you are both likely to be feeling stressed by it.
The best advice is to enjoy every moment – even the fussy ones that pass by so quickly.
Your 19 week old baby
It’s hard to see your baby unhappy and feel there is nothing you can do to help. Whether it’s a developmental leap, teething, minor illness or even just a bad nappy rash, there will be many stages in the first year when your baby is miserable and unhappy.
Looking after yourself is even more important during these challenging times, and it is okay to give yourself permission to focus on what is most important right now.
Fussy 19 week old baby
If your baby was born on his due date, at about 19 weeks he will experience the fourth Wonder Week.
Wonder Weeks are typically accompanied by the three Cs – clinginess, crankiness, and crying; this one is no exception. In fact, this leap and those that follow will last much longer than those earlier.
Find out more in Wonder Weeks – How They Help You Understand Your Baby.
Most families find leap five especially demanding. It can last as long as five weeks and coincides with a particularly frustrating time for your baby, whose determination to move has not yet been matched by his ability.
It helps to know you can’t do anything to stop the cause of your baby’s fussiness or distress: some things just need time to pass on their own. Your role is to soothe.
Others will always have an opinion about what you should – or shouldn’t – be doing when caring for and raising your baby. It is hard to receive so much advice at times, when all you would really like is some support.
Sleeping – 19 week baby
The rapid brain development at this time continues to disturb your 19 week old baby’s sleep, and will do so for several weeks to come. Cosleeping, with your baby’s bed in your bedroom, or safe bed sharing will make it easier for you to manage the unsettledness which can accompany this night waking. It can also help you notice your baby’s feeding cues quickly, so he doesn’t become more distressed.
It’s not uncommon for a bed sharing baby to stay attached or close to the breast most of the night, which can make for some disturbed sleep, especially if you cannot get comfortable. It might help to place some supportive pillows behind your own back and between your knees.
If frequent night waking is also disturbing your partner’s sleep to the extent that it might affect driving or workplace safety, then might be necessary to arrange a temporary bed for your partner in another room.
Baby’s development and weight at 19 weeks old
Ideally, your 19 week old baby should spend most of his time on his back or tummy on the floor, while he works through the stages of learning to roll.
Crawling will soon follow, and then your baby will learn to get himself into a seated position; this usually happens at about 8-10 months of age.
Baby’s development is progressing rapidly with your baby’s brain and central nervous system helping to improve fine motor skills. A baby typically weighs approximately 6.3-6.8 kg (14-15 pounds) and measures approximately 60.96-63.5 cm (24-25 inches) in length at 19 weeks old.
Settling your 19 week old baby
There might be times when you need to soothe and settle your 19 week old baby to sleep – or close to sleep – before he relaxes enough to attach and feed well. A breastfed baby often seems to go through breast refusal during the day, yet feed contentedly during the night.
Your formula-fed baby is also likely to be waking more often during the night at this time. Although occasional extra feeds might help during rapid growth, too much extra formula is not recommended. Instead, try alternative settling techniques, such as playing soft music, swaddling (or not swaddling).
Feeding your 19 week old baby
Your breastfed baby continues to be distracted and fussy at feed times, with increasing night feeds often becoming more effective than those during the day.
Seeking the breast for comfort is natural for a baby. Your 19 week old baby might seek frequent breastfeeds but often be unable to settle and focus to feed, leading to further frustration. This does not mean you have a low milk supply or that he needs to start solids. If he is overstimulated or overwhelmed by what is going on, he will find it harder to feed.
Sometimes you can get around this daytime refusal by recreating the night time feeding environment. If you lie down with your baby in your darkened bedroom (if that’s how you normally feed him) it might help him to attach and feed during the day.
This stage – although inconvenient and frustrating – is usually temporary and short term, especially if you don’t force the issue. A baby will often attach if you walk around with him near your bare breast or take a relaxing bath together.
Rest assured, as long as he is given free access to the breast day and night, your baby will compensate for missed day feeds during the night and still get his typical daily intake over the 24 hours.
If your breasts become full or uncomfortable, expressing can relieve the pressure. It will also provide some expressed breast milk for feeds when you need to be out of the house or in distracting environments during this stage.
For more information, read How To Express Breast Milk Like A Pro | 5 Tips.
Pacifier at 19 weeks
Sucking helps all babies to relax and become calm and sleepy. If you haven’t previously introduced a dummy or pacifier, you might be considering it now. It works for some but other babies won’t take to the pacifier. On the other hand, your little one might not ever want to get rid of it.
One problem with using pacifiers at this age is that babies are too young to put them back into the mouth and might wake when the pacifier falls out. It is not safe to secure the dummy in any way, to prevent this, so you can expect to be woken to replace it during the night.
Try to limit the use of the pacifier to sleep times only, to reduce its impact on your baby’s important oral exploration with toys and other objects at this age.
You might be interested in reading our article Can Pacifiers Help Breastfeeding?
Play 19 week old baby
Many 19 week old babies will be able to sit while supported for a short time. This gives them a whole new perspective on the world. You will find sitting your baby on your lap means more engagement during games and story time.
You might be tempted to purchase upright seats or other products to seat your baby for longer periods. However, some experts have concerns about the use of upright seats and similar aids which place baby in positions he is not yet developmentally ready to achieve on his own.
Supported sitting, on your lap or the floor, for short periods is not, in itself, harmful. Products like the Bumbo, however, prop your baby into a forced sitting position, tilting his pelvis and creating an unnatural posture.
If you decide to use these types of products, always do so under close supervision. Never place the baby in them on a raised surface and always limit their use to short periods only.
Consult your doctor, chiropractor, or physiotherapist for more information.
Your 19 week old baby will build on his hand-mouth play with objects and begin to try hand-to-hand as well. Once he can securely grasp a rattle or other toys in his hand, he will next learn how to release it into the other hand.
This simple action, which we do multiple times every day without thinking, is a complex one and an important challenge for babies’ developing brains. Right now, grasping is what your baby does best – letting go is yet to come.
Grasping will be important in the second six months, when he begins to hold food to feed himself; for now, it is just fun. Offer him lots of different items to hold – from rattles and small building blocks to suitable kitchen implements. Remember, though, everything he holds will go straight into his mouth.