Your 35-Week-Old Baby - Parenting Week by Week

Your 35-Week-Old Baby

November 28, 2018

Your 35-Week-Old Baby

Your 35-Week-Old Baby
Your 35-Week-Old Baby

When It’s Time for Baby to Drop a Nap

If reading the words above makes you wince, you’re not alone. By now, you’re in a great routine of two naps a day, which means you can count on time (twice a day!) to get things done around the house, work, relax, even fit in some exercise.

All that much-needed rest keeps your kiddo a lot less cranky when they’re awake, and the downtime keeps you a lot less cranky too! But as your baby grows, they’re going to outgrow the morning nap. They won’t require as much daytime sleep and are able to stay awake for longer stretches in between snoozes.

Babies’ sleep needs change at different times, so it could be a couple months before you’re heading into 1-nap territory. Some babies don’t drop the morning nap until after their first birthday.

Key signs it’s time to cut the morning nap:

  • Your baby is fighting the nap or refusing to sleep
  • Morning and/or afternoon nap lengths become shorter
  • It’s harder for your baby to fall asleep at the usual bedtime
  • Your baby is able to make it through the morning without totally melting down

If you notice these changes consistently (over a couple of weeks), then try transitioning to one nap. But keep in mind, sometimes fighting a nap is due to a sleep regression. Your baby may not want to take the nap, but the still need it. If they skip a nap and are still really irritable and exhausted, it’s not the time to give it up yet. Keep up with your usual routine until the regression is over.

Making the move to one nap can take time and patience. Ease your baby through this “in-between” stage by pushing back the morning nap time by 15-30 minute increments. So eventually, you’ll be putting your kiddo down for the first time of the day around lunchtime for one solid, long nap. You’ll probably need to start feeding an earlier lunch during this phase. Eventually, the one nap per day should occur around 12:30 or 1.

Here’s the good news: most parents find that their baby takes a longer afternoon nap after giving up the morning one (sometimes it’s even 2-3 hours!). You’ll still have a good chunk of much-needed me time. Better yet: you and your kiddo will be able to do a lot more with your mornings (classes, storytime, the park) now that naptime isn’t smack in the middle of it!

Do Babies Need Exercise?

Your baby doesn’t need to hit the gym with you, but they do need plenty of opportunities to move around. Daily physical activity is good for babies now, and it paves the way for healthy development.

SHAPE America, the Society of Health and Physical Educators, has five helpful guidelines for physical activity in infants:

  • Babies should interact with caregivers in daily physical activities that are dedicated to exploring movement and the world around them. So take those walks to the park with baby!
  • Caregivers should place infants in settings that encourage and stimulate movement experiences and active play for short periods of time several times a day—think of ways to encourage crawling or standing, taking parent and me classes or playing at the park.
  • Infants’ physical activity should promote age-appropriate skill development. So don’t try to get them to run before they can walk.
  • Babies should always be in a safe spot when doing activities.
  • Parents and caregivers should understand the importance of physical activity and promote movement skills by taking time each day for structured and unstructured physical activity

Babies—especially at this age—love to explore, wriggle and move around. Parents and caregivers should definitely encourage this! Try to give your baby time outside of strollers, carriers and bouncers multiple times a day in order for them to get their play on.

Playtime Favorite: Blocks!

Blocks may look simple, but they provide endless ways to learn, master new skills and play. Brain-building blocks delight kiddos at every stage of development, so whatever you buy now is sure to be a long-term favorite.

Babies love banging blocks together, stacking one on top of another and toppling them over. This activity helps boost problem-solving and fine-motor prowess. Here are our favorite block sets.

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