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Milestones, Development & What to Know


By now you’re probably starting to get into the swing of things with your 2-week-old baby. Not to say that anything about this parenting gig is easy, but perhaps you’ve learned how to differentiate between a cry of hunger and one of exhaustion. Maybe you’ve finally figured out the swaddle or gotten baby to latch properly. Whatever your successes, celebrate them! If you’re wondering if your infant is on track, here’s what you need to know about 2-week-old-baby milestones, common ailments and more.

2-Week-Old Baby Milestones & Development

Growth

At 2 weeks, it’s common for babies who are feeding well to be back at their birth weight, if they had shed some initial ounces. There’s no need to go nuts monitoring their weight at this point unless you have serious concerns about their weight gain. There isn’t any single target size for an infant; rather, each baby grows according to their own curve. Your 2-week-old baby should continue to grow up to about 1 inch a month and 5 to 7 ounces a week. This week your little one will likely experience their first growth spurt! If baby is a bit hungrier and fussier for a few days, there’s a good chance it’s because they’re busy growing.

Emerging skills

You may have noticed that while your newborn cries a lot, they don’t actually produce tears. This is because their lacrimal glands aren’t yet developed. But an exciting 2-week-old baby milestone is that these glands develop and tears start to flow. It may be another few weeks before you get full waterworks, though.

Speaking of eyes, what can a 2-week-old baby see? This hasn’t changed much over the past week; they can see about 10 inches away, so they can gaze lovingly into your eyes when held. They may even start to make eye contact and hold their head up a little.

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Feeding

It can take time to figure out all the nuances of feeding your babe, from finding comfortable positions to figuring out how much they tend to eat in a session. Hopefully by now it’s starting to come together. If breastfeeding is still painful at this point, consult a lactation consultant.

As baby’s stomach grows, so does their appetite. A typical 2-week-old baby feeding amount increases this week to between 2 and 3 ounces per feeding, or about 22 ounces a day. They’ll still eat about every two to three hours around the clock, or about 8 to 12 times in a 24 hour period. If they’re going through a growth spurt, then they may cluster feed, which helps breastfeeding parents increase milk supply to meet the growing demand. Formula-fed babies may eat every three to four hours.

Sleep

In the first week or two, the advice is generally to wake a baby if they sleep more than three hours so they get enough to eat. If your 2-week-old baby is steadily gaining weight and is inclined to sleep a bit more overnight, then you can start letting them sleep in longer stretches but probably not more than four hours or so. At this stage, your 2-week-old baby still needs 14 to 17 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.

Babies are born without a circadian rhythm, the internal clock that tells our bodies when it’s night and day. It will still be some time before all the components are fully developed, but you can help your 2-week-old baby get there by making it bright and lively during the day but dim and calm in the evenings.

You can also start healthy sleep habits in other ways. Yes, you can and should hold your 2-week-old baby a lot. But try to practice putting baby down to sleep when they’re well fed but still awake. This usually takes a lot of practice, which is why it’s good to start now. White noise and a swaddle can help.

Common ailments

Blocked tear ducts You may worry if you see some 2-week-old baby eye discharge, but a little goop is no cause for concern. Blocked tear ducts are found in about 20 percent of newborns. If baby’s eyes are more watery than normal or their eyelashes are a bit crusty, they may have a blocked tear duct. No treatment is needed, though it can help to massage the area gently with a warm, damp cloth. A little yellow mucus is typical, but if there’s pus, then the tear duct may be infected. Check with your pediatrician, who may choose to prescribe antibiotic eye drops.

Skin rashes and birthmarks If you’ve noticed that your 2-week-old baby has red skin, bumps, or other marks, there are a number of possibilities that are common at this age. Baby acne, which usually presents as small red bumps on the face, typically pops up between two and four weeks and goes away on its own. Raised red birthmarks called strawberry hemangiomas, a sign of excess blood vessels, also sometimes pop up at this age. Though they’re usually benign and tend to go away on their own, let your pediatrician know so they can monitor it. Baby’s sensitive skin will also be prone to rashes caused by spit up, drool, heat and even clothing. Eczema is another common skin complaint that affects up to 20 percent of babies. If your 2-week-old baby’s skin is dry, itchy, bumpy and red, it could be eczema triggered by either environmental factors like scented laundry detergent or genetic inclination. Your pediatrician can help determine how to proceed, but often all that’s needed is lotion.

My 2-week-old baby is constipated. What can I do?

