Finally, after enduring months and months of anticipation and worrying, your little bundle of joy is now in your arms. If this is your first pregnancy then the first week of your baby also marks the first week of your motherhood. The first time can feel not only special but also stressful and overwhelming. Your life has changed overnight and your life entirely revolves around your little one.
The bonding process with your baby starts right from the first day and this first week is going to be one of the most unique experiences of your life. The first cuddles, feedings, and snuggles are all going to help facilitate the bonding process.
What to expect in the first week of your child’s life?
- Your little one may be a little wrinkly and puffy around the eyes.
- Your baby will continue to become more photogenic as days go by.
- Brace yourself for a lot of crying.
- You will become more acquainted with your newborn’s sleeping habits, reflexes and you will understand your baby’s feeding time.
- Your baby will continue to gain a little weight after losing some weight initially in the first few days.
- Your 1-week old newborn will have its doctor appointment after the first week.
- Your baby will almost spontaneously give you a smile when in your arms.
- With all the feeding and cleaning up after your baby, you will be left exhausted by the end of the day.
- You will need to take good care of yourself also.
Your baby’s development in the first week
- Your baby’s weight
The weight of your baby will depend on whether your baby completed the full term or was immature. However, an average newborn weighs around 7.5 pounds and it is approximately 20 inches in length. Newborns start to lose weight for the first few days after being born. When newborns leave the hospital they tend to way around 10% less.
If you best feed your newborn then it will take a few weeks for your newborn to gain back the birth weight. Your baby is developing its suckling and digesting skills. In the first week, your baby is preparing to develop its own immune system.
- Your baby’s normal reflex
The first week is the time of special bonding because your baby will depend heavily on its sense of touch and smell. You should have skin to skin contact with your baby whenever you can during this week. Some normal reflexes that your baby will have during this week are getting startled and shivering.
- Your baby’s breathing pattern
In the first week, you may notice that your newborn’s breathing is irregular and there may also be some episodes of apnea. Irregular breathing is quite normal among newborns but it is always advisable to have a baby monitor set up in the nursery so that you can keep your ears open for any troublesome irregularities.
- Movement of limbs
Your one-week-old baby will have equal movements in its arms and legs of both sides. If you notice your baby moving any limb more than the others you should consult a pediatrician.
- Your babies focus
Newborn babies can only focus on objects which are directly in their eye line and within 15 inches of their eyesight. Your baby will be able to respond to sudden noises.
What is some basic baby care knowledge that every new parent should have?
If you opt for breast milk you may still be deciding between your preferred feeding techniques. You may use expressed breast milk or you can feed directly from your breast or you can even opt for a mixture of breast milk and formula. Your baby may be sleeping all the time and maybe uninterested in eating for the first few days after being born. But you should feed your newborn around 8 to 12 times a day for the first few weeks.
Feed your baby every 2 to 3 hours and on-demand. Within the first week, you will understand when your baby gets hungry so that you can start feeding before your baby starts crying. In case your baby continues to sleep you should wake them up for feeding.
If you face any problem breastfeeding you can call your lactation consultant or doctor so that your supply is established properly. Try to feed your baby from both the breasts so that it helps your supply. If you face problems such as engorgement, sore nipple, excruciating pain, and/or red spots on your breast, you should go see a doctor.
After every feeding session, you need to burp your baby so that your baby doesn’t form any gas. If you burp your baby during feeding, your baby may spit out a lot. Whenever your baby seems to be uncomfortable or get fussy, you should burp then.
In the first week, you will understand which position helps to burp your baby. Generally laying your baby against your shoulder or sitting your baby up in an upright position will help to burp your baby.
In the first week, your baby will be sleeping most of the time. The first week may not be the time to start sleep training. Remember that there should be e no bed-sharing but the mother should share the room with the baby’s cradle or crib for at least the first six months.
Remember to put your baby on its back when they go to sleep. Your baby’s crib should not have any object in it including pillows, toys, or bumpers. You may use swaddling to get your own you want to sleep.
- Diaper duties
For the first few weeks, your newborn will be passing out meconium which looks dark and sticky. Diaper changing for the first few days will be challenging. By the end of the first week, your baby will require frequent diaper changes.
The Colour of your baby’s stool may vary if you are exclusively breastfeeding. During the first week, the color of your newborn’s stool will transition from tar-like dark meconium to greenish or yellow transitional tools and then finally to regular yellow stool.
- Umbilical cord stump care
It generally takes around 5 weeks for the umbilical cord stump to fall off. Use some clean cotton balls and applying rubbing alcohol on the stump once a day so that it doesn’t get infected. Keeping the stump dry will help it to heal faster.
Giving a complete sponge is not suggested unless you see that the cord has fallen off. If the umbilical cord stump starts to bleed or ooze, take your baby to your pediatrician immediately.
When to become concerned?
1-week old newborns tend to be sleepy almost all the time however if your baby doesn’t wake up after 3 hours for feeding or if it continues to remain lethargic, you should consult your doctor. 1-week old newborns are often susceptible to jaundice. If your baby’s skin or eye color starts to get yellow during the first week you should call your doctor.
A good way to check for jaundice is to check the baby’s face under sunlight for a yellowish tone. In colored babies, the yellowish tone becomes apparent in the palms and soles. If your baby is not having the recommended number of wet diapers every day, you need to seek medical intervention.
Generally, newborns are given the Hepatitis B vaccine, vitamin K injection, and other screening tests right after their born in the hospital. However, if your baby didn’t receive the vaccines and the injections in the hospital then by the end of the first week you should have a doctor’s appointment.
Your whole life will be turned upside down after your newborn arrives. The first week will go by in a blink. Your baby will be sleeping most of the time during this week and this will give the tired mother to catch some shut-eye whenever possible.
The new mother should take lots of rest during this time to facilitate recovery. The number of changes may seem overwhelming but don’t worry you will get the hang of things soon.
FAQS for 1 week Baby Development
1. Why is my 1-week old baby hairy?
Your newborn may be a little hairy in some places. Those hairs are the leftover lanugo which formed a coating around your baby’s skin when it was in your womb. Lanugo generally disappears after the first few weeks.
2. How do I keep my baby clean in the first few weeks?
As you cannot give your baby a full body sponge bath yet, you can lay your newborn on a clean and soft towel. Then gently rub your baby with a warm and damp washcloth. Take another clean washcloth to dry your baby off. Remember that you should not use any soap for the first few weeks. Your baby doesn’t need any soap on its gentle skin.
3.Why am I feeling so moody?
After giving birth a lot of pregnant woman goes through mood swings for the first few weeks. You can blame your mood swings on your fluctuating postpartum hormones. The only way to feel better is to get enough sleep and taking care of your health.
Indulge in some chocolates or go meet your friends to feel better. If things don’t improve after the first week, you may go see a therapist to help with your postpartum mental health.
4. What are some of the games that I can play with my 1-week old baby?
There are some fun games that you can play with your newborn in the first few weeks and those games will help to develop your baby’s visual recognition abilities. You can play Face Off with your baby where you make faces at your baby and you will see that your baby will try to mimic you.
However, you need to bring your face at your baby’s eye level because your baby won’t be able to see anything distant from its eyes. Another game that you can play is Finger Puppets where you make some puppets with chart paper and wear the puppets on the pointer finger of your hand. Then bring your fingers close to your baby’s eye line and after the baby focuses on the puppet you can make your puppet speak to your baby.