If it seems like your 34-week-old baby is more mobile and curious than ever, well, it’s true! It’s all gone by way too fast, of course—after all, it was just a couple months ago that your toothless cutie still needed your help getting propped into a seated position. Now, baby is on the verge of moving around independently, and that first word might be just around the corner. (Will it be “mama” or “dada”? We bet you’re on the edge of your seat.) In short, it might feel like you've fully entered the realm of older babyhood—but there’s still lots to learn. Here's a look at what's going on with baby at 34 weeks.
34-Week-Old-Baby Milestones and Development
On average, a 34-week-old boy is 27.7 inches long and weighs around 18.8 pounds. The average size for girls at the 34-week-old mark is 27 inches long, weighing 17.4 pounds. But, of course, every baby’s different. Your pediatrician will chart baby's growth at well visits to make sure everything is going smoothly—but if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to bring them up.
Preparing to crawl is a big emerging skill at this stage. Baby might start exploring those first independent moves across the floor by crouching, rocking and twisting on all fours—but before long, baby will be on the move (and you’ll have to really finalize your baby proofing). Some babies this age can start to pull themselves into a standing position. Baby is also honing their hand-eye coordination, which will eventually help them handle objects like utensils like a pro. On top of that, your 34-week-old is mastering the principle of cause and effect, like that a toy lights up when you press a button. (Or, that when you throw a spoon from the highchair, it hits the ground. Womp.)
Breast milk and formula are still the menu mainstays for your 34-week-old. But solid foods are starting to take up more space in baby’s diet as baby continues to try new foods and textures and settles into a regular meal pattern. Breastfed babies can continue nursing around six times a day (or every three to four hours). If you’re bottle-feeding, baby can drink around 6 to 8 ounces every three to five hours (no more than 32 ounces in a 24-hour period). By 34 weeks, baby should be on track to having three square meals a day—though don’t stress if they’re not all big meals.
Your 34-week-old needs between 12 and 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours to support that rapid growth and development. Ideally, baby will log a longer stretch at night, and three to four of those hours during the day between a morning and afternoon nap. It won't always pan out that way, of course—all sorts of issues, from teething to working on developmental milestones can send sleep off-course. Consistency goes a long way toward forming healthy sleep habits, so keep on with your bedtime routine. And if you feel like sleep training could be the right choice for your family, it’s not too late to start.
Particularly if baby is starting daycare or has older siblings, there’s more of a risk for all types of contagious illnesses—like the common cold. To help prevent one from setting in, make sure everyone in your family washes their hands before handling baby and baby’s toys, and don’t share food or drink with baby. Most colds resolve on their own, but call your doctor if baby has a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, is having trouble breathing or you’re otherwise concerned in any way—you know baby best.
Baby does great with dairy foods like yogurt and cheese. Is it okay to give baby cow's milk?
You should hold off on giving baby cow's milk until their first birthday. While other dairy sources like plain, full-fat yogurt and cheese are great sources of protein and calcium for your 34-week-old, baby’s tummy isn't quite ready to digest large quantities of cow's milk. What's more, offering cow's milk now means that baby might not get as much breast milk or formula, which have more of the nutrients infants need.
Is there anything I can do to help baby crawl? Baby seems to really want to move but can't figure it out.
Giving baby opportunities to strengthen the core and leg muscles can set the stage for taking off on all fours. First, offer plenty of tummy time to strengthen the neck, back and shoulder muscles. Encourage baby to do plenty of sitting up too. (Games like peekaboo or pattycake will help.) You can also help baby stand up by placing your hands under baby’s arms, which encourages baby to work the leg and thigh muscles. Once baby’s rocking on all fours, a little incentive, like an interesting toy, can go a long way toward encouraging your kiddo to move forward. But if they’re still not quite getting the hang of crawling, don't worry. While some babies master this movement by 6 or 7 months, it's also perfectly normal for crawling to happen later on. And some babies skip crawling altogether and move straight to walking.
Timely 34-Week-Old Topics
Keeping baby comfortable with a cold
If baby’s spending more time around other people these days—music classes, indoor play gyms, the library—baby’s probably starting to pick up some nasty bugs. And while colds are par for the course in babyhood, they might leave your little one pretty miserable. The good news? Now that you’re out of the newborn days, you can usually handle baby's symptoms at home. Make sure to offer plenty of fluids—breast milk or formula—to reduce the risk of dehydration. A nasal aspirator will help draw out congestion-causing mucus and make it easier for baby to breathe. You can also loosen mucus by running a humidifier in baby's room. If baby’s running a high fever, medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can ease baby's discomfort and are generally safe for 34-week-olds.
Clapping is a milestone that relies on some serious balance and hand-eye coordination. Most babies usually start clapping around 9 months, but you can set the stage for your 34-week-old clapping now by modeling the activity as you sing and repeat rhymes. Baby will have a blast imitating you!
- Get a handle on mom rage. Seeing red as you struggle to put on that baby sock? Had to walk out of the room to stop yourself from screaming when baby fed those lovingly prepared pancake strips to the dog? You're not alone, and you're not a bad parent. Mom rage—that feeling of becoming totally unhinged over minor problems—is real, and it can leave you feeling seriously guilty or ashamed after the fact. Recognizing your triggers can often help prevent an emotional tide from morphing into a tsunami. When that happens, stepping away (even just to another room or outside for a minute) can give you a chance to catch a breather and reset. Finding safe, healthy outlets for your feelings will also help keep them from building up. Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider if you think you need some extra mental health support.
Products You Need at 34 Weeks
- Mealtime smock. Meals might be starting to get pretty messy these days, as your 34-week-old is starting to experiment with more finger foods. If a food-catcher bib just isn't cutting it, try a long-sleeved, waterproof smock that’s easy to toss in the laundry after mealtime.
Weekly Activity For Your 34-Week-Old Baby
To help baby get closer to crawling, here's a baby exercise to try together: Fold a towel over a few times lengthwise to make a sling-like shape and have baby lay with chest on the towel. Using both hands, lift the sides of the towel so chest and belly come off the ground slightly and arms and legs dangle downward. As baby gets used to the position, loosen your grip on the towel to encourage independent crawling.