Your 34-Week-Old Baby - Parenting Week by Week

Your 34-Week-Old Baby

November 26, 2018

Your 34-Week-Old Baby

Your 34-Week-Old Baby
Your 34-Week-Old Baby

Time to Brush Those Baby Teeth

Keep those cute little teeth healthy by brushing daily with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush.

To prevent cavities and baby bottle tooth decay, pediatricians and dentists especially recommend brushing your baby’s teeth after they’ve had a bottle. It is recommended to schedule a first dental visit once a tooth pops through or by the age of one.

Your kiddo may not love having their teeth brushed, so try to make it fun by using a playful toothbrush or reading books about teeth brushing. Baby Banana is a crowd favorite, and the Brushies (animal finger puppets that double as toothbrushes) help get the job done, happily.

How to Avoid Choking Hazards for Babies

Bet you never thought you’d find yourself cutting a single grape into eighths! But when it comes to this whole new world of feeding your baby finger foods, it’s easy to get carried away. The good news? There are simple things you can do to ensure that the food your baby eats isn’t a choking hazard.

To prevent choking, the AAP advises parents to make sure any food you give your baby is:

  • Soft
  • Easy to swallow
  • Cut into small pieces (no larger than one-half inch)

Foods to try: Avocados, bananas, crackers, scrambled eggs, soft pasta, potatoes, well-cooked chopped chicken

Foods to steer clear of: Hot dogs, nuts and seeds, large pieces of meat and cheese, popcorn, raw vegetables, hard fruit (apples), chunks of peanut butter, gooey candy and gum

Round foods like cherry tomatoes and grapes can be choking hazards, so be sure to cut them in half for your baby to enjoy. Sit with your little one when it’s mealtime. And don’t let them eat unattended or on the move (a highchair is the safest place to chow down).

Keep in mind: Aside from food, curious babies love to put pretty much everything they can get their hands on into their mouths. When you’re scanning the house for potentially dangerous objects they could chew on, try the “toilet paper roll test.” If something fits through the tp tube, it can fit in their mouth.

How to Deal With Pink Eye

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the thin tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the whites of the eyeballs. When blood vessels are inflamed, they become more visible, hence those telltale red or pinkish eyes. While the condition is really common and easily treatable, it’s also highly contagious and spreads fast (like at daycare).

According to the CDC, there are four main causes of pink eye: viruses, bacteria (these two are most contagious), allergens like pet dander or dust mites and irritants like smog or chlorine in a pool. Symptoms include:

  • Redness or swelling of the white of the eye or inside the eyelids (pink eye may start in just one eye or affect both)
  • Itchy, irritated and/or burning eyes
  • Eye discharge (re: “gunk” or “goop” as many parents call it) which may be clear, yellow, white or green
  • Crusting of the eyelids or lashes
  • Increased amount of tears
  • Gritty feeling in the eye

Treatment for pink eye

Viral conjunctivitis usually clears up on its own in about a week. But if bacteria is the cause, you’ll need to use antibiotic ointment or drops on your baby’s eyes. This is where your parenting superpowers will kick in…

Generally, babies aren’t huge fans of drops, ointments and hands going anywhere near their eyes. It may require a two-person operation at first to keep their arms down while maneuvering the medication into their eyes. There may be crying (yes, you also might be shedding tears). But don’t worry, it’s actually not so bad.

If you’re using drops, don’t stress about the eye being open to catch the drop. When the eyes are closed, administer a drop at the inside corner of your kiddo’s eye. When they open them up, the drop will go in. Some parents find ointment easier to apply at this stage. Talk to your pediatrician about what will be most effective. Just remember to continue the full cycle of antibiotics to ensure the infection is fully gone, even when eyes start to look better.

To keep yourself pink eye free, wash your hands often (especially after applying ointment or drops). Any objects that could come in contact with your baby’s eye (like a lovey, sheets, blankets or toys) should be carefully cleaned to prevent spreading. Toss the medication when you’re done with it. If pink eye creeps up again down the road, you’ll want a new, sterile medication.

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