The first weeks with a new baby are full of excitement, fear, sleep deprivation and… questions. Here at My BabyManual, we have answered many of your most pressing questions so that you can have confidence in your experience as a new parent.
What’s breastfeeding like at week 2?
Some mothers take to feeding with relative ease. However, this is not true for every mother and it is entirely normal to still be struggling with feeds a little as baby enters his second week of life outside the womb.
Even if baby is latching on well, it may take some time for nipple sensitivity to become less intense; don’t worry, the more often you feed, the less sensitive your nipples will become. If you are developing any cracks or blisters, it may be worth speaking with your health visitor for help as to how you might avoid this.
As tempting as it might be to try and get baby to run to a strict feeding routine, the reality is that it is likely to be far better if you feed him on demand. He knows when he is hungry better than anyone else.
When will baby sleep during week 2?
It is likely that when baby is not feeding, he will be sleeping. It’s an enviable life: long feeds of mother’s milk; listening to the murmur of increasingly familiar voices; being lovingly rocked, bounced and swayed; dropping off to sleep while nestled against your warm body. It is no wonder that babies spend so much time sleeping.
Before he settles into a regular sleeping pattern, your baby may only fall asleep in your arms, which can make it tricky to take time for yourself and to perform household tasks.
Another problem is that it is not safe to fall asleep with baby on the sofa or armchair. If you want to sleep when baby does, you should read up on safe bed-sharing and take advice from a medical professional. A safety-first approach would be to place a cot beside your bed; at least baby will be in close proximity to you and this will suit you both!
How can I lessen the risk of SIDS?
It is important to remember that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is rare in the UK (around 0.3 deaths per 1,000 live births), with approximately 80 percent of deaths occurring between 28 days and 1 year of life. You can help reduce the risk by taking the following steps:
- Putting baby to sleep on his back
- Breastfeeding baby
- Ensuring your house and baby’s room are kept at a comfortable temperature
- Ensuring a smoke-free environment
- Ensuring baby sleeps on a firm mattress
What about changing nappies?
You are into the second week of what will be one of your major preoccupations for the next couple of years: changing nappies. If you haven’t already, you might want to establish a dedicated changing area as this can take away some of the mess and inconvenience which might otherwise be part of the nappy-changing routine. This includes establishing a reliable disposal system such as a sanitised nappy bin.
Baby’s umbilical cord at week 2
Although baby’s cord stump will have dropped off by now, he may still be red and raw around his belly button. There may also sometimes be a little imprint of blood on his vest or on the top of his nappy (where it meets the midriff). Take care to ensure that his navel gets enough exposure to air in order to dry out and heal. Take care when cleaning the area.
Baby bath time at week 2
Whether you wish to give baby a bath or a shower, week 2 is a great time to move on from topping and tailing. However, if you choose to shower him, remember how small and slippery a soapy new baby can be, so take care. It may be a good idea to invest in a special baby bath such as the TummyTub.
Bath time can be a great opportunity for mum to get a break while her partner takes over bathing duty, enjoying some precious bonding time in the process.
How is mum feeling at week 2?
It is natural to feel a bit fatigued during week 2. You’ve been through all the adrenaline and excitement of childbirth and week 1, so you are likely to be wanting some rest and sleep. However, if you are being woken for feeds throughout the night, this might be hard to achieve. This is where partners and a select group of family and friends can come in by offering you the support you need.
If you had a vaginal delivery, chances are that the pain and swelling will begin to ease as you take significant steps towards healing during week 2. Although you will still experience some blood loss, seek medical help if there is an increase in this or if you feel unwell, experience pelvic pain, develop a fever or have any unpleasant smelling discharge.
If you have had a caesarean section it will take longer to heal, so avoid any serious physical exertion for at least six weeks.
What about mum’s emotions?
Almost every mother will feel emotionally up and down during week 2 post-birth, particularly if you had a difficult labour or spent a lot of time in hospital.
You are tired, your hormones are all over the place and you have an enormous amount of new love and responsibility in your life. Take time and don’t place pressure on yourself. You will get through this.
Find out more about what to expect in week 3.