Your 51-Week-Old Baby - Parenting Week by Week

Your 51-Week-Old Baby

January 18, 2019

Your 51-Week-Old Baby

Your 51-Week-Old Baby
Your 51-Week-Old Baby

Milestone: Baby’s First Molars Are on the Way!

First molars emerge anywhere between 13-19 months. They’ll most likely erupt on the top first.

Most children have all 20 primary teeth by the time they’re three years old—10 on top and 10 on the bottom. These teeth are eventually replaced by 32 permanent teeth (16 in each jaw). Here’s a really helpful primary tooth development chart from the American Dental Association.

If the entrance of those molars is making your baby cranky, the ADA recommends gently rubbing their gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon or a moist gauze pad to soothe sore gums (the FDA recommends staying clear of using rubbing meds that contain benzocaine). And if you’re using a teether, make sure it’s clean and made of solid rubber (avoid liquid-filled teething rings or plastic objects that could break).

Introducing Baby to Artistic Play

Even Picasso had to start somewhere. From finger painting to sidewalk chalking, artistic play is one of the most fun and creative ways to learn and explore. Not only do you get some wall-worthy artwork, but your kiddo experiences big benefits too.

Creative play boosts hand-eye coordination, sensory and fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, shape and color recognition, cognitive development and self-confidence. Just a heads up: your floors (and walls) may never look quite the same.

Here are some ways to introduce art:

  • Stock up on the essentials. You don’t need a ton of art supplies for one-year-olds. But you’ll want a few essentials on hand for an impromptu project. Washable paint, crayons, chalk, watercolor paint and Play-Doh are good starters. Short, wide crayons are easy for small hands to grab and manuever. You may want to hold off on the markers for a bit (or be sure to snag a set of washable ones!).
  • Choose baby-safe supplies. Kids at this age may be more interested in eating the supplies rather than actually using them. It’s best to steer clear of small objects like googly eyes, pom poms, beads and glue for now. Your first attempts at finger-painting can be less stressful when you know the paint is safe and nontoxic. A kit like this covers all the bases. You can actually make paint yourself with just a couple ingredient from the kitchen. Try these DIY ideas. Homemade playdough is also easy to whip up. To minimize the mess, put a smock on your kiddo and a drop cloth on the floor. Or simply strip them down to a diaper—and promptly follow the finger painting session with a bath. Need more inspiration? Here are some of our favorite art toys and supplies for your mini Matisse.
  • Make room for creativity. Whether you have a designated arts and crafts area or set up shop at the kitchen table, it may be tricky for your little one to keep their “work” contained on a regular sheet of paper. Try covering your table with paper from a massive roll. This gives your kiddo free rein to create, and your furniture will stay paint and scribble-free. Try sponge-painting or letting them squish and swirl shaving cream on paper for sensory play.
  • Join in the fun. You may be more focused on what’s landing on your carpet than what your kiddo is doing. But try to ignore the mess and get in on the action too. Empower your tot to try new things and freely express themselves. And most importantly, no matter what project they’re working on, be sure to supervise. Because what doesn’t find its way to your baby’s mouth these days?
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