Newborn Development: What to Expect on Week 3

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Published on 03/07/2020 . 5 mins read
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One of the best parts of being a parent is watching your newborn baby grow up right in front of you. And you can delight in the coming days as you will be seeing a significant 3 week old baby growth spurt. 

By tracking your baby’s development, you can tell if there is something wrong and consult their pediatrician right away. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that not all babies grow at the same rate. Although there are guidelines with their growth and development, some babies develop and grow faster or slower than others.

Unless the doctor gives you a reason to worry, do not stress out about some late or fast developments. But, it is good to tell your observations to an expert every time you bring your baby for their routine check-up.

With that said, here is everything you can expect when your newborn has reached three weeks.

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How Your Baby is Growing

In the next few days, expect a 3 week old baby growth spurt. A newborn will continuously grow a lot during their first month, so expect your three-week-old baby to look bigger than they did during their first and second weeks.

On average, your baby will be gaining 20 to 30 grams per day and growing 1.5 to two inches by their first month. Remember that not all babies are born with the same weight and height, so your baby may be smaller or heavier than other babies their age.

A male newborn baby at 2.5 weeks typically has a head circumference of 39.21 centimeters, while a female newborn baby of the same age will have an average of 37.97 centimeters.

Developmental Milestones

During the 3 week old baby growth spurt, your newborn will be a lot more active and alert. Here are their developmental milestones:

Motor Skills

Three-week-old newborns will be gaining more muscle control by this time, which means their movements and reflexes will become more graceful. They may still kick and throw their hands around. But it will be less jerky than their previous movements.

Nevertheless, you cannot expect your baby to have the strength to move very well on their own. So, it is essential to support them properly when you are picking them up or giving them tummy time.

Supervised tummy time during the day can help them practice lifting and supporting their heads. Some babies can already lift their heads 45 degrees when on their tummy. The more tummy time you give them, the faster they can lift and support their heads.

Tummy time could also avoid the flattening of the head.

Cognitive

Your baby will be able to follow toys waved in front of them as their vision and ability to focus has improved. They can also concentrate more by this time.

In addition, they are ready now for more complex shapes. Letting them look at more toys with more colors will catch their attention easily and entertain them. But above all, they adore looking at faces. So give them more time to look at you, which can also help them remember your face.

You can also start making faces and they will attempt copying your movements.

Communication and Language Skills

Newborn babies will cry as a way to communicate with you and let you know that they are hungry or that they are uncomfortable. But other than that, they will not be able to communicate well with you and rarely make other sounds.

Social and Emotional Development

As their eyesight and brain are improving, they will often look at your face and will slowly begin to memorize it. Bonding is extremely important during this time.

Feeding & Nutrition

As much as possible, breastfeed your baby. Breastmilk offers more vitamins and nutrients, plus it can help you save money on formula milk. Experts also believe that breastfeeding strengthens the emotional bond between mother and child.

Unfortunately, not all mothers are able to produce milk even after birth. There are also those that produce milk. But it may be enough to feed their babies.

With that, they have to rely on formula milk and milk bottles. When it comes to choosing the right formula milk, you can ask your pediatrician for the best choices based on what your child needs at the time.

It is also important to ensure your baby burps after feeding. How to do it: Put them gently on your shoulder, ensuring their heads are supported.

Baby Care Tips

Babies need care 24/7 to guarantee that they are safe, comfortable, well-fed, and healthy. Most babies, during this 3 week old baby growth spurt, will be asleep 16 to 18 hours a day and will only wake up at certain times to feed and maybe play a little.

Umbilical cord and changing diapers

Many babies in their third week will still have their umbilical cord stump, but it should be mostly dry by now. Never try to remove the cord. It should fall off on its own when it is completely dry. In most cases, the stump will fall off by week three.

In the past, parents were taught to clean the stump with rubbing alcohol after every diaper change. But now, research has found out that alcohol kills bacteria that could help dry and separate the stump. So, parents are now advised to expose the belly button and fold the front of the diaper so the stump dries quickly.

Baby Health & Safety 

Babies have health record books that include the schedule of vaccine immunization as well as when the schedule of their routine check-ups. It is essential to follow the doctor’s appointments even if your baby looks healthy.

Remember that babies cannot tell you what hurts and if they are feeling unwell, so regularly check their temperature and their bodies for any signs of wound or injury. Also, be on the lookout for symptoms of common illnesses like fever and cough. 

When it comes to their safety at home, make sure that they are always supervised and placed in a safe place, especially in cribs and diaper tables. Choose quality materials and products and always follow safety instructions. 

3 week old baby growth spurt

Bathing

Perhaps the hardest part for some parents is bathing their newborn children.

Don’t bathe your newborn in a bathtub. Be sure you get a plastic tub for them where they would fit. You can also do it on a kitchen sink, provided that it is clean. Always support their head and make sure you closely hold them, especially when you lower them into the water, feet first. 

Always use gentle products and lukewarm, clean water.

What Can I Do to Help My Baby Grow?

As it is around this week that you will see the 3 week old baby growth spurt, you can help your newborn grow properly by providing them a safe and healthy space to grow. That means you should also change your lifestyle if you smoke and drink.

Additionally, make sure they are fed well and regularly. They will need all the sleep they can get to help them grow, so your place should be comfortable, peaceful, quiet, and safe. 

What to Watch Out For and When to See a Doctor

Colic is more common with babies during their third week and it is a condition that you would want to discuss with a health expert. Although most babies cry more during their first three months, colic is a different situation.

Colic is the uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby. Experts believe that colic affects 8% to 40% of babies. You will know it is colic when your baby cries for three hours a day, for at least three times a week, for three weeks. 

Having a newborn baby is extremely challenging. The 3 week old baby growth spurt is fast and you will see rapid shifts in your baby’s habits and development. 

Learn more about Parenting here

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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