Week 5

Congratulations, you’ve reached the second month of life with a new baby. However, this is still just the beginning of your journey as a parent, and you are going have questions now just as you will have questions for the rest of your life. Here at My BabyManual we have answered some of the most common that new mothers will often have during week 5 post-birth.

The happiest days of your life?

Perhaps your baby is among the precocious few and it has already happened – she has mimicked your smile – if not, it just might happen in week 5 (but don’t worry if she takes a little longer – this is perfectly normal). Be sure, when it does and your baby looks into your eyes sporting the purity and delight of her first ever smile, you may just feel that it is the happiest day of your life.

Getting taller?

Yes, baby is definitely growing – at this stage at a rate of around one inch per month – but the reason that she looks so much taller right now is that, a whole month out of the womb, she is finally beginning to stretch out more regularly from the fetal position. She is able to do this because she is getting stronger. In a way she is mirroring mum’s recovery from childbirth: as mum’s core strengthens, so does baby’s.

Is baby ready to play?

She’s not quite ready for Xbox, but baby can certainly manage 10-20 minutes a day of “tummy time”. If you lie her on her tummy on her baby gym or blanket with some toys to stimulate her, you may see her begin to use her neck and core muscles; she may even lift her head momentarily. Be right there with her as she may not like it at first, but regular tummy time will help her develop her strength and will set her on her way towards being able to roll over unassisted. As you play with her, you may begin to notice that she is focussing on objects and patterns she previously paid no attention to. This is because her visual and cognitive abilities are increasing.

Does baby have colic?

It is normal for 5-week-old babies to cry a lot. However, if she cries for hours on end several times a week for several weeks, it may be a sign she has colic. The causes of colic are unknown, but you can rest assured that if baby does have colic, it is not because of anything you are doing wrong. However, help and advice is available to help get you through it.

How often is baby feeding?

The good news is that baby may not be feeding quite so voraciously during week 5. However, she still has appetite to burn and is likely to be feeding as many as eight times a day. Try not to worry too much about whether she is getting enough; as long she seems well and is continuing to grow, she is doing fine.

Can I please have a week 5 nappy update?

During her fifth week of life, your baby will still be having plenty of bowel movements – probably several times a day, particularly if she is breastfed. If you are worried about any aspect of baby’s bowel movements, you can keep a diary of how often and when she is going. It can also be useful to take photographs of her stools as these may prove useful in the event you wish to discuss any concerns with a doctor.

What about co-sleeping?

Co-sleeping makes for both convenience and bonding. However, there is solid evidence that co-sleeping increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). For the first six months, baby is safest sleeping in a cot in the same room as you.

Co-sleeping should be avoided altogether if you or your partner smoke, if you have drunk alcohol or if you are taking any medications or drugs that cause sleepiness.

How does mum feel?

At Week 5 you might feel strong and brave enough to take baby out for a walk, whether in a carrier or in a pushchair or pram. Perhaps you will go out for a light lunch with friends and breastfeed in public for the first time. Whatever the case, take things at your own pace and be sure that you get plenty of rest. Whenever possible, get your partner to help with cooking, cleaning, caring for baby and more.

Find out more about what to expect in week 6.