For the first 1-2 weeks of life, babies need a little extra love and warmth to help them adjust to their new home. Here are some tips to consider when caring for your 1-week-old baby.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together this information that will help you take care of your baby during their first week. It can be a lot to take in all at once but relax and enjoy getting to know your new family member. We have lots of information here to help you answer all your questions.
Don’t worry! It’s completely normal to have a lot of questions. It’s also normal to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. Here are some tips that will help you during your first week with your baby:
Growth and Development Your baby is making a long trip down the birth canal, but you’re sure to see a lot of growth during the first week of your baby’s life! Babies digest and breathe at about 1/2 the rate of an adult and grow at twice the rate. The 1st few days are critical for your newborn, as human milk promotes healthy organ development and weight gain.
1-Week-Old Baby Development
The rooting reflex is an inborn response that occurs when your baby’s cheek, jaw, or lip is touched. When the side of their mouth is touched with a finger or a breast is offered, your newborn will turn their head in that direction, open their mouth slightly, and search for the nipple or breast with their tongue.
Perhaps the most thrilling experience you can have as a father is to help usher your infant into this big world. That’s more than enough reason for us to take a look at your brand-new baby’s development during her first week of life, from reflexive behaviors to the ability to focus and reach out.
Sleep isn’t exactly your baby’s specialty just yet. Most babies don’t sleep more than six hours at a time, with frequent waking throughout the day. Fortunately, you can take advantage of this to catch up on your shuteye. Just make sure to place your baby in a safe place, such as a bassinet or crib—and always put your baby to sleep on their back.
Your baby’s development during the first week is important to learn about so that you can understand your child’s characteristics and behaviors as well as care for them. This article will go over what you can expect from your one-week-old baby, covering feeding, weight loss, color changes, and more.
1-Week-Old Baby Milestones
Your 1-week-old baby is beginning to focus on faces. At this stage, if you hold your baby a few inches from your face and make eye contact, your baby will often look right back at you!
One of the most important milestones for a 1-week-old baby is an increased attention span. This might simply mean that you can catch your baby looking at you when you hold them up in front of your face.
Your one-week-old baby can see light and dark colors, especially black, white, and grey. It’s common for babies to look cross-eyed if they have extra folds of skin on the inner corners of the eyes. The baby’s eyes may be fully opened, with lots of hair everywhere on the body. Your baby is learning how to suck through pursed lips and adjusting to life outside the womb.
Your 1-week-old baby will have some reflexive smiles where they smile back at you, regardless of their eyes being open or closed, and even when asleep! Their legs and arms are beginning to get stronger and more active, especially when they are awake. This will continue to grow as your baby gets stronger over the next few weeks.
1-Week-Old Baby Food
As your new baby grows, you’ll discover that feeding can be a source of frustration. You may be anxious if your baby wakes up after just a few mouthfuls or seems to go longer between feedings than others in the house.
Making your baby food is simple and cost-effective. Once you start making your own, you will be amazed at the cost savings of buying fresh produce over expensive jars of baby food.
How will you feed your baby? It might seem too early to be worrying about this, but now is the time to decide what you’d like to introduce into your baby’s diet. Will they have a formula, or will they be breastfed? Even if you have a preference established already, both positive and negative aspects of each that are important to consider before making a decision.
Your 1-week-old infant is still mostly gaining weight and growing, so you’ll be feeding your baby a lot. Dr. Burgert explains that there’s not much of a schedule yet, but it will start to develop around 2 weeks old. Formula-fed babies need 2-3 ounces every 3-4 hours, whereas breastfed babies will eat smaller meals more frequently, 8-12 times in 24 hours.
Though breastfeeding offers many health benefits for baby and mother, it often requires time and patience for new parents to learn how to position their baby at the breast or deal with sore nipples.
