During the first weeks of your baby’s life and newborn development stages, things can become pretty hectic especially for new parents. However, this can also be a very exciting time for parents considering your baby will be constantly adapting and responding to their new environment.
By week 2, it might seem like you are spending most of your days feeding, soothing, or changing your baby’s diapers. Soon, however, you will be able to pick-up on the many non-verbal cues of your baby gives you and better adjust to the life of a parent.
How Your Baby is Growing
Your baby’s growth is one of the key determinants of their overall health and wellbeing. As soon as your baby is born, your doctor will pay close attention to their weight, length, and head circumference.
A healthy newborn baby can weigh from around 2.5 kilograms to 4.5 kilograms. Newborns often come with extra fluid that they will lose during the first few days of their lives.
In fact, babies will shed about 7% to 10% of their birth weight during their first week. This shouldn’t be a cause of worry because they will be able to quickly regain this weight at around 2 weeks old.
On average, a newborn baby’s length will be 50 centimeters (20 inches). However, a healthy baby’s length can range from 45.7 centimeters (18 inches) to 60 centimeters (22 inches).
During week 2 of newborn development stages, your baby’s head will be growing fast because of rapid developments happening in their brains. By the end of their first month, a newborn baby’s head circumference can increase to about 37.6 centimeters (15 inches).
Aside from physical growth, developmental milestones are also indicators that your baby is growing as they should be. However, it is important to note that your baby’s pace might be different from others. What is considered ‘normal’ for other babies, is not necessarily the standard.
During the first two weeks, your baby may be sleeping for about 16 to 20 hours of the day. Your sleeping schedule may be thrown out of rhythm because of your baby waking up in the middle of the night. As their bodies start to establish a sleeping pattern, it is best to get a little rest once in a while ,especially whenever your baby is sleeping.
At two weeks old, newborns will be able to raise their heads slightly, but their necks will not be able to support their heads when they are in a sitting position. When your baby is active and awake, place them on their stomachs so that they will be able to exercise their upper bodies.
At birth, your baby’s sense of hearing will already be fully developed. This means that they will be able to recognize your voice and other sounds.
When your baby cries, it is often because they want something. This is how they will be communicating their needs. A healthy newborn will cry for about one to three hours per day.
Newborns who cry for more than three hours a day may have colic, which is a condition that is characterized by excessive crying in infants.
Your baby will be able to follow faces or look into your eyes during feedings.
Reflexes are movements that happen automatically when muscles respond to stimulation. These reflexes are indicators that your baby’s nervous system is developing in the correct manner. Some important infant reflexes to take note of are the following:
- Rooting reflex. When your baby turns towards your breast or bottle and sucks whenever there’s a nipple in their mouth.
- Moro reflex. When your baby is startled, they extend their arms and legs and curls them inward.
- Palmar hand grasp. When your baby grips your finger when you place it in their palm.
Feeding & Nutrition
A baby’s main source for nutrition during their first four to six months of life should be breastmilk or formula milk. Although breastmilk is the most ideal and budget-friendly option, mothers who are unable to nurse can always opt to feed their baby infant formula.
Week 2 newborn development stages: Food
Never feed your newborn solid food or juice during this time, as feeding your baby anything else besides formula or breastmilk may lead to health problems like anemia or obesity. If you are going to formula-feed your baby, make sure to select an iron-fortified baby formula.
Breastfed babies will need to feed more than formula-fed babies. Formula-fed babies will feed for around six to eight times per day, while breastfed babies will usually feed 8-12 times every day. During week 2 of newborn development stages, it is best to feed your baby whenever they need to.
When feeding your baby, remember:
- Make sure to elevate your baby slightly whenever you are feeding them. Having your baby flat on their back when you are feeding them may pose the risk of choking or ear infections.
- If your baby has the tendency to “spit” formula or breastmilk after feeding, try keeping their head elevated 30 to 45 minutes after feeding them.
- Breastmilk or baby formula is made up of 95% water, so there is no need to give your baby water during this stage.
- Burp your baby after every feeding, to prevent them from becoming gassy or cranky.
Baby Care Tips
Taking care of your baby is important to keep them comfortable and happy. Here are a few important care tips to remember:
- Keep the waistband of your baby’s diaper below their belly button, so that the umbilical cord can dry up. The umbilical cord stump usually falls off during the 2-week mark.
- You will need to change your baby’s diaper often. Expect 6 to 8 wet diapers a day once your baby reaches their second week, and several poopy diapers. Make sure to immediately change a diaper once it is soiled.
- You do not need to bathe your baby daily. It is also advisable to give your baby a sponge bath only if their umbilical cord has dried up and fallen off, ideally when they become 2 weeks old.
Baby Health and Safety
Your baby will be most vulnerable during the first few weeks of their life, which is why it is important to ensure that you are able to keep an eye on them most of the time. Allow them to sleep in a crib or bassinet in your room, so that they are always near you. Also, make sure the mattress your baby will be sleeping on is firm.
What Can I Do to Help My Baby Grow?
During the first few weeks of your baby’s life, the most important thing to foster is your relationship with them. Here are a few ways you can promote your baby’s development:
- Make sure that your baby feels loved and secure by holding them often.
- Sing or talk to your baby as often as you can. This can pave the way for language development.
- Give your baby all the attention that you can give them. Newborns can never be spoiled with enough attention, as they need it during this stage the most.
What to Watch Out For and When to See a Doctor
During this early stage of a baby’s life, you may be anxious about your baby’s growth and development. Try to keep in mind that your baby will develop at their own pace. However, consult your doctor if your baby:
- Does not appear to be latching on to your nipple or bottle properly
- Appears to have a weaker limb
- Is difficult to soothe or becomes too fussy
Week 2 of newborn development stages is the mark of your new life as a parent. During this stage, infant reflexes and physical growth are key indicators that your baby is on the right track. If your baby is impossible to soothe or is having difficulty latching, it is best to consult your physician about it.
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.