You are two weeks into life with a newborn, how are you feeling?
Life after birth in the newborn bubble can feel like a bit of a roller coaster. Even if you have older children, this can still all feel brand new!
If you have given birth to your baby, this second week is going to involve some hormonal changes, and you may feel out of sorts. This is completely normal but can feel overwhelming. Rather than letting your visitors hold your baby for an entire afternoon while you host, you should be the main person holding the baby while others look after you!
These early postpartum days are amazing and wonderful, but with those massive highs, there can be some big dips too. Make sure to check in with yourself and if you are feeling anxious or low, speak to your family and midwife, there are help and advice available. It is really important for parents to prioritize their mental health, the better you feel in yourself, the more present and in tune you can be as parents.
There is a lot going on with 2-week-old baby development, it's cliche to say that this time goes by quickly but it really does! When you look back you won't believe your baby was ever this tiny. In fact, even two weeks from today your baby will look quite different as they grow out of the cute squished-up newborn phase. Check out these 2-week-old baby milestones to see what might be happening this week, remember though that all babies are different, and milestones are just a guide.
Newborn babies can spend up to 18 hours a day snoozing. You might find a close-fitting baby wrap or carrier is helpful, as your baby would definitely prefer to be close at this age, equally if you'd rather sit and soak up all the baby cuddles you can, go right ahead! Baby's stomachs are too tiny for them to stay full for long so they certainly won't be sleeping long stretches just yet, their day and night sleep and wake patterns may seem quite similar for the first few months.
Skin to skin is amazing for babies, it not only comforts them but also helps to increase breast milk supply and promotes weight gain, among other benefits. If your baby is fussy and won’t settle, skin-to-skin is often the way to calm them enough to sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a set of safe sleeping guidelines, these state that the absolute safest place for baby to sleep is in the same room as you, in their crib or bassinet alone.
That said, as long as you aren't likely to fall asleep yourself, you can let your baby sleep on you, those little tree frog-style newborn cuddles are hard to beat! Although baby can sleep like this on you, or snug in a baby wrap tied close to you, never let them sleep alone on their fronts.
Your baby needs to be in the same room as you at night and when they are sleeping no matter what. SIDS has been related to some babies having an immature respiratory system, meaning they can simply 'forget' to breath, when your baby can hear you breathing, even subconsciously it can remind them to do it too.
At this age, newborns sleep a lot, but if your 2-week-old baby won’t sleep, or is having trouble sleeping, this could be for a number of reasons. They could be hungry and need to feed, they might be under the weather, or overstimulated and need comforting to help calm down. Certain foods can have an effect on baby's sleep when passed through breastmilk, dairy is a common culprit here, so if you are breastfeeding see if there is a pattern between what you eat, and baby's sleeplessness.
At two weeks old your newborn baby will need to be feeding on demand whether breast or formula fed. They will be going through a baby growth spurt around this time so it can feel like you are feeding around the clock. It is very normal for newborns to lose a little weight after birth, but by now your baby should be back up to their birth weight and may even weigh more. It can feel like our babies grow right before our eyes at this stage as it seems to happen so fast.
Your baby will show you cues that they are hungry before they cry for food, so it's really important to learn to recognize these. If your baby is too stressed out from crying, they will struggle to latch on or even make themselves too tired to eat. Signs to look for are: putting their fingers in their mouth, making the sucking/latching motion, moving their head from side to side, making little noises and sighs, nuzzling into your breast through your clothes, being fussy, restless, moving their arms and legs a lot and making faces.
Even if it seems like your baby is feeding a lot in a short space of time, if you notice their feeding cues still offer them a feed. Cluster feeding is normal, especially around a growth spurt or a leap in development. Following their cues is the best way to make sure they are getting enough to eat.
Newborns should be eating every two to three hours. Feedings start from when your baby begins breastfeeding or starts their bottle, this means that even if they eat for a while, they could well be hungry again just an hour later.
