Your 36-Week-Old Baby: Development and Milestones

Your 36-week-old baby is growing and changing at a rapid pace. This stage is marked by significant milestones in physical, cognitive, and emotional development. It's an exciting time for both you and your baby as they begin to explore their environment more actively and express themselves in new ways. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of your 36-week-old baby's development and provide valuable insights to help you navigate this phase with confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • At 36 weeks, your baby is likely to start crawling, pulling to stand, and may even begin to take their first steps.
  • Language development is in full swing, with increased babbling and the potential for first words to emerge.
  • Introducing new foods and establishing a consistent feeding schedule are crucial at this stage.
  • Sleep patterns may change, with potential adjustments needed for nap schedules and nighttime sleep routines.
  • Regular health check-ups and staying updated on vaccinations are essential to ensure your baby's well-being.

Physical Growth and Changes

At 36 weeks, your baby is growing by leaps and bounds! On average, a 36-week-old boy is 28 inches long and weighs 19.2 pounds, while girls are typically 27.3 inches long and weigh 17.7 pounds. Your pediatrician will chart your baby's growth at well visits—but don’t be afraid to ask any questions.

Height and Weight

Your baby will experience rapid growth and numerous changes in their first year. Each child is unique and will achieve developmental milestones at their own pace. While there are general timelines for certain developmental leaps, it's important to remember that these can vary. Witness and savor each new stage as your baby progresses through these exciting phases.

Motor Skills Development

Your child should progress from pulling themselves up, to standing, and then to walking. When you watch them carefully, you will see ways they are growing well. You will also know whether they need more help.

Teething Troubles

Teething can be a challenging time for both you and your baby. Look out for signs like drooling, irritability, and a desire to chew on everything. To ease their discomfort, you can offer teething rings or a cold washcloth. Remember, this phase is temporary, and soon enough, your baby will have a beautiful set of teeth!

Cognitive and Emotional Development

Language and Communication

At 36 weeks, your baby is becoming quite the chatterbox! They may start to babble in a way that sounds almost like real conversation. Encourage this by talking to them frequently and responding to their sounds. Reading books together and singing songs can also boost their language skills.

Emotional Responses

Your baby is now more aware of their emotions and those of others. They might show signs of separation anxiety or get startled by loud noises. It's important to model emotional intelligence by staying calm in frustrating situations and pointing out positive behaviors. For example, you can say, "Daddy is sharing his umbrella with Mommy. Thank you for sharing, Daddy."

Problem-Solving Skills

Your little one is starting to understand cause and effect. They might enjoy games that involve putting objects in and out of containers or pressing buttons to see what happens. These activities help develop their problem-solving skills and keep them entertained for hours. Remember, every new challenge they overcome boosts their confidence and cognitive abilities.

Feeding Your 36-Week-Old

At 36 weeks, while breast milk or formula remains essential, your baby is increasingly embracing a diet of solid meals and snacks that begin to resemble your own eating pattern. If you're breastfeeding, you can maintain about five nursing sessions per day. If you're using formula, continue to offer your baby around five bottles a day, with a total not exceeding 32 ounces in 24 hours. This stage is also a great opportunity to introduce your baby to a sippy cup, especially since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests starting the transition away from bottles between 12 and 18 months, and recommends beginning practice earlier. Keep serving your baby three meals and a couple of snacks throughout the day, but don't worry if they don't finish every meal completely.

Sleep Patterns and Tips

At 36 weeks old, your baby's sleep patterns may seem unpredictable, and they might be more irritable than usual. Many babies at this age experience what's known as "junk sleeping," where they might nod off unexpectedly, perhaps even during playtime or just before dinner. You might find their daytime sleep split into two segments, and establishing any regular sleep pattern could still be some time away. Consider co-sleeping and ensure you follow safe bed-sharing guidelines to help your baby feel secure and sleep better.

Sleep is vital for your 36-week-old's growth and development, and ideally, they should get about 12 to 16 hours of sleep over each 24-hour period. Aim for 9 to 12 of those hours to be at night, hopefully uninterrupted, with the remainder spread across a morning and an afternoon nap. However, challenges like separation anxiety and teething may disrupt nighttime sleep, and these interruptions are often unavoidable. Maintain your nap schedule and bedtime routines to encourage good sleeping habits.

