At 32 weeks, baby is a lot of fun—babbling, imitating you and reaching for everything. Here's a closer look at all the things that are happening this week and what you can do to support growing baby.
32-Week-Old-Baby Milestones and Development
On average, a 32-week-old boy is typically 27.5 inches long and weighs 18.5 pounds. Girls are on average around 26.7 inches long and weigh 17.1 pounds. But of course, every baby grows at their own pace—if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to bring them up with your pediatrician.
In babyland, 32 weeks might as well be codeword for “fun.” Baby is having a blast "chatting" with you, which means you get to learn more about baby’s sweet personality. At this age, most babies can sit on their own, while others might need a bit more support. Exploration is also a top priority right now, from everything ending up in baby’s mouth to possibly “scooting” or trying to crawl. Baby might also love looking in the mirror—no surprise, with such a cutie.
At 32 weeks, baby is still getting the majority of their nutrition from breast milk or formula. If you’re breastfeeding, you can continue nursing baby around six times a day—but as long as baby is full and gaining weight, there’s no set rule. Bottle-fed babies will still drink around five or six bottles a day. Solids are definitely taking on a more prominent role, as baby moves toward the good old three-meal-a-day schedule.
A 32-week-old baby should get 12 to 16 hours of sleep total over a 24-hour period. Ten to 11 of those hours should happen at night (maybe even in a single, uninterrupted stretch! Lucky you!), with three to four hours spread out over a morning and an afternoon nap.
Adequate shuteye is key for baby's growth and development—plus it helps keep crankiness at bay. That said, it can sometimes be tough to come by. Issues like teething, colds, sleep regressions—or just deciding that being awake is way more fun—can all lead to nighttime wakeups or shorter-than-usual naps. Make sure to keep things consistent with your bedtime routine—and if you need extra help, it's perfectly fine to work on sleep training at this stage.
My friend's baby has already said her first word, but mine hasn't. Should I be concerned?
At 32 weeks, most babies are babbling strings of simple consonants and imitating the sounds made by others. Some of those strings might sound like real words, like "mama" or "dada," but they can also be nonsense, like "bababa" or "papapa." It’s actually pretty common not to be able to understand baby’s “words” until the first birthday or so. That said, if baby doesn't seem interested in babbling or imitating any sounds at this point, it’s a good idea to check in with your pediatrician.
Is it normal for baby to curl their toes while standing up?
Curled-up toes when you help baby practice standing might seem a little concerning. But worry not. It's completely normal for a 32-week-old to curl their toes or stroke the surface when you place their feet on the floor. In fact, this helps prep baby for exciting new milestones: crawling, standing and eventually taking those first steps.
Timely 32-Week-Old Topics
Toys and playtime
Now that baby might be grabbing objects and sitting up, exploring a basket of toys suddenly seems very interesting. Stimulate baby’s senses with textured toys (think crinkly), musical toys and board books with fun pictures and textures. But no need to go overboard: Baby is also likely fascinated by basic household objects like wooden spoons and plastic containers. As for those musical light-up toys? There’s nothing wrong with them, but all the electronic bells and whistles do have a tendency to decrease your interaction with baby during playtime. Still, don’t feel guilty if you need a few rounds of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to help you get dressed in the morning with minimal interruption.
Modeling positive behavior
The eight-month mark can be a good time to start getting a bit more serious about modeling good behavior for your little one and enforcing healthy boundaries. Start by doing things you want baby to mimic, like saying "please" and "thank you" or using "gentle hands" while playing. Since baby's watching you 24/7, your habits will eventually start to rub off.
- Focus on wellness, not weight. If your expectations of being back in your old jeans by now still haven't panned out, that's very normal. Postpartum weight loss can go on for a year or longer, depending on how much you gained during pregnancy. Regardless, your body might not look exactly the same as it did before—and that’s normal too. Instead of focusing on a specific number on the scale, think of how to feel best in your body right now. Start by prepping some nourishing food and prioritizing time to move your body.
- Get outside. Speaking of exercise, you don’t need to pencil in gym sessions or exercise classes—squeeze in a workout by sticking baby in the stroller and heading out for a walk or jog. Bonus: Going outside can help you fight daytime fatigue if you’re zonked from a night of interrupted sleep.
Products You Need at 32 Weeks
- Outlet covers. At this point, you never know when your baby might decide to try scooting across the room—and touching the outlets. As part of your baby proofing—which you should ideally start before baby becomes totally mobile—be prepared by blocking any open outlets with safety covers.
Weekly Activity For Your 32-Week-Old Baby
Use positive language to guide baby through activities—for example, say “Time to sit” instead of “Don’t stand.” Save the word “no” for important issues, like safety (say, when baby is reaching for those outlet covers), and distract them by replacing forbidden objects with favorite toys.