Formula fed babies can also be fed on demand, their cues will also be the same, and although bottle feeding can seem more 'scheduled', following your baby's cues will help them to learn when they are full. It is easier to overfeed a formula-fed baby than breastfed because you are in control of the milk flow not them, which means we can often (even unintentionally) encourage baby to finish the entire bottle. So if your baby is pulling away or stopped sucking, they might have had enough milk for now.
Your baby should have around six wet diapers a day, and three or more poops. If you are breastfeeding these will look like they contain little seeds and be yellow in color, they also tend to smell quite sweet, formula fed baby poop is usually a bit firmer, and a little smellier! If you have a 2-week-old baby with gas, this is normal. Babies take in a lot of air when they feed, and their digestive systems are very tiny and immature, this means they can produce a lot of gas.
Play & Movement
In week two your baby can only see a short distance, but sensory activities are a great way to 'play' with your newborn, you can show them different objects, bright colored items, crinkly noisy toys, and brushing their arms with scarves or feathers will be nice for them, there are tons of baby sensory ideas online too. Reading to your baby right from the start is highly beneficial too.
Once your baby's umbilical cord falls off they can take their first bath. Your baby might be unsure of the water at first but they will soon love kicking and splashing. Having a bath with your baby is a lovely way to bond, just make sure you have someone on hand to help you both in and out.
Going out for walks and getting into nature is great for parents and babies, fresh air can feel amazing and your baby will love being snuggled up in the carrier. If you are thinking of traveling further afield it is best to wait until your little one's immune system is better developed, check with your doctor first.
Your little one won't be going anywhere by themselves just yet but they can certainly kick their legs and wave their arms! Your baby might wrap their little hand around your finger and start to 'grip' items.
Your baby may lift their head ever so slightly when on their front, tummy time is important for babies and you can start from very early on. Let your baby lay on their front for 30 seconds to one minute and build up tummy time very gradually, starting with them laying on you is perfect.
It is good to show your baby a variety of things, by being out and about on a walk, reading them books, or just walking them around the house and chatting about random items! Remember though that babies, especially newborns are easily overstimulated so make sure you take lots of breaks for feedings and naps.
Your baby will recognize your voice pretty much straight away, they've been hearing it every day for the last nine months after all! But they won't be able to tell where a sound is coming from, or turn their head in response for a while yet. Talking, singing, and playing music to your two-week-old are all great ways to simulate their mind and also help with some very early preparation for learning to speak.
At two weeks old your baby can't see very far, their field of vision is between eight to 12 inches. Around now they will start being able to recognize your face, and even begin to focus for a few seconds are a time. Make sure your baby is getting lots of smiles!
Babies can see colors from birth as long as they are bright and bold enough. It can be tempting to go for all pastels with baby toys and decor, but your little one will appreciate brighter shades!
It is common for babies to look like they have crossed eyes at this age, as their eyes aren't quite working together yet, but they will soon be able to cooperate and focus on an object. If you notice that one of your baby's eyes drifts to the side, speak to your pediatrician as this can be a sign of vision problems.
Your baby should have a newborn hearing screen not long after they are born. This will highlight if there are any issues early on. At this age, if your baby doesn't seem to react to loud noises, consult your doctor about getting their hearing checked out.
Speaking to your baby in a high pitched voice or a silly voice will make them coo and smile, any kind of chatting and communicating with your baby will be helping them to develop language skills throughout this first year. Putting music on for your baby is a lovely way to expose them to different sounds. Music has many great benefits, for babies it can be stimulating or calming, and seeing how they react is another way to indicate how well they can hear.
Anything Else To Look Out For
Look out for any new birthmarks appearing, strawberry hemangioma is a type of birthmark that doesn't show up until a few weeks after birth. If you have any concerns, speak to your pediatrician to discuss if any birthmarks might need treatment, most are harmless.
Your baby's umbilical cord might not have fallen off yet, this is fine and it will come off in its own time so whatever you do, don't try to loosen it or pull it off. Make sure your baby gets lots of time to 'air out' after a bath and in general, babies love being naked anyway!
If you have any concerns about your baby's sensory development, talk to your doctor. You see your baby the most and know them best so trust your instincts if you think something isn't quite right.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
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Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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