Newborn Baby Development | Week by Week Development Plan
Newborn Baby Development: Babies are a big bundle of joy. There is nothing about them that you cannot love with their cute smile and soft skin. But it can be very daunting for the parents to handle all the needs of the newborn.
While every child is different, there are certain developmental stages that are typical to infant development. This outline is provided as a general guide to your baby’s developmental milestones:
From birth to three months
Infants’ nervous and muscular systems aren’t yet fully developed. A newborn’s neck, arms, and legs appear floppy. Interact together with your infant by singing songs that label and identify body parts.
Allow your infant to seem at and touch objects found within the home that have smooth, soft edges. Play with items such as textured cloth, spoons, and plastic dishes. Allow your baby to touch and, if possible, hold objects, always monitoring your baby’s safety.
We will take a walk through the stages of a newborn babies’ development so that you, as parents, can have an easier time understanding your babies’ requirements.
Newborn Baby Development: week by week
In the first week, the baby will sleep through most hours of the day. A newborn baby usually sleeps around 14-17 hours, and there is no exact time for when the baby goes to sleep.
So, it’s essential for the parents to get some rest whenever the baby is sleeping. Your sleeping schedule is sure to take a hit during this time.
Make sure the sleeping arrangement for the baby is comfortable. Get a beautiful crib; maybe even attach a baby swing. Baby swings are a lifesaver when you need to calm down a crying baby. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle, and most parents do in this stage.
You will need a lot of diapers for the babies’ early bowel movements. Most substances that the baby passes during this time are substances ingested during the delivery.
They are called meconium and can turn the color of the stool dark and are sticky. They are tough to clean, so consider using disposable diapers.
Feeding hours also are varied like the sleep schedule. When the baby is not sleeping, he most likely wants to feed. Babies have tiny stomachs that cannot hold much food and needs to wake up every few hours to feed.
Breastfeeding is the best way to make sure the baby gets all the nutrients. However, if for some reason you are unable to breastfeed, stick to baby formula. The amount of milk your baby drinks will increase gradually.
In the second week, as you get accustomed to the idea of parenthood and start getting a grip on the whole thing, your baby will hit his first growth spurt. His feeding amount will also increase.
You might feel like you are feeding all the time. It’s a good idea to get a breast pump and store up some milk for when you feel drained and exhausted. It’s just as important to look after yourself as the baby.
Try to slowly develop a sleeping pattern with the baby if you can. Make sure your baby wets at least six diapers and makes at least three dirty ones. This is an important week, as the overall routine of the baby starts to take shape. You start to get into the rhythm of parenting and begin getting a handle on things.
Usually, this is the time you see your baby being more active and alert towards his surroundings. It is a significant shift in the babies’ lives, and you will feel this affects you too.
The baby starts developing strength with regular feeding and gains weight slowly throughout the month.
The baby also becomes aware of the parents and other people’s conversation in front of them. Give yourself a break from time to time.
When you feel stressed lay down the baby in a crib safely and give some time to yourself. Make sure your baby is getting enough vitamin D as that is not available in breast milk.
The baby starts trying to control their body parts slowly in the fourth week. They try to lift their heads, move hands around trying to reach the mouth. They also keep their hands tightly clutched and show reflexive signs in their sudden jerky movements. Their eye-tracking capability also improves around this time.
The baby starts showing signs of excitement when he sees his parents and familiar people. The hearing capability of the baby develops fully at this time. He attentively listens when you sing or speak around him. He checks the faces of the people around him.
Congratulations on getting this far and as you near the month-marker of your parenthood life, you will see your baby grown to become healthy and happy. He will try to mimic your sound by making noises, wiggle around, and react at your sight.
Your baby will concentrate on images and things in front of him. He will follow movements around him like someone walking away or into the room.
By this time, he will outgrow most of his baby clothes, and you need to get new things for his wardrobe. This will no doubt be an emotional thing as you come to accept that your baby is growing up.
If your baby was strictly breastfed until this moment, now is an excellent time to introduce that. Take it slow if he doesn’t want to take it at first. It might take some attempts for him to accept it.
By the 6th week, your baby will show significant growth in weight and size. This will continue for the baby as he gains about 1.5 or 2 pounds for the following two months. The movement of arms and legs become smoother as the baby learns to control their body slowly.
The most exciting part of the sixth week is the first smile. Until this point, most smiles are reflexive behavior for gas, but now the baby will smile at the sight of familiar faces.
They will try to look out for you and keep you in their vision as babies at this age love the sight of people. They will also try to soothe themselves when upset like putting their fist in the mouth.
Things become much easier compared to the early stages around the 7th week as the babies will be calmer and more alert. This is a sign that your baby will start spending the nighttime sleeping. This is a welcome relief to parents whose babies were particularly fussy all the time.
Your new baby doesn’t do much but sleep, eat, and poop. You may not do much but feed them, change them, and put them down for bed? and then fall asleep in complete exhaustion too. Just as soon as you get used to the strange routine of caring for a newborn, a new cycle starts and things change.
Infant development stages come and go quickly, and some are so subtle that you don’t see them right away. One mistake that parents make is to worry about these stages and compare their child to another of the same age. Babies hit milestones when they darn well want to, and being early or late rarely means anything.
Don’t worry if your sister’s baby seems to be hitting all of the infant development stages sooner than your child. It does not mean your sister’s baby is smarter or better than your baby in any way. Some babies have a more laid back personality. They are just as smart as their peers, but they are not in a hurry to crawl.
Perhaps they are not going to talk as soon as other babies, but when they do, they start blurting out sentences rather than single words. Comparing babies only makes you feel bad or anxious. It does not mean your child is behind or smarter than another baby. Try to relax.
Some of the first infant development stages are sleeping in longer spurts at a time. This is always a good time for mom. Just as it seems she can not take another night of getting up three times to feed the baby, the infant sleeps for six hours straight. Of course, at first, this is not at all relaxing for mom, as she may startle awake wondering if her baby is okay.
Once a baby gets to this point, mom can start to sleep longer, only after she gets used to the idea of it while not freaking out that something is wrong.
Don’t rush other infant development stages. If you feed your baby cereal too soon or start with fruits and vegetables, you can put your baby at risk of obesity or other eating-related issues. There are specific guidelines about when a baby should start certain types of foods and there are good reasons for these guidelines.
Giving baby cereal too soon can mean they have problems later in life. It will not help them sleep through the night sooner, but it can cause them great upset because their digestive systems are not ready for those foods.
Other infant development stages like crawling, walking, and talking are all important, just as sitting up, using the pincer grasp, and rolling over is. There are places you may visit that tell you when these things should happen, but remember that they are only a guide. Your baby will do these things near this time, but there are no rules.
The only concern you may have is when they go months beyond these points and do not seem to be moving towards them. That is when you talk to your doctor. Otherwise, use developmental stages as a guideline, and enjoy your baby’s unique personality.
The baby starts trying to grab stuff and holding on to things at this stage. They become more aware of objects moving around them, unlike the reflexive actions that they displayed before their movement is more coordinated and purposeful.
Rounding Up Of Newborn Baby Development
The first 6-7 weeks of a newborn baby are often very troubling on the parents, especially when they don’t understand the different changes that the baby is going through.
We hope that this guide on newborn baby development will help you navigate the realm of parenthood and help you on your way to becoming experts on baby management.