Baby Development And Milestones: Your 2 Week Old Baby
Your little one is all of two weeks old! What should you expect from him or her this week?
By now, it must have just started to sink in that those tiny hands you felt fluttering in your belly just two weeks ago are yours in real life to kiss and hold. That's right – you're mummy to a beautiful 2 week old baby! Congratulations for getting through one week of motherhood.
Though it's only been a little over a week since your baby was born, there are still some changes and growth you can keep an eye out for.
Here's a glimpse of 2 week old baby development and milestones.
2 Week Old Baby Development
By week two, some babies might have recovered the weight they lost in their first week of life, while others might still be working towards it. You should definitely see a difference by around day 10-14, once your milk well and truly kicks in.
At this stage, your child’s median length and weight* should be as follows:
– Length: 49.8 cm (19.6 inches)
– Weight: 3.3 kg (7.4lb)
– Length: 49.2 cm (19.4 inches)
– Weight: 3.3kg (7.3lb)
And your child’s head circumference* should be:
- Boys: 34.5 cm (13.6 inches)
- Girls: 33.9 cm (13.3 inches)
Once your baby does start to gain weight again, he/she should continue to put on weight at around 25 grams a day. But this won't necessarily happen in a predictable way, more likely in fits and starts.
Your baby may have a little bit of hair, or lots of it. If the hair is patchy, you should see it filling out over the next month or so.
You will also notice that baby can grip onto your finger quite strongly. This is known as the palmar grasp reflex. To learn about other reflexes in your newborn, click here.
Umbilical cord care might still be needed if baby's stump has not fallen off yet. Keep the stump and the surrounding area as dry as possible, and it should fall off by the end of this week.
When to see a doctor
If your baby:
- Experiences rapid weight loss.
- The umbilical stump is red, the area around it is swollen and/or it's giving out a foul smell.
At two weeks, your baby will start reacting to sound and light, startling at loud noises. This is also why swaddling them him/her will help control the startle reflex especially when baby is asleep. Though your baby's vision has still not developed that well, you will notice him/her gazing at your or daddy's face.
Your little one won't have much of a personality yet and you may think all he/she does is sleep, eat and poop! However, in reality, all that yummy breastmilk is fuelling brain development as he/she spends time moving between sleep, and being quiet-alert and active-alert.
All that sleep your baby does right now is also helping his/her brain and body grow. By this week, you sweet baby can recognise your voice and even your smell! Your little one also loves being touched and held by you.
Mummy, did you know that research has found out that holding your baby can actually help fuel brain development and help him/her grow faster? That's right! So please shower your 2 week old baby with plenty of cuddles, kisses and skin-to-skin time.
When to see a doctor:
If your baby:
- Does not startle at loud noises
- Does not attempt to gaze at you
Nutrition and Health
Your baby is very happy with your breastmilk, and this is absolutely all he/she needs at this age to meet all of his nutritional requirements. There's no need to supplement with anything else, including water and juice.
By now, your milk would have come in and you'd probably have an established breastfeeding pattern.
It's likely that your 2 week old baby is nursing every 1.5 to 3 hours, for approximately 15 minutes on each breast. Having said this, there's no need to time your baby's feeds. Feed your baby on demand and know that when you do, you're not just nourishing him, but also providing comfort and security.
If for some reason you cannot breastfeed, then the only other source of nourishment your baby should get is formula milk.
In general, your baby needs around 368.7 calories a day to help fuel his/her growth. Typically, the amount of breastmilk/formula milk for your baby at this stage is:
- Breastmilk: 19.3-30.4 ounces/day
- Formula: 16 – 24 ounces/day
If you are struggling with breastfeeding issues, please contact your paediatrician without delay. Your doctor can help you get back on the right track.
In terms of 2 week old baby health issues, colic is probably the most common problem you'll encounter. It may be caused by incorrect latching while breastfeeding, where newborns end up sucking more air than milk, which causes their tummies to fill with gas.
This eventually goes away but their uncontrollable crying even after a feed will indicate they may have colic. You could try gently massaging baby's tummy using flat palms and a clockwise motion. Gently moving baby's legs up and down in a "cycling" movement can help too.
However, if baby's discomfort persists, seek medical advice.
Vaccination and common illnesses
In terms of vaccinations, your 2 week old baby should have got the following at birth:
- BCG : Immunisation against Tuberculosis
- Hepatitis B - first dose: Immunisation against Hepatitis B
Do note: Two to three weeks after BCG vaccination, a small red lump usually appears at the injection site. This lump may increase in size and develop into an ulcer with a crust forming over it. A scar remains after the crust falls off. This is a normal reaction and not a side effect.
To know when the next vaccinations are due, please refer to this guide.
Your baby’s immune system is still very immature this point. He/she is very vulnerable to illnesses like the common cold at this stage. In newborns, common colds could lead to even severe consequences.
To prevent this, it is important to make sure your whoever handles your baby is practising strict hygiene which includes frequent hand-washing. Wear a mask if you have a cold or cough, and any other family members or friends with colds or who are sick should stay far away from baby until they are better.
If your baby catches a common cold or any other common illness, make sure that you bring him/her to the paediatrician immediately. At 2 weeks, our baby is too young for any kind of home remedies.
It is important to make sure everyone avoids kissing your baby on his/her face, mouth, hands or feet as this could potentially transmit the fatal HPV virus to your little one.
Your baby is a sleepy little thing and will probably struggle to stay awake for more than two hours at a stretch. Over the months, a more regular sleep-wake pattern will get established.
At 2 weeks old, you should be seeing around six to eight wet nappies a day.
When to see a doctor:
If your baby:
- Still has jaundice. While some jaundice is normal at birth, if the yellowish tone lingers on, see a doctor.
- Has rashes around the mouth, or redness in the creases of his/her neck. The doctor may give you a mild topical treatment to apply on the affected area/s.
- Has blocked tear ducts, indicated by discharge from the eyes. While some mums suggest applying a drop or two of breastmilk, it's always best to check with a paediatrician first.
- Does not have enough wet nappies.
Your newborn is still very fragile, so care must be taken especially for duties like carrying and/or bathing him/her. His/her neck should be supported at all times as it is still not strong enough to support his/her head.
In order to encourage his neck muscles to develop, you could start some tummy time as early as now, but for very short periods, and always under your watchful supervision.
At this age, baby still doesn't need to be bathed every day as you might rob his/her