Motherhood

3 Week Old Baby: What to Expect

Team Peanut9 months ago4 min read

Wow, you have a 3 week old baby! Your body is probably still feeling a bit spent, but hey, mama, we made it. Oh, and it seems you have a new houseguest for the next couple of decades.

3 week old baby

You’re officially a mama, so perhaps you’re getting accustomed to your new life with a newborn, or maybe things are still feeling very strange. Whatever the case, these past three weeks have probably felt oh so surreal. But it’s all so worth it for your adorable little 3 week old baby — or, rather, your little bundle of (at times gassy) joy.

Welcome to parenthood! There’s so much more coming your way, but you already know this. So in anticipation and preparation for what’s to come, we’ve got you!

Here’s what you can expect this coming week, mama.

What’s different with your baby from week 2 to week 3?

Your baby is 3 weeks old. They’re probably gaining inches and pounds, sleeping a lot (but probably in maddeningly short stretches), eating frequently, and obsessively watching and listening to your every move and word.

How much should a 3 week old baby eat and sleep?

How much does a 3 week old baby eat? Should they continue to eat as they did at 2 weeks? Yes! A 3 week old baby should continue to breastfeed about 8-12 times a day — or drink about 16 to 24 ounces of formula. What’s normal in terms of a 3 week old baby sleeping? Well, they’ll probably sleep for about 16 to 18 hours a day, off and on.

All this eating and sleeping is supporting their development both cognitively and physically. Oh, and yes, it’s probably too early to sleep-train your baby or feed on a set schedule. Sorry, mama!

Other things to keep in mind for your 3 week old newborn

One thing to be mindful of for your 3 week old bundle of baby joy is to look at getting them their vitamin D — either in their formula or through a supplement, if you’re breastfeeding. Ask your pediatrician which supplements are best for your peanut and if they need these additional supplements. Normally this applies to babies that are breastfed.

At 3 weeks, you’re quite possibly swaddling your little one, so make sure to talk to your healthcare professional about SIDS risks just to make sure you’re doing everything correctly. As always, talk with your little one’s pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.

3 week old baby development

So, what should a 3 week old baby be doing? One big change that you may notice from your little one could be an increase in their alertness and activity.

This is in part from the fact that they’re slightly stronger than before, and their vision and hearing are a bit better too. This newfound strength and cognitive ability will give the little one a bit of confidence to explore their wondering curiosities.

That constant staring your baby is doing is how they develop cognitively. Their little baby brain is working hard! So play with them and smile when they look at you. Can a 3 week old baby smile? Not yet, but they definitely like it when you smile at them.

They should also be able to lift their head briefly and sometimes even turn it from side to side. One way you can help them practise is to lie down on the floor next to your baby, put them on their tummy with their head facing away from you, and then start talking to them and see if they turn their head toward you.

Also, you may be wondering, how far can a 3 week old baby see? At this point, they can see about 8-12 inches in front of their face. They can also probably recognize your face and identify you as their caregiver. Heart melts Me?! Ah, yes you!

Taking care of a “3 week old mama”

As your peanut continues to develop into infancy, they will probably become increasingly fussy. This is totally normal. If you feel the need, slow down, mama, and make sure to give yourself some peace when needed. Maybe your partner, a family member, or a friend can hold the baby for a longer stretch while you take a bath — or perhaps you can listen to a podcast while taking your little one out for a walk in their stroller or carrier.

🤰Read next: 4 Week Old Baby: What to Expect