Your baby is a week old! After months of excitedly waiting, you have a new arrival, and life is completely unrecognizable from a week ago. But what’s to come over the next few days for your 1 week old baby?
Well, first off is to appreciate just how much change you have gone through. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that’s okay! This is completely normal for new parents. Taking it one step at a time will help, as well as stocking up on knowledge about your new little one.
Table of Contents 📝
- What should a 1 week old baby be doing?
- 1 week old baby doctor’s appointment
- 1 week old baby development
- Does this get easier?
What should a 1 week old baby be doing?
Your newborn’s first week is going to be a momentous one. But keeping in mind some handy facts and baby milestones by week can help you feel more on top of things.
Many people know that when a baby is born, medical staff will measure their height and weight. But fewer know that nearly all babies actually lose some weight in the first few days of their life, as they shed excess fluids. This is no cause for alarm. Babies usually reach their birth weight again in 10 to 14 days.
Your 1 week old baby will also have their first doctor’s appointment: usually this is scheduled for a few days after you leave the hospital.
1 week old baby doctor’s appointment
Here’s what you can expect from your baby’s first doctor’s appointment:
- The doctor will examine your baby’s body, so simple clothing can help, along with bringing supplies such as extra diapers, clothes, wipes, their pacifier and feeding supplies.
- The doctor will weigh your baby and measure their head circumference. They’ll also gently touch their head to check for soft spots in the skull: these are good, as they give their brain space to grow.
- The doctor will feel your baby’s collarbone, as some babies fracture these during birth. This mends on its own, but the doctor may suggest ways to help.
- The doctor will check your baby’s hips, reflexes and pulse. They’ll also check their genitals for normal development.
- Your doctor will ask some simple questions about your baby’s feeding and sleeping patterns. If you have any extra questions about your 1 week old baby’s development, this is also a great time to ask!
1 week old baby development
Your 1 week old baby is developing what they need most to keep healthy and grow: their immune system and digestive system. Their top priorities will therefore be suckling, sleeping and plenty of skin-to-skin contact.
Here’s what else you can expect:
- New reflexes. Your baby may appear to startle or look like they are shivering. This is normal! They may also start to develop a reflex smile.
- New movements. Your baby will be moving both arms or legs together. It’ll take them longer to learn to move their limbs individually. Your baby may lift their head briefly while on their tummy, but it’s important to keep your newborn’s head supported.
- New sensory skills. Your baby will be mostly relying on smell and touch, but at one week old, they’ll start to focus their eyes on objects near their face. They may also start to respond to loud noises as their hearing develops.
- New appearance. That fine, downy hair your baby had at birth (called lanugo) will be starting to fall out, and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. Your baby’s first head of hair may go too, to be replaced with completely different locks. If your baby has slightly swollen genitals at one-week old, that’s also completely normal and temporary.
How much should a 1 week old baby eat?
Your baby’s first weeks will involve a lot of growing, so it’s no wonder they need feeding so frequently. But how much should a 1 week old baby eat?
If your baby is breastfed, they’ll need feeding around 8-12 times a day. If they’re on formula, they’ll need feeding every 2-3 hours. As for how much your one week old baby is guzzling? By one week, they’ll be drinking between 1 and 2 ounces each feed.
Your baby’s diaper is a good indicator of whether they’re getting enough to eat. By one week old, your baby will have at least 5 or 6 wet diapers a day, although this varies between formula-fed and breastfed babies.
Is your 1 week old baby constipated? Even if your little one doesn’t need to go as frequently, if their poop is soft, then they’re not constipated. But if they cry when having a bowel movement, or their poop is hard or pebble-like, they may be constipated. It’s best to talk to your doctor in this case, as they’ll know best what to give a 1 week old baby for constipation.
Most likely, they’ll recommend a little extra water or fruit juice.
How much should a 1 week old sleep?
At one week old, your baby will spend a lot of their time asleep: about 14 to 17 hours per day, in fact. However, their sleep patterns will be pretty disrupted, as they also need to eat so often! This is because they haven’t yet developed their circadian rhythm, which creates our body’s natural impulse to sleep at night and be awake during the day. This will come in time.
Is it OK to take a 1 week old baby out?
Your baby is developing their immune system, so it’s important to start with small trips — but your baby can go outside, under normal considerations. Getting fresh air and natural sunlight is good for them. However, crowds and very hot, wet or cold weather are best avoided.
Does this get easier?
Life with a week-old baby can be pretty full-on. But every mama feels over their head in their early weeks, especially as postpartum exhaustion kicks in. So, you’re in good company — and it does get easier as your body recovers. Everything is new right now, but soon enough the everyday challenges of baby care will feel more normal and manageable. You’ve got this, mama!
On top of that, in a few weeks, your baby’s body will start to produce their own melatonin (the hormone that tells them to get sleepy at night), so you’ll find you’ll get a bit more sleep, too. Phew!
➡️ Read next: 2 Week Old Baby: Milestones & Development