23 Week Old Baby Development

Learn everything you need to know about your 23 week old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.

small baby lying on bed

Your Growing Baby

Sitting on Her Own

Around 6 months, your baby can sit by himself for up to 30 minutes, using his arms to create extra balance. It's a major milestone, and some moms believe it makes your little one that much more portable, since you can plop him down anywhere without relying on a bouncy seat or a swing. He's also better able to entertain himself from a seated position since it's easier for him to spot and reach for nearby toys and monitor what's going on in his neck of the living room.

Once your baby's sitting up well, you'll be happy to plop him in the front of the cart while you shop for groceries. As long as he's tightly buckled in—and you wipe down the handles within baby's reach for extra germ protection—it's fine, and certainly makes life easier (no more carting around that heavy infant car seat!). But be sure to keep your baby within arm's reach at all times. Thousands of babies get hurt every year when they wriggle out of too-big shopping cart seats, or when poorly designed carts tip over. If you're worried, opt for a front or back carrier. Wearing baby is the best way to keep him safe while leaving your hands free for shopping.

Health and Safety Info

Time for a Well Visit

Your pediatrician will want to see your little one for a 6-month checkup soon, an appointment that will include booster shots of vaccines your baby received at his last appointment. After checking Baby's height, weight, and head circumference, your doctor will compare the results with those from previous visits to be sure your baby is following a normal growth curve. You'll also learn your infant's physical percentiles (how height, weight, and head size stack up with those of other babies his age). But just remember that it's consistency, not the percentile itself, that's the best indicator of healthy development. A baby who always measures, say, in the 20th percentile for weight (meaning that 80 percent of babies are heavier than he is) is probably thriving; the same might not be true for the baby who starts out in the 90th percentile and drops to the 20th.

If your baby is struggling to gain weight, your pediatrician might have you supplement breast milk with formula, switch to a new kind of formula, or amp up your little one's intake of solids. Or he might hunt for an underlying physical condition that can cause failure to thrive, such as gastroesophageal reflux, intestinal malabsorption, diabetes, heart disease, or other disorders.


After Baby Sex & Birth Control

Even if you've had zero interest in sex since your baby was born, you might find that your libido begins to rev up again right about now. Why? For starters, you might be nursing less often, so you'll release fewer of the breastfeeding hormones that can dampen your sex drive. And if your baby is sleeping through the night, or at least on a more predictable sleep schedule, you'll be rested enough to forego a little sleep for sex.

Before you hit the sack together, however, reconsider your birth control plan. Here's why:

  • Breastfeeding does not make reliable birth control. Once your baby starts solids and/or sleeps through the night, you no longer produce enough of the hormones that suppress ovulation (and hence prevent pregnancy). Use another method as backup.
  • If you've been taking a progestin-only birth control pill (usually recommended for nursing moms, as pills with estrogen can lower milk supply), you might want to switch back to a regular pill with both hormones once you're no longer breastfeeding as often. The dual-hormone pills are more effective at preventing pregnancy.
  • If you use a diaphragm, have it refitted, especially if you delivered vaginally.
  • Consider long-term birth control options like IUDs or implants if you're not planning to get pregnant for a few years. The early years of motherhood don't lend themselves to remembering a daily pill.

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