At 7 weeks old, babies are learning every day.
If you've been following our baby milestones by month, you might be wondering what's new to look forward to now your baby's reached 7 weeks of age! One of the most joyful newborn milestones is baby's first smile, which is due any time now.
At this stage in newborn development, your little one will be growing and eating more and might be snoozing a bit less.
Find out all about the main 7-week-old baby milestones with our 7-week-old baby development information and helpful tips.
Is your 7-week-old baby sleeping all day? It may seem like that and don't worry, it's perfectly normal. Your 7-week-old baby needs to sleep for at least 14 hours a day but can sleep for up to 17 hours every day.
At this stage, newborn infants haven't yet established their circadian rhythm, so their sleep is all over the place! They have no concept of night and day and don't yet associate night time with sleeping. 7-week-old infants tend to wake up every two to four hours for feeding and can only stay awake for up to 90 minutes at a time until they reach at least three months old.
A typical 7-week-old baby sleep schedule is very loose and flexible, but you can start laying the groundwork for future routine now, by keeping to a bedtime routine. Bath, book, bed? Well, while older infants and toddlers can have a bath every night, infants this age don't need more than one bath every few days, as too much bathing can dry out their delicate skin. A typical bedtime routine for a 7-week-old baby could include giving them a baby massage with some baby lotion, putting them into a clean babygro, and reading them a short picture book, before giving them a milk feed and putting them down to sleep.
Your baby will be sleeping for most of the day at 7 weeks but may seem to be waking constantly during the night. Your baby will wake for feeds at regular intervals during the night, and might also wake up or have trouble falling asleep at night because of colic. No one knows what exactly causes colic, and there are no proven cures. At least one in five infants suffers from colic during their first few months. It is common and should only last a few weeks. You can help ease symptoms of colic by feeding your baby upright to avoid swallowing air, burping after feeds, and using white noise to calm your baby's crying.
1. Making the house bright when they wake up and dark when they got to bed helps to develop baby's circadian rhythm.
2. Always put your baby on their back to sleep and make sure there are no objects in their crib other than a hard, flat mattress and their blanket or baby sleeping bag.
What is a typical 7-week-old baby feeding schedule and how much formula or breast milk should my 7-week-old baby have a day?
7-week-old babies should be fed on demand. Breastfed babies can't overfeed so they should drink as much milk as they want. A typical 7-week-old baby might drink around 24-32 ounces of formula or breast milk a day. A typical 7-week-old baby schedule would involve your baby waking every few hours to eat then falling back asleep again!
What about growth? Well, babies usually grow about an inch a month and put on up to eight pounds in weight a week. If you think your baby isn't putting on enough weight, speak to your pediatrician, who might recommend a different formula milk or suggest you supplement breastfeeds with formula, if your baby isn't putting on weight with the breast. Sometimes due to hormonal imbalances a mother might not produce enough milk for her infant. However, even if you are recommended to start your baby on formula, you should still breastfeed if you want to, as even tiny amounts of breastmilk are beneficial to your baby.
If your baby seems to be feeding more these days it's likely they are going through a growth spurt. Baby growth requires calories so you can expect your little one to start eating more and more as they get bigger.
7-week-old babies might not poop every day, as they did as a newborn. As long as poops are soft and not a struggle to pass, it can be normal for 7-week-old babies to go roughly three days without pooping.
Interested to know the average weight of a 7-week-old baby? Well there is no average weight worth going by really as every baby is different. Some babies are small and some are larger, some are born premature, and all these factors of course affect their weight by 7 weeks. Babies should be weighed once a month, and you can track how they're growing along the centiles on their growth chart to make sure they're following a healthy growth trajectory. When babies are sick with colds and other bugs their growth can slow down until they feel better but they soon catch up again once they're better.
If you have a fussy 7-week-old baby, join the club. 7-week-old babies are notoriously fussy as colic can kick in around this age. Your little one may also be crying more due to increased hunger. One way to help ease colic is to burp your baby after every feed to release any trapped wind that might cause discomfort. Try feeding your baby in a more upright position too, to prevent them from swallowing air while feeding. If your baby is consistently fussy after breastfeeds it could be that something you are eating is causing a food intolerance in your little one. Dairy, for example, is often a suspect.
Sometimes a fast milk flow can cause a baby to be fussy at the breast. You might suspect this as the cause if your little one coughs and splutters when at the breast. On the other hand your baby might be fussy because of a slow milk flow. You can tell this is the case if your baby seems to be sucking more than swallowing. One way to help increase milk flow is to gently squeeze your breast as your child is nursing.
1. If you're breastfeeding, feed your baby when they are hungry, not by a feeding schedule. Feeding your baby whenever they want milk will help keep your milk supply up, whereas going by a schedule might see your milk supply decrease.
2. Give your child their bottle or breastmilk whenever they want it, but don't try to get them to eat when they don't want to.
3. Weigh your baby once a month to make sure they are on the right track for weight gain.
Play And Movement
7 weeks old is the perfect time to introduce tummy time if you haven't already. Put your child down on their front for a few seconds at first and gradually work up to a few minutes of tummy time. Tummy time is great for developing your baby's upper body strength, helps develop your baby's neck and back muscles, and lets them practice lifting their heads up. Tummy time also gives little ones the opportunity to explore what's underneath them and see the world from a more independent viewpoint.
7-week-old babies love batting objects such as toys dangling from mobiles, so think about getting some mobile toys to hang over their cot or their rocker if you haven't got one already. Such toys are also great for their hand-eye coordination. A good game to try at this age is peek-a-boo, which infants of all ages love to play.
Reading simple board books to your baby is a great way to bond and develop your child's language understanding. Your baby will also love to hear you singing to them, and of course, lullabies are great for getting little ones to stop crying and drift off to sleep!
1. Play simple games such as holding a rattle out for them to grab. At this age your baby should be able to track an object moving horizontally, so encourage this by getting them to reach out for toys.
2. The simplest pastimes such as tickling, singing, talking, and reading to your baby are all great for their development and for bonding time.
3. Colorful and noisy toys are great for developing baby's sensory skills.
4. Make sure to supervise your baby while they are having tummy time, and take care to make sure they don't fall asleep face down.
Your baby has very keen senses and is developing them day by day. At 7 weeks your baby may turn to look at you if she hears you speak, which means she is developing her sight and sound coordination. She can see up to 24 inches away from her face and she can track objects moving horizontally, but won't be able to track movements going vertically or diagonally yet. You can check to see how her tracking is developing by holding toys just out of reach for her to try and catch.
Eating a wide variety of food if breastfeeding will stimulate her sense of taste as she will be able to detect the different flavors in your milk. You can also play a variety of music to stimulate her hearing and encourage future musical talent!
1. Choose board picture books with textured inserts to stimulate your baby's sense of touch while reading together.
Communication And Emotional Development
At 7 weeks your child will be melting hearts with their newfound smile. They will be able to recognize and distinguish between familiar faces, and reward these beloved faces with a toothless grin.
You can help develop your baby's communication and emotional development by talking and singing to them as much as possible and cuddling and holding them as much as you can. You can't spoil a baby by giving them too much affection, and the more physical contact they have with you now, the more securely attached they will be later on.
1. Make cuddling and picking up your baby a priority - your baby needs physical affection to thrive, and the more they get, the better.
2. Having fun with your baby and not worrying too much about doing all the right things at the right time is the best way to enjoy your time with your baby.
If you found this article helpful, why not take a look at our guide to [9-week-old baby developmental milestones] or our sample 2-month-old schedules?
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