Parenting

Your 6 Week Old Baby's Development And Milestones

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6 week old baby
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You officially have a 6 week old baby!

You are rocking this parenting gig right now!

You’ve got a 6-week old baby and you are rocking this parenting gig (think of how much you’ve learned in just this short time!). But sometimes you want to venture out into your old pre-child haunts and just be you for a while (or you’re gearing up to re-enter the workforce after your maternity leave). If you’ve been exclusively breastfeeding and feel like branching out a bit, now is a good time to introduce the bottle so you can finally pawn your little clinger off on someone else – I mean, rely on someone to take over baby’s mealtime when you’re not around.

Try it first with a small amount of expressed breastmilk and a hand-off partner; your baby may actually accept a bottle more willingly from someone other than you. (Then go enjoy a few minutes of indulgent aloneness.) Pumping is not the most enjoyable activity on the face of the earth, but you’ll soon become a pro.

Your 6 Week Old Baby’s Development & Growth Milestones

Around the 2 month mark, your baby should be eating every 3 to 4 hours, chowing down on about 4 to 5 ounces of breastmilk or formula. Since formula takes longer to digest than breastmilk, breastfed babies might be hungrier faster, so don’t compare your feeding schedule to anyone else’s.

All that eating means baby might get gassy. Watch out for cues like an arched back, a squirmy face, and inflated belly, and follow with gentle bicycle leg exercises and pushing the knees into their chest.

Your 6 Week Old Baby’s Physical, Social, And Cognitive Milestones

You might have noticed that your mini-Mozart is soothed or energized by certain melodies. Babies love music – but don’t think you have to limit their playlist to nursery songs and kiddie ballads. Try putting on different varieties of music, from Beethoven to The Doors to Nicki Minaj, and see which ones get baby’s motor running! It’s a fun way to see her personality start to shine through.

Speaking of personality, are you ready for some baby smiles and coos? You might have already seen what looks like a smile on your baby’s face, but that was probably a reflex smile, like an involuntary muscle spasm. Anywhere between 6 to 12 weeks is when the real thing comes along. This is a huge moment, both for you and your little bean. A smile means your baby has powered through the reflex smiles and is expressing emotion.

This is also around the time when your baby attempts to coo, a communicative developmental milestone that typically appears around the 2 month mark, but may appear earlier in some babies.

Your 6 Week Old Baby’s Health

Is your baby going through the 6 week sleep regression or is it a growth spurt?

If your newborn went from being a regular sleeper — as much as that’s possible at their age — to a fussier, hungrier, less sleepy version of themselves, then you might be witnessing a growth spurt. Often dubbed the 6-week sleep regression, babies at this age seem to sleep way less and eat way more. Kind of like college, but they’re doing it in diapers.

Barring any illnesses or medical issues, the symptoms of the regression, or growth spurt, should last about a week or so, but will feel like years in your already sleep-deprived mind. Be patient, sooth them as best you can, and know that it will all end soon. Until the 4 month, 9 month, 12 month, 18 month, and 2 year sleep regressions.

What about mom?

After all this time, your lady-bits are finally back in working order and you’ve got the doctor’s okay to resume “vaginal activity.” Whether you want to or not is a different story! Your partner may be much (much, much) more anxious than you are, but don’t feel pressured, because – very much like your first time ever – you need to be as relaxed as you can before your first postpartum romp in the sheets. Take it slow, use copious amounts of lube (and don’t forget the condom!), and ease back into the saddle, so to speak. It may not feel great initially, and there’s no denying that sex will never be the quite the same again – but it does get better. Really.

This article was originally published in 2015.

Read More:

12 Things I Learned in Just Six Weeks of Parenting

Pumping Sucks, Completely

Your 7 Week Old Baby

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