To prevent your room from becoming too warm at night, consider opening a window or lowering the thermostat. Help your baby settle down by introducing rhythmic sleep cues, such as gently rocking the cradle or swaying the baby carrier. Babies this age also often enjoy brown noise and sleep music, which can be calming and conducive to sleep before bedtime.

Fun Activities and Playtime


baby playing games

Interactive Games

At 36 weeks, your baby is ready to engage in more complex interactive games. Baby bicycling is a fantastic way to get those little legs moving. Lay your baby on their back and gently move their legs in a bicycling motion. This not only strengthens their muscles but also provides a lot of giggles! Another great activity is playing with bubbles. Blow bubbles and watch your baby try to catch them. This simple game can provide endless entertainment and help develop their hand-eye coordination.

Outdoor Adventures

Spending time in nature is a wonderful way to stimulate your baby's senses. Take your child out to a park or garden and lie down on the grass. Close your eyes and ask your child to do the same. Then ask them to describe what sounds they are hearing. When they get bored, open your eyes and enjoy gazing at the clouds. Ask them to describe the shapes and patterns in the sky. This activity not only helps in developing observational skills but also inculcates mindfulness.

Sensory Play Ideas

Sensory play is crucial for your baby's development. One fun idea is to create fruit faces. Cut fruit pieces like apples, kiwis, and bananas and show your little one how to make faces with them. Make funny fruit faces and encourage them to mimic you. Once you're done, eat up the features and enjoy! Another sensory activity is to fill a shallow bin with water and add some floating toys. Let your baby splash around and explore the different textures and movements. This can keep them busy and engaged for quite some time.

Health and Wellness

Ensuring the health and wellness of your 36-week-old baby is paramount. This stage is filled with routine check-ups, vaccinations, and the occasional common illness. Let's dive into what you need to know to keep your little one thriving.

You may also like: 38 weeks Pregnancy, Tips and Tricks

Routine Check-Ups

Regular visits to the pediatrician are essential. These check-ups help track your baby's progress and ensure they are meeting their developmental milestones. It's a great time to ask questions and address any concerns you might have. Your pediatrician will monitor your baby's height, weight, and other vital statistics to ensure they are on the right track.


Vaccinations are a crucial part of your baby's health regimen. They protect against various diseases and help build immunity. At 36 weeks, your baby might be due for certain shots, so it's important to stay on schedule. Remember, while every baby develops at their own pace, keeping up with vaccinations is a universal necessity.

Common Illnesses and Remedies

Babies are prone to common illnesses like colds, ear infections, and stomach bugs. Knowing how to handle these can make a big difference. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your baby hydrated, especially if they have a fever or diarrhea.
  • Use a humidifier to ease congestion.
  • Consult your pediatrician before giving any medication.

By staying informed and prepared, you can navigate these minor health hiccups with confidence.

When to Seek Medical Advice

Developmental Concerns

It's important to keep an eye on your baby's developmental milestones. If your baby is not moving around a lot or is unable to sit properly without support, it might be time to consult a doctor. Early intervention can make a significant difference in your baby's development.

Health Red Flags

Be vigilant about your baby's health. If your baby is not eating anything or has a low appetite consistently, or if they have a fever of over 100.4 degrees Celsius, these could be signs that something is wrong. Always trust your instincts and seek medical advice if you feel something is off.

Consulting Your Pediatrician

Regular check-ups with your pediatrician are crucial. They can help you monitor your baby's growth and address any concerns you might have. Don't hesitate to ask questions or bring up any issues during these visits. Your pediatrician is there to help you navigate this exciting yet challenging time.

If you notice any unusual symptoms or persistent health issues, it's crucial to seek medical advice promptly. 

Early intervention can make a significant difference in your health outcomes. For more detailed information and resources, visit our website.

Bottom Line

As your baby reaches the 36-week mark, it's a thrilling time filled with rapid development and new milestones. From crawling and babbling to exploring their surroundings with boundless curiosity, your little one is growing and learning at an astonishing pace. While it can be a bit nerve-wracking to keep up with their newfound mobility and curiosity, it's also incredibly rewarding to witness these precious moments. Remember, every baby develops at their own unique pace, so celebrate each achievement and be patient with the ones yet to come. Keep nurturing, loving, and enjoying this remarkable journey of parenthood!

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