Many midwives, health visitors, and breastfeeding counselors offer remote support and help via phone or email when you have problems with breastfeeding. They can give you tips on positioning and latching or help if you or your baby has a sore nipple. If this isn’t getting the results, several local peer-support groups may be able to help. Speak to your GP, public health nurse, or health visitor to get advice from local groups.
You may experience breast fullness or engorgement at this point. Engorgement is common and usually occurs between the third and sixth postpartum days. To alleviate this, avoid squeezing your breasts, try to nurse your baby every 1–2 hours, and apply warm compresses before feedings to soften the breasts and help with latching on. Engorgement usually decreases after a few days but varies from woman to woman.
On average, your baby will be eating every two to three hours during the day and every four to five hours at night. You will want to aim for 8-12 breastfeeding sessions per day and know that you will need to wake at night to feed your little bundle of joy.
You may choose to feed your newborn with formula during the first few days after birth. Formula feeding is a personal choice, and you are encouraged to discuss it with your pediatrician during the prenatal period. Typically, a milk-based formula that is fortified with iron is recommended for newborns and older infants.
1-Week-Old Baby Sleep
Sleep is essential for everyone, and when it comes to newborn babies, it is even more important. Here is what you can expect from a 14-day-old baby’s sleeping patterns.
Newborn babies generally have short, active periods of wakefulness interspersed with longer sleep periods. You can expect your 1-week-old baby to sleep an average of 14-17 hours in 24 hours. During active waking periods, your baby may eat, poop, and be quiet for 5 minutes then cry for 10 minutes. Understand that this is normal for her age and enjoy the time while it lasts. This time is important so you can rest and bond with your baby.
Your 1-week-old baby will be going through some major changes in the coming weeks and months. Here’s what you can expect from your teeny-tiny bundle of joy.
Your baby’s sleep habits will vary during the first few weeks. Several factors can impact your routine, such as how much your baby ate during feeding, how many wet and dirty diapers they had during the day, their level of comfort while sleeping, and how you can rock or hold them while they sleep. Some babies develop bad sleep habits at this stage, but most do not.
1-Week-Old Baby Schedule
Confusion about baby sleep schedules is often one of the most pressing questions that new parents have, and yet one of the most common topics that we see left out of baby books. It is a big mistake to underestimate just how fragile the sleeping patterns of a newborn actually are. A baby’s first week with them is mostly spent sleeping and eating, but a newborn does have a schedule (more on what it is in the next section), and its development can easily be disrupted by allowing too much stimulation, such as bright light (which usually means daylight) or TV (even when they’re sound asleep.)
The first few weeks with your newborn will be a busy, but exciting time. You may feel like you’re still getting settled in with your new baby, and trying to figure out how to get everything done. Unlike older babies who have more predictable eating and sleep schedules, a 1-week-old baby’s sleeping and eating habits are likely to change daily. If you’re breastfeeding, you might find yourself having to go even longer between feedings at night as your body adjusts to its new schedule.
1-Week-Old Baby Health and Safety
For your newborn’s very first well visit, it is important to ensure they have the proper car seat to keep them safe while on the road and secure in a harness that will hold them securely in case of a crash. Your paediatrician will allow you to ask any questions you have about feeding, sleep, and development.
As a new parent, it’s important to understand the health and safety needs of your 1-week-old baby. Do not smoke around your infant, as exposure to second-hand smoke can increase your baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). To ensure that your home is safe for your baby, take extra precautions. Be aware of potential sleeping hazards, such as soft bedding, and loose bedding.
An infant’s system can be sensitive to temperatures, noise, and potentially harmful items. A baby’s natural curiosity may lead them to explore the places where they sleep or play, like wires and other household electrical items.
What Else to Know About Your 1-Week-Old Baby
It may feel like you have a long list of questions when your new baby arrives, but it’s important to remember that some basic needs go along with caring for your little one. Your body has been through a lot and maybe recovering from birth, or healing if you had a C-section. Both your baby and you need to stay hydrated to prevent dehydration and make sure your milk supply is adequate.
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