Your 47 Week Old Baby
“Where is your nose?” Your 47 week old baby might not yet be able to identify his different body parts, on request, but he loves you asking, and he is recognising more and more words.
As his brain processes all the changes that come with his most recent Wonder Week at 46 weeks, he is also consolidating his ability to recognise sequences, and games like this become great fun. ‘This Little Piggy Went to Market’ and other games involving patterns and predictability are great favourites, and will inspire laughter and excitement.
Exploring the world around him also brings great joy, although you might not always find the results quite so enjoyable! This is the time when you’ll find your very mobile baby in all sorts of places you didn’t know he could get into – and with all sorts of things he shouldn’t have!
Putting things out of reach for your newly-upright baby will keep you busy. You’ll have to get used to having in your home a little person who will find things as quickly as you put them down!
Feeding Your 47 Week Old Baby
As solids become more prominent in his daily diet, your breastfed baby continues to feed according to need. This is known as cue-feeding, or baby-led breastfeeding. If your plan is to continue breastfeeding into the second year or beyond, there is no need to modify your baby’s feeding pattern, or reduce breastfeeds as he grows.
Many breastfed babies around ten months will be feeding almost as often as a newborn, with shorter feed times during the day and longer ones during the night. Others might feed only a few times a day. Your baby knows what he needs, and when; you can confidently follow his lead.
Breastmilk continues to be the main food source throughout the first year. As your baby begins to eat more family foods, there will be a gradual transition to breastmilk becoming less about food, and more about comfort.
Sometimes, the guideline to breastfeed for at least 12 months is misinterpreted. Some mistakenly think breastmilk is only of benefit in the first twelve months. Some mothers are even told that is has no nutrition after one year.
Of course, we know breastmilk doesn’t suddenly change, just because your baby has had a birthday party! For as long as he continues, breastfeeding continues to benefit your baby: as a food source, hydration, comfort, relaxation and – perhaps most importantly, as your baby transitions to a toddler – as immune support.
As he becomes more mobile, and increasingly independent, your baby is exposed to the wider community. This means a higher risk of infection by common viruses and bacteria. Not only does breastfeeding continue to protect your baby, through the actions of your immune system, but some immune factors increase as the baby becomes a toddler.
This is often seen in breastfed babies and toddlers who are in day-care. Although exposed to the same risk as other babies, they are less likely to become sick, and their parents lose less time from work staying home to care for them.
Nutritionally, your older baby and toddler continue to get a significant part of their daily requirements from breastmilk:
- 29% of daily energy needs
- 43% of protein requirements
- 75% of Vitamin A requirements
- 60% of Vitamin C requirements
So if you and your 47 week old baby are still enjoying breastfeeding, and you’re in no hurry to wean, you can continue as long as you wish, knowing it is still beneficial for both of you.
Sleep and Settling
As your baby moves on from Leap 7, you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Between eight and ten months, the series of developmental challenges to your baby’s sleep can seem relentless. You might ask whether you will ever get back to more predictable sleep patterns.
In the short term, the answer is: possibly. From now until the next Wonder Week at 55 weeks, your baby might become easier to settle, fall asleep more easily, and sleep longer before waking. Recovering from the 8-9-10 month sleep ‘regression’ period will take a little while. You might find your baby has dropped a nap, wakes earlier or later in the morning, and bedtime also moves to a different time.
Observe your baby’s changed patterns for a while, and then adjust your daily routine accordingly. If you need to make changes to fit around your own commitments, do so gradually, so you allow time to adjust.
It is likely you will see more night-time disturbance as your baby learns to walk. If he is already working on that process, you might not see much of a settled period just yet.
From what we know about the impact of crawling on infant sleep – with disruption one month before and three months after – it is likely that walking will make an even greater demand on your baby’s system.
Combined with the ongoing impact of teething, as your baby heads into the second year, night-waking continues to be part of most families’ lives, well beyond the first birthday.
One study investigating infant sleep duration found that 27% of babies had not regularly slept from 10pm to 6am by the age of 1 year, and 13% of babies had not regularly slept through 5 hours or more by the age of 1 year. If your baby is still waking during the night, it is reassuring to know you are not alone.
Play and Development
You are probably still trying to stop him crawling away during nappy changing. Now you might also be struggling with dressing and undressing your 47 week old baby. Strapping him into his high chair, car seat, or stroller might no longer be straight-forward. Your pre-toddler is starting to voice an opinion on what happens to his body and while he cannot yet create the words, you will certainly get the message when he disagrees!
The autonomy that comes with moving coincides with awareness of object permanence and self. Your baby now knows he is separate from you, and he can move when he wants. Your ability to restrict him comes as a bit of a surprise to him, and he will resist your attempts to do things he dislikes.
Talking to your baby about what you are doing, and what you are about to do, can help. Adults don’t appreciate being whisked away from activities they are engaged in. Neither does your baby. Changing clothing and diapers requires restriction he doesn’t comprehend, and when you lie him on his back, he automatically tries to roll over and move away. He is not defying you or being naughty!
Keeping special toys for the change table, car seat, or pram can help. Let him see the toy before you place him in position. Talk about it enthusiastically. Be aware of your tone of voice and facial expressions as you adjust his straps or struggle with his clothing.
If you approach it as fun, rather than a battle, he will be reassured. Playing peek-a-boo as you pull his shirt over his head, singing a song as you put him in the car-seat or prepare for his bath can turn the challenge into a game.
If you are preparing to return to work and your baby will be in childcare while you are apart, you might be wondering how breastfeeding will be supported by those caring for your baby. Breastfeeding A Child In Childcare – 4 Questions Answered looks at the most common issues.