Is that mashed avocado in your hair?! You didn’t think it would be possible, but life just got a little bit messier. Of course, the excitement of watching baby try new solid foods outweighs having to do that pesky cleanup. (Still, we bet you wish the kitchen could clean itself.) Here’s what else you can expect in 28-week-old baby’s development.
28-Week-Old-Baby Milestones and Development
On average, a 28-week-old boy weighs 17.9 pounds and is 26.9 inches tall. Girls weigh on average 16.4 pounds and are 26.2 inches tall. Between 6 and 7 months, baby is likely to gain about 1 to 1.25 pounds and grow about .5 to .75 inches in length. Keep in mind that these are just averages: It’s completely normal if baby grows a little bit more or less.
At 28 weeks, baby’s likely becoming a more confident sitter, needing less support with each day. Baby’s also likely pushing up with straight arms when on their belly and rocking on their hands and knees in preparation for crawling. They’re reaching for everything—toys, food, maybe even your hair!—and raking objects into the palm of their hands. They’re also learning to transfer objects from hand to hand, turning and twisting them. There’s lots of chatting going on too: Baby’s making sounds back-and-forth with you, laughing and squealing.
28-Week-Old Baby Health
If you’re breastfeeding, at this age baby typically needs to nurse around six (or more) times a day. Bottle-fed babies will typically have around six bottles a day, not exceeding 32 ounces in 24 hours. Baby’s solid-food journey is getting underway, with baby eating at least once or twice a day. Make sure baby is happy and well-rested at mealtime so they associate the table with happiness and have the energy to try new foods. It’s also okay if a day goes by without offering solids if you or baby are having a tough time or it doesn’t work with your schedule—no pressure.
Baby should be logging around 12 to 16 hours of sleep a day, including a stretch of at least nine hours at night. They might be getting ready to drop a nap: Typically, babies go from three naps to just a morning and afternoon siesta between 6.5 and 8 months. Note that baby’s wake windows will generally extend and their bedtime will become earlier after they lose their third nap. It might take baby a while, but if you stay consistent with your schedule, they’ll be a two-nap champ in no time!
Croup Croup is a very contagious respiratory infection that most often affects babies and young children. It’s most commonly caused by a virus and causes baby’s voice box (the larynx and trachea) to swell, which narrows the airways and can make breathing difficult. Croup also causes a distinctive cough that sounds like barking (or similar to the call of a seal). Other symptoms may include hoarseness, fever, a rash and swollen lymph nodes. Most cases are on the mild side and can be treated with at-home remedies like cold air or warm steam from the shower, but call your pediatrician if baby has a fever for more than three days, symptoms last for over a week, if they’re experiencing trouble breathing (shallow breathing or sucking in the muscles of their chest) or if you have any other questions or concerns.
28-Week-Old Baby FAQs
Baby rolls onto their stomach while sleeping. Is that safe? Should I move them to their back?
Considering how many times you've likely been told to put baby to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), seeing them snoozing away on their tummy when you turn on the monitor might freak you out. But once baby can roll from back to belly and belly to back on their own, you can leave them in the position they’d prefer to be in. Continue putting them on their back in an empty crib for sleep until at least their first birthday, though.
My 28-week-old recently started daycare, and now they’re sick nonstop. Is this normal?
Unfortunately, yes. It's normal for babies and toddlers to pick up a ton of colds (up to 12 a year, although the average is about seven to eight!), and daycare tends to be ground zero for germs. Considering that symptoms from a single cold can stick around for up to two weeks and a cough can last up to six weeks, it really can start to feel like baby is sick all the time. Rest assured, kids can be sick for most of the year and still have normal immune systems. The constant sickness is generally not a concern, unless the illnesses end up frequently sending baby to the hospital, they often need IV antibiotics to get better or they have three or more ear infections a month. As baby gets older, their immune system will get stronger and they’ll get sick less often. In the meantime, do your best to limit baby’s exposure to germs: Wash your hands regularly, don't gather with people who are sick and make sure baby is up to date on vaccines that can prevent serious illness, like the flu, COVID-19 and rotavirus. If you have any questions or concerns, it's never a bad idea to chat with your pediatrician.
Timely 28-Week-Old Topics
When mealtime rolls around, does it seem like more food winds up on the floor than in baby’s mouth? Watching them throw food around might be frustrating, but it’s developmentally normal. For the most part, they’re just exploring cause and effect. Sometimes babies throw food because they’re not hungry, so make sure they’re not too full before their solids meal. Baby might also be having a hard time picking up, holding or chewing food, so pay close attention to the shape and size of the food you serve. Above all, make sure you’re creating a positive experience around food for baby. Instead of reacting to food-throwing, leave the food on the floor for a minute and then replace it two or three times. Calmly remind baby that food belongs on the table. If they keep throwing, you can end the meal. You can also stand next to baby and gently “catch” their arm to coach their muscle memory to bring the food back to the table.
Baby has learned to roll over and is getting better at sitting on their own. Crawling will be happening before you know it! Typically, babies start crawling anywhere from 7 to 10 months old, but don’t worry if your little one seems completely content staying seated for now. In fact, some babies never crawl and go straight to standing, cruising and walking, and that's totally fine. If you want to help baby get mobile, give them tons of tummy time to strengthen their back, neck and shoulder muscles and master head control. You can also place a favorite toy just out of baby's reach to offer a little motivation.
It’s normal to feel “touched out.” Let's be real: You love snuggling with baby, but being in near-constant contact can sometimes leave you feeling like you need to be alone. It's normal to feel touched out when you're caring for an infant, but there are also ways to reclaim the (totally human) need for some physical space of your own. Preventive action in the form of self-care can go a long way, so block out time for yourself on the calendar to take that post-dinner walk. Communicating with your partner or another family member helps too, so speak up about how you're feeling and let other caregivers know when you need a break. And if you need more mental health support, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional.
Products You Need at 28 Weeks
Activity chair. A baby activity chair will keep baby learning and entertained (and give you a little break while cooking dinner). They come with mirrors and all kinds of sensory toys—and some can even convert to toddler chairs later on.
Nasal aspirator. Sure, that suction bulb you got from the hospital works okay. But when you're slammed with one daycare cold after the next, an electric nasal aspirator—designed to be easy to use and easy to clean—can help you combat more congestion. Don’t overdo it though—you don’t want to cause trauma to the nose and make matters worse.
Weekly Activity for Your 28-Week-Old Baby
These days, baby is likely grabbing for toys and other objects that pique their interest. And nothing is more exciting than a pile of blocks to swipe at—and topple over. Next playtime session, stack a few blocks on top of each other and invite baby to reach for, prod and ultimately knock them down. Just be prepared: They’ll probably want you to tower them up over and over and over. (Before long, they’ll be stacking blocks on their own!)
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.