Your 37-week-old baby is busy—busy trying to move, talk and learn about every little thing around them (and likely putting those things in their mouth). Amid all of these exciting developments, you might also be dealing with separation anxiety, teething, yet another sleep regression and all the other wonderful things that come with being 37 weeks old. Here’s more about what’s going on with baby this week.
37-Week-Old-Baby Milestones and Development
Baby is growing and changing by the day—maybe even going up a clothing size! On average, a 37-week-old boy is 28.1 inches long and weighs 19.4 pounds. The average size for girls at the 37-week-old mark is 27.4 inches long, weighing 17.9 pounds. That said, keep in mind that every baby grows at their own pace.
At 37 weeks, baby is likely starting to scoot, crawl and even pull up on furniture. Soon, baby could start “cruising” while holding the edge of the couch or a low table. Baby’s doing all this in preparation for their first independent steps, but keep in mind there’s a large range for exactly when that could happen: all the way from around 9 to 18 months. And those babbles you’ve been hearing? They might start to sound like a word or two—perhaps “mama” or “dada”.
Baby’s exploration of solid foods continues. At 37 weeks, baby has probably tried a variety of foods, including cereal, fruit, veggies and proteins. Now, it might be time to experiment with new tastes and foods with more texture. Still, keep in mind that a good amount of baby’s nutrition before the age of one can still come from breast milk or formula. Also, be sure to avoid baby choking hazards such as hot dogs, nuts and whole grapes, and stay away from honey, cow's milk and raw or unpasteurized foods until their first birthday.
Your 37-week-old needs around 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours, including nine to 12 hours at night and the rest stretched out over a morning and afternoon nap. That's what you're striving for, anyway. It’s completely normal—though understandably unpleasant for you—for baby sleep to unexpectedly go haywire for any number of reasons. And while it's not always possible to prevent dreamtime disruptions, you can set the stage for good sleep habits by keeping the room a cool temperature (between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit), dimming the lights and running a white noise machine.
For how long can I realistically expect baby to play independently these days?
If it seems like your 37-week-old's capacity for self-entertainment is practically nonexistent, you're in good company. While baby is eager to explore their world, their ability to focus on a single toy or task is two or three minutes, max. You can set the stage for independent play by placing baby in a safe, contained spot with a few different toys and letting baby explore on their own.
Why is baby calling my neighbor “mama”?
Don't take it personally! These days, baby is big on stringing together consonant-rich syllables, including "mamama" and "dadada." But they're still just trying out the sounds for now and won't necessarily apply them in the right context. This phase won't last long, though. When they’re around one year old, they’ll start to understand what these words mean—and use them correctly.
Timely 37-Week-Old Topics
Letting baby explore safely
As baby becomes more mobile, they’ll want to explore more and more. You’ve likely already started thinking about this from a baby proofing point of view (gotta cover those outlets and sharp corners!). But this is also a good time to consider how to satiate baby’s curiosity—safely, of course. One way to do that is by setting up baby-friendly spaces around your house filled with toys and other new (to baby) and exciting objects. (Think egg cartons, clean plastic containers and the like.) Another idea? Stock items in a low cabinet that baby can open, making sure it’s free of anything you don't want baby to touch, and rotate the objects regularly.
Transitioning to a sippy cup
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies stop using bottles by 18 months old or earlier, and straw or sippy cups are a great way to help make that transition. But first, baby has to get used to one. Experts say to introduce a training cup between 6 and 12 months old, with many pointing to 9 months as the sweet spot. Decide what kind of liquid will go into baby's cup vs. bottle (e.g., breast milk or formula in the cup and water in their bottle) and then offer a few ounces at a time. Don't fret if baby refuses the cup at first—it'll take some time and practice for them to adjust. Keep the experience positive and praise them when they manage to take a sip or hold the cup properly.
- Short spurts of exercise count. If you’ve been looking to make exercise a regular thing again but finding time seems impossible, listen up: It’s worth it to stick to short-but-effective workouts that you can do during baby's nap, your lunch break or by waking up a little earlier. Or, try bringing baby along for the ride. They might get a kick out of watching the world whiz by in the jogging stroller. Check with your pediatrician to make sure your child can be placed in a jogging stroller.
Products You Need at 37 Weeks
- Sippy cup. At 37 weeks, baby might be ready to start graduating from bottle to sippy cup. If baby is sitting upright and showing interest in drinking independently, they might be ready—but don’t rush the process. Choose one with two handles to help baby get a better grip. Some also have a weighted base that helps them stay upright, which is great for minimizing spills.
- Furniture safety straps. They're a must for keeping dressers, consoles and large devices like TVs from tipping over when you've got a curious climber around.
Weekly Activity For Your 37-Week-Old Baby
Tap into your little one's love of sounds with some DIY instruments. Demonstrate how to bang wooden spoons on a pot, or fill an old plastic container with dried beans or pasta for shaking (just make sure to duct tape the lid on so they can't open it). You'll reinforce baby's understanding of concepts like cause-and-effect ("I bang it and it makes noise!") and maybe even get baby to sway to the beat.