Your 33-Week-Old Baby - Parenting Week by Week

Your 33-Week-Old Baby

November 26, 2018

Your 33-Week-Old Baby

Your 33-Week-Old Baby
Your 33-Week-Old Baby

Milestone: First Words

Babbling is probably your baby’s main way of communicating these days, which means you need to do a lot of decoding (Does “ba-ba-bubbbbbb” mean they like the neighbor’s dog or needs a diaper change?!). But soon enough there will be actual words spoken. And yes, it’s totally normal to cry when you hear them for the first time!

Many babies say their first words between 12-18 months. But over the next couple months, listen for sounds that resemble “ma-ma,” “da-da” and “ba-ba.” Your kiddo may not actually know what they mean (they’re consonant-vowel sounds they can do with ease!), but you know what they mean…and it’s magical.

Tip: Talk, talk, talk to your baby…You probably do this a lot already without realizing it, but make a point to narrate the day and tell your tot what objects are as they see or experience them. Say, “This is a ball,” as you hand them a ball. Say, “This is a tree,” as you point to a tree. “Do you see the bird?” “This is mommy’s shirt. Think anyone will notice I wore it yesterday?” You get the idea… The key point is that babies understand a lot more than they can say. So the more you talk, the more they will learn.

Keep in mind: Repetition will help your little one recognize and understand words, prepping them to start saying them one day soon. And even though it feels like you’re having a lot of a one-sided conversations, your baby is learning so much about social interaction (eye contact, verbal cues, and more). Sing rhymes and songs and change your tone to reinforce certain words and show excitement. Remember, every child develops on their own timeline. So don’t stress if those precious first words aren’t on the horizon for awhile.

What to Know About Babies and Ear Infections

It’s always tough when your baby is sick and can’t communicate what’s wrong. You need to piece together lots of clues to figure out what’s going on and how to make it better, STAT (bee-lining it to the pediatrician is a-ok too!). The peak time for ear infections is usually between 6 to 18 months, so here’s what you need to know.

Signs of an ear infection

Ear infections can’t be diagnosed at home, but there are lots of telltale signs that one is brewing:

  • Crankiness (and then some): If your baby is experiencing pain from an ear infection, they’re not a happy camper and you’ll know it. They’ll be extra fussy, irritable and may have trouble sleeping (laying down may hurt that ear!). Even drinking a bottle or breastfeeding pay be painful because sucking and swallowing can cause pressure changes in the ear.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pulling, tugging or grabbing their ear
  • Fever (low or high)
  • Yellow or white fluid draining out of the ears
  • Your baby has a cold

Keep in mind: your baby may only experience a few of these, not all of them.

What causes an ear infection?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a typical middle ear infection is usually caused by a viral infection (like a cold) or bacterial growth. The middle ear becomes inflamed and causes fluid buildup behind the eardrum. Or sometimes, the narrow passageways (or tubes) connecting the middle ear to the back of the nose become swollen. Since babies have narrower, shorter and more horizontal passages compared to adults, it’s easier for icky germs to make their way to the middle ear and for fluid to become trapped. Plus, children’s immune systems are still developing, so their bodies have to fight harder to ward off an ear infection.

How are ear infections treated?

An ear infection can’t be diagnosed over the phone, so you’ll have to take your kiddo to the pediatrician so they can examine the eardrum, confirm fluid buildup and signs of an infection.

If the infection is severe, your pediatrician may write a prescription for an antibiotic. However, many docs now suggest waiting a couple days to see if the infection improves on its own before beginning antibiotics. Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide pain relief and minimize the symptoms.

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