Your 46-Week-Old Baby - Parenting Week by Week

Your 46-Week-Old Baby

January 16, 2019

Your 46-Week-Old Baby

Your 46-Week-Old Baby
Your 46-Week-Old Baby

Milestone: Hearing and Identifying Sounds

From birth, babies rely on hearing to take in information and process the world around them. (Your baby will have had a hearing screening at birth and additional hearing checks at well visits, but talk to your pediatrician if you have any hearing concerns.)

Even in the first few months, babies know familiar voices and react to noises in their environment. As their brains continue to develop, they begin to attach meaning to different words and sounds. You’ll notice that your little one can now identify regular sounds like the doorbell, your phone ringing and a dog barking.

But keep in mind, unfamiliar (and especially loud) sounds can be startling. Some babies are more sensitive to noise than others. They may cry or wince at a sudden, loud noise that may not phase another child—it’s all based on your baby’s unique temperament.

How to Encourage Baby’s Language Skills

Foster your child’s budding language and communication skills by doing these simple things daily:

  • Sing to your baby. From the “Wheels on the Bus” to the “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” regularly sing favorite songs and keep singing them as your baby grows. Eventually they’ll start to sing along to these tunes too.
  • In addition to songs, expose them to other sounds around them like musical instruments (tambourines, xylophones, egg shakers) and activities or objects you hear throughout the day (a truck rumbling by, birds chirping, horns beeping). Let them know what those noises are and what’s making them.
  • Read to your baby while pointing to the pictures and saying the correlating word.
  • And as funny as it may feel to narrate everything you’re doing, this is a great way help your kiddo connect language to actions and objects. (“Daddy’s putting your shoes on now!” “The swings are so much fun!” “Aren’t these blueberries yummy?”) Babies love to imitate, so you’ll see them try to replicate exciting new sounds and words soon enough. Better yet, these “conversations” are a sweet way to interact with your baby and give them lots of love and attention.

Tips for Bringing Baby to a Restaurant

Good news: It’s not impossible (or as overwhelming as it may feel!) to bring your baby to a restaurant—especially now that they can eat something (cut in tiny pieces, of course) off the menu. Lots of parents avoid bringing their baby to restaurants because they’re worried their child won’t be able to sit still, will cry or cause a commotion. Some (or all) of that may happen. But planning ahead and riding the wave if things go haywire can make it a fun family outing.

  • Go early. There’s no shame in opening up the place at 5 pm on the nose. Your baby won’t be a great guest at 7pm when they’re tired and ready for bed. Plus, a restaurant may be less crowded on the earlier side, which means the wait staff can be more attentive to you.
  • Choose a family-friendly restaurant. Even if your little one is sharing your meal or eating food you prepared at home and packed, most neighborhoods have spots that are known to be good for children. These restaurants usually have plenty of high chairs, a changing table in the bathroom, a kid’s menus and plastic cups with lids and a straw (in case you forget the sippy!). Their staff is used to kids and won’t sweat it when a plate of spaghetti goes tumbling to the floor or if silverware turns into musical instruments. They may have crayons and a menu to scribble on (which will come in handy down the road).
  • Keep it casual. Low-key spots where you can order at a counter and then sit down are also good options. There’s usually less of a wait time. And paying up front gives you the freedom to jet (rather than wait for a check) whenever your little buddy’s not having fun anymore.
  • Make sure your diaper bag is stocked. For a meal out, you’ll need a bib, wipes, a bottle or sippy cup, and a few small toys that are easy to wipe clean because they’ll definitely get tossed on the floor. Another savior: a disposable table topper. This is basically a plastic placemat that sticks to the table and can be tossed after the meal. It provides a large, hygienic surface for your baby’s food, since they aren’t quite ready to eat neatly on a plate. Pack a few go-to snacks or some cut up fruit in case your baby won’t eat what you order. As they get older, bring along things to keep them entertained, like books, coloring or small games.
  • Take it in stride. This probably isn’t going to be the best meal of your life. But the more you get out with your baby, the more comfortable you’ll be when chaos strikes (or when tiny pieces of broccoli get chucked onto someone else’s table). It may feel frantic and messy…but it’s a night you didn’t have to cook or do dishes (a win-win). Bon appetit!
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