Your 31-Week-Old Baby - Parenting Week by Week

Your 31-Week-Old Baby

November 12, 2018

Your 31-Week-Old Baby

Your 31-Week-Old Baby
Your 31-Week-Old Baby

Eye Color: Will It Still Change?

Most babies are born with either brown or gray/blue-ish eyes. While genetics play an important role in determining eye color, melanin is another key factor. Melanocytes (cells in our bodies that secrete melanin to add pigment) are still working on the iris color. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, melanocytes respond to light—and since the womb is dark, eyes haven’t had a chance to be exposed yet.

As your baby grows, you may start to see eye color changes that could reflect their permanent hue——light brown eyes may darken, blue eyes may become hazel or even brown—but it may take up to three years to get there! Ultimately, less melanin means your baby will have blue eyes. If there’s a bit more, then the eyes will be green or hazel. And more melanin leads to brown or dark eyes.

And while we’re on the subject of eyes, your baby is starting to be able to judge distances (so if they aim that rattle at your face, be prepared!).

Tips for Traveling With Your Baby

Remember those days when going on a trip meant packing up your carry-on and a great book? Well, traveling with a baby isn’t quite the same kind of vacation—it’s more like a relocation. A lot of the stuff you rely on at home? Well, you’ll it need wherever you’re going. But if you’re really prepared and pack effectively, it won’t feel so overwhelming. Here are some tips to minimize stress when you’re traveling with your baby:

  • Extras, extras, extras! While your space is limited, there are certain things you’ll want a lot of like diapers, wipes and clothes. Make sure your diaper bag is stocked so you don’t have to dig through your luggage.
  • Keep it separated. Bring a separate bag to contain dirty clothes…because spit-up, spills and blowouts happen (usually when you’re in line for security). Do a quick change and keep dirty clothes in either a plastic bag or a reusable “wet-dry” bag with a water-resistant lining so the rest of your diaper bag remains clean.
  • Prepare to entertain. Pack your kiddo’s favorite toys, as well as a few new ones you can pull out to change the mood if they start getting fussy.
  • Stay hydrated. If you’re flying, airplane air can be dry, so be sure to keep your baby hydrated (fill up your sippy cup or bottle before boarding). To help relieve air pressure during take-off and landing, nurse or give your baby their bottle during those times.
  • Take breaks. If you’re road-tripping, stop frequently for feedings and a change of scenery. It can be hard for everyone to be in a car for hours on end.
  • Think about schedules. Plan trips around your baby’s sleep schedule. But don’t assume things will always go according to plan. If possible, head out of town when your baby is well-rested and alert. While it sounds tempting to fly during a nap time, you can’t bank on it. If a nap isn’t in the cards, you may have an overtired, cranky baby to entertain the rest of the flight.
  • Downsize. Instead of bringing along the massive stroller you use every day, use a travel stroller that’s small and lightweight. It won’t take up your entire trunk or make navigating an airport a huge pain. (Some strollers even fold down to fit in the overhead bin!) No matter what you choose, just make sure you can either hang your diaper bag from the handlebars or fit some essentials in the basket underneath, which will make your life easier when you get to your destination.

Keeping Baby Safe During Bathtime

Newsflash: that curious baby you chase around the house probably won’t want to sit still in the bathtub these days either. Now that bathtime is a lot more active, there are some new things to think about (aside from shaping an awesome shampoo mohawk):

  • The tub: It may be time to graduate from the baby tub to the big tub. If your little one has outgrown their baby bathtub, be sure you have a bath mat to prevent falls in an otherwise slippery tub. Use a cushioned spout cover to protect your baby’s head from the faucet in case they topple over.
  • The toys: Squirty toys, cups, boats, duckies…a few favorite bath toys will keep your tot busy while you do the scrubbing. Some squirty bath toys can grow mold on the inside, so inspect them regularly to make sure they’re safe for your little one.
  • The water: As always, check the water temperature with your elbow before putting your baby in the tub. It should be warm (around 100 F), but not hot. You can set your home’s water heater to 120 degrees to ensure it never goes above that temp! And be sure not to fill the tub too high. If your kiddo is sitting unsupported, water should just be waist-high.

No matter what, don’t leave your baby unattended in the bath. Accidents can happen in a split second. So always be right there, in arm’s reach.

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