Your baby is now in week 3 of her life and is becoming more accustomed to conducting herself outside of the womb. She is becoming more alert and paying more attention, but she is also making more noise, crying, farting and demanding feeds. Here are some of the questions you might want to ask as you embark on week 3 post-birth.
Is that a Smile I See?
You may think that you keep catching glimpses of your baby’s smile. In the very early weeks, it’s likely that these slight smiles are down to passing wind rather than an intentional expression of happiness (but that doesn’t mean they’re any less adorable). Trust us – you’ll know when your baby delivers her first proper social smile. For a true social smile, which usually occurs for the first time at around 6 or 7 weeks, she will smile with her whole face and not just her mouth.
Should I Buy My Baby a Tennis Racket?
Based purely on your 3-week old’s lightning-like ability to grab just about anything that passes her orbit and place it in her mouth, you might be tempted to buy her tennis racket in the expectation that multiple Wimbledon championships will ensue within the next few decades. However, these lightning reflexes are typical to all newborns and unfortunately have little bearing on your chances of rearing a tennis champion.
What is Feeding Like at Week 3?
Although you may by now have an established and easier feeding routine, many mothers will still suffer feeding issues such as cracked nipples or, worse, mastitis, a condition causing inflammation of the breast tissue which is common during the first month of breastfeeding. You should contact a health professional if you believe you’re suffering from mastitis. If you have developed the condition, it’s important you keep up regular feeds because this may help improve your symptoms.
Your baby will let you know when she is hungry and you should let her be the boss in this aspect of the relationship – she really does know best and this is likely to mean a feed at least every two hours.
What About Baby’s Poos?
If you are breastfeeding your baby, expect her to fill her nappy several times a day and for the poo to still be thin and mustard coloured. Also, don’t be surprised if baby farts well above her fighting weight – she may be small but she certainly can be explosive.
How is Baby Sleeping at Week 3?
She may be three weeks old, but she is still, by all definitions, a newborn. This means that you can expect her to sleep as many as 20 hours a day, less if she is in discomfort from colic. Unfortunately, it is likely that with waking, crying and feeding, you are still having to endure sleepless nights.
How Often Will Baby Cry at Week 3?
Given that baby is still very much non-verbal, and crying is pretty much her only way of communicating her needs to you, you can expect her to cry quite a bit. Try not to become too distressed by her crying, even if you can’t work out why it is happening. Over the next few months, the frequency and intensity of her crying should begin to ease off.
Is There Any Point Talking to and Interacting with Baby?
Your baby can hear you, but she can’t understand your words. She can see you, but she can’t make sense of your actions. And, to top it all off, she won’t remember any of these early weeks, so there is little point in interacting with her all, right? Wrong! The stimuli your baby receives now will affect her neural pathways for the rest of her life. The more you talk to her and interact with her, the happier and more stimulated she will be and this will enormously benefit her development in the long run.
How Is Mum Feeling at Week 3?
Baby is growing and you are growing into the role of being a new mother. As you continue to bond with your baby, you may be starting to gain more confidence with some of your new responsibilities. However, sleeplessness and baby’s demand for your constant attention can sometimes take its toll; if you have any severe symptoms of depression, anxiety or OCD, consider talking with your doctor or health visitor about post-partum mental health issues.
Remember to keep making time for yourself whenever possible. This includes arranging a postnatal check with your GP six to eight weeks following the birth and remembering to do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.
Find out more about what to expect in week 4.