Before searching for 2-week-old baby constipation remedies, first you need to determine if they are actually constipated. A 2-week-old baby often poops daily but may go up to two days if formula-fed and up to a week if breastfed. If you’re concerned because they’re grunting and straining while pooping, know that this is totally normal and not usually a sign that they’re constipated. If your 2-week old baby isn’t pooping, keep a log of wet diapers and bowel movements to bring to your pediatrician. At this age, avoid juice or other constipation home remedies and consult your doctor instead.

Why is my 2-week-old baby fussy?

Since babies can’t communicate verbally, it can be hard to decipher every cry. If you’ve gone through the typical checklist to see if baby is hungry, tired or needs a diaper change and they’re still fussy, there can be a few things going on. It may be that growth spurt we mentioned above. They may need even more sleep than they’re getting, they could be hot or cold, or they could be overstimulated. (If that’s the case, try rocking them in a quiet, darkened room.) If your 2-week-old baby is fussy more often than not, then diet could be a culprit. For formula-fed babies, you can try a different formula. Breastfeeding parents can try changing their diet to see if that helps; anything from cutting down on caffeine to eliminating dairy products could have an impact.

If your infant cries for more than three hours a day for more than three weeks, your pediatrician may confirm they have colic. Unfortunately there isn’t much to do about colic, but it often starts to improve at around 6 weeks and is resolved by 3 to 4 months. Still, if baby is inconsolable, check in with your pediatrician to make sure there’s nothing else at play.

How to trim baby’s nails

If your 2-week-old baby’s nails are starting to get long, it can be tempting to cut them, especially if they’re scratching themselves. But don’t reach for the nail scissors just yet. For the first few weeks or even months, it’s best to gently file them instead. Using a baby nail file, which is smaller, can be helpful. Baby’s nails are still quite soft at this age, but you can wait until after the bath when they’ll be even softer. If your child is particularly active, you can try again when they’re asleep.

Baby hiccups

Baby hiccups can be adorable and hilarious—and often have adults scrambling to “help.” But the fact of the matter is that hiccups are harmless and will go away on their own. In fact, they may even help their brain development. Hiccups are caused by spasms of the diaphragm, which can be triggered by overfeeding, eating too quickly or swallowing a lot of air. If baby is hiccuping often, try feeding more slowly and pausing more often for burps. Stay away from home remedies like scaring your newborn.

  • Feed yourself. With all the focus on how much your 2-week-old baby is eating and sleeping, don’t forget to feed yourself nourishing, nutritious food. Breastfeeding parents in particular will need a lot of fuel, so be sure to have plenty of water and protein-rich snacks available. Foods you can eat one-handed while holding baby are also particularly helpful to have around.
  • Get outside. If you’re physically able, then it’s a great idea to try to get outside every day, even if it’s just a walk around the block with baby. Movement and fresh air are both great mood boosters.

Products You Need at 2 Weeks

  • Nursing pads. If you’re breastfeeding, by this point your milk should have fully come in–and sometimes it just doesn’t seem to stop. Reusable or disposable nursing pads can help absorb stray milk and prevent wet spots and stains on your shirt.
  • Baby carrier. If you can, going out for a walk with your 2-week-old baby can be a great activity. Strollers are wonderful, but at this age a baby carrier may be preferred, since it offers more mobility and the comfort of keeping baby near. For babies who need to constantly be held, the baby carrier allows a caregiver to do this while having their arms free. Just make sure baby is the minimum weight for your chosen carrier.
  • White noise machine. As you’re starting to get into those good sleep habits, a white noise machine is an excellent item to add to your arsenal. It replicates the soothing sounds of the womb, can help block out household noises and can help hush baby to sleep.

Weekly Activity for Your 2-Week-Old Baby

At this stage your infant is probably only awake for an hour or so at a time, and most of that is likely spent feeding. So you may be wondering what to do with a 2-week-old baby when they’re awake. Now that baby’s umbilical cord may have fallen off, it’s a perfect time to start tummy time. This simply means putting baby on their stomach so they can strengthen their neck, neck and shoulder muscles. It can also help prevent flat head syndrome. Start out with a few minutes at a time, a few times a day. If baby isn’t thrilled by this activity at first, don’t worry; it can take some getting used to. You can help make it more enjoyable by getting down there with them and talking or singing. Or, you can lie down on your back and lay baby face down on your chest for some super bonding tummy time.





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