Your 1-week-old's development

Your 1-week-old's development

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She only has eyes for you

Your baby's eyesight is still pretty fuzzy. Babies are born nearsighted and can see things best when they're about 8 to 10 inches away, so she can see your face clearly only when you're holding her close.

Don't worry if your baby doesn't look you right in the eye from the start: Newborns tend to look at your eyebrows, your hairline, or your moving mouth. As she gets to know you in the first month, she'll be more interested in having eye-to-eye exchanges. Studies show that newborns prefer human faces to all other patterns or colors. (High-contrast items, like a checkerboard, are next in line.)

Give your baby plenty of opportunities to study your features by looking at her up close. As you or your partner feeds her, move your head slowly from side to side and see whether her eyes follow you. This exercise can help strengthen the eye muscles. (Don't be alarmed if your baby looks at you with crossed eyes: It's normal for a newborn's eyes to wander or cross now and then during the first month or so of life.)

Babies are sensitive to light and can see in three dimensions. Notice how your baby blinks when you bring an object close to her.

Weighty issue

If you're breastfeeding, you may be wondering whether your baby's getting enough to eat because she may seem to be hungry all the time. She probably is, since she's digesting breast milk within a couple of hours of consuming it.

Some signs that your breastfed baby's getting enough milk: Your breasts are being emptied and feel softer after nursing, your baby has good color and firm skin that bounces right back if pinched (if you pinch a dehydrated baby, the skin will stay puckered briefly), your baby is growing in both length and weight, you can hear her swallowing while nursing (if the room is quiet), she's passing mustard-yellow stools or frequent dark stools, and she has at least five to six wet disposable diapers a day (or seven to eight cloth diapers).

Whether you're nursing or formula-feeding your newborn, keep in mind that all babies grow at different rates and that their rate of growth tends to slow down at certain times. In addition, if your baby was big at birth, she won't grow as quickly to move closer to her predestined size.

If your little one is hitting her developmental milestones pretty much on time, relating well to you, and looking otherwise happy and healthy, she's most likely doing fine. But if regular weight checks at the doctor's office indicate that your baby isn't developing at a healthy rate, she might not be eating well or might not be absorbing or using nutrients properly.

Number two

In the early days, your newborn's bowel movements are thick and dark green because of meconium – a substance that was building up in her intestines while she was in the womb. As your baby starts to feed and the meconium is cleared out, her stools will start to turn yellowish, but they may vary in color daily depending on your diet if you're breastfeeding or the quantity and type of formula you're feeding her, as well as how hydrated your baby is.

A newborn can have as many as eight to 12 bowel movements a day, but as long as she's having at least one, she's probably all right. (If you're breastfeeding, your baby's stools may look softer, like diarrhea.)

Simon says

Even this early, babies can recognize faces and gestures intuitively – and sometimes even imitate them. Try putting your face close to hers and sticking out your tongue or raising your eyebrows a few times. Then give your baby some time to mimic your gesture.

Even if your baby doesn't copy your expression now, she's keeping close tabs – and learning. If you interact with her and she doesn't seem receptive at all, don't worry. She may have gotten sleepy or a bit overwhelmed and need to take a break.

Tummy time

Young babies spend a lot of time sleeping, and to reduce the risk of SIDS, the safest sleep position is on their back. But when your baby's awake – and in the coming weeks she'll have more and more "awake" time – be sure to put her on her tummy. Babies need to spend time on their belly every day to strengthen their neck muscles. So start getting her used to that position now, or she may resist when she gets older.

Remember, your baby's an individual

All babies are unique and meet milestones at their own pace. Developmental guidelines simply show what your baby has the potential to accomplish – if not right now, then soon. If your baby was premature, keep in mind that kids born early usually need a bit more time to meet their milestones. If you have any questions at all about your baby's development, ask your healthcare provider.

Watch the video: Newborn Burping Techniques (June 2022).


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