You officially have a 1 week old baby!
Welcome to motherhood!
This time last year you weren’t even knocked up yet … look how far you’ve come since then! Even if it’s not your first time around, you’re probably still feeling a little overwhelmed. That’s partly because – even though all your baby seems to do is eat, sleep, and poop – she has an uncanny knack for leaving you exhausted. Luckily, at this point she’ll be snoozing for about fifteen hours per day or more, so if that means you need to catch a few zzzzs while she catnaps, jump on that opportunity like it’s your job! It kinda is, at the moment!
Your 1 Week Old Baby’s Development & Growth Milestones
At 1 week old, most babies are guzzling down an ounce or two for each of the roughly 8 to 12 feedings over a 24 hour period. No, your sleep deprived mind is not tricking you, that comes out to a feeding every 2 to 3 hours. Since most newborns drop weight before they leave the hospital, all that eating and guzzling of breastmilk or formula means your baby will inch back up to her birth weight. In between all those feedings, your little one will sleep about 9 hours during the day and 8 more at night. But, err, not all together, obviously.
At your baby’s first well-visit with the pediatrician, the doctor will take measurements for weight, length, and head circumference and look out for limb movements on both sides of the body. Keep track of your newborn’s feeding and changing schedule in a notebook or an app. With your mind a little foggy from lack of sleep, it’s good to know when and how much your baby last ate, and how many wet diapers they’re producing. These are all questions the pediatrician will ask at the appointment.
Your 1 Week Old Baby’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones
Through their sleepy yawns and hours of sleep you might have noticed your little tot concentrating on your face. That’s because they can see and focus on objects roughly 8 to 15 inches from their face. So whether you’re nursing or bottle feeding, enjoy the time staring down at this little miracle in your arms.
Is your newborn smiling?
Have you been met with smiles from your newborn? If it’s not gas then you may have witnessed your baby’s first reflex smiles. Babies in utero actually exhibit these muscle reflexes at the 25 or 26 week mark, something that continues in the first few days and weeks after birth as they gain control of their fascial muscles and develop their first social smile around week 5.
Your 1 Week Old Baby’s Health
At this point, your little diaper-filler (… er, bundle of joy) still has rotten-looking remnants of umbilical cord just kind of hanging out where that cute little bellybutton is supposed to be. Yeah, it’s disgusting, but the good news is that every day it dries up a little more and gets closer to falling off. It doesn’t require you to do anything special; just keep it as aired-out as you can by folding baby’s diaper down in front. Stick to sponge baths until it’s gone – it isn’t like he’s been out digging ditches, so a wipe down of the important parts is totally sufficient. And while you may be tempted to just pull it off, this is just gonna have to be a lesson in patience: it needs to fall off on its own. Patience is something you need in spades as a parent anyway (Toddlers! Teenagers!), so consider it skill-building.
The umbilical stump probably isn’t the only cringe-worthy feature you’ve noticed. Flaky skin, baby acne, weird wrinkles, old man face, body hair…they’re all a normal, harmless part of the newborn experience, brought on by extra hormones circulating in their systems and the transition from water-filled womb to air-filled world. So don’t worry if your baby is less “peaches-and-cream cherub,” more “naked pigeon” – before you know it, these things will resolve themselves and you’ll start wondering if Anne Geddes is looking for newborn models because OMG ALL THE PRECIOUSNESS.
Really, we promise.
This article was originally published in 2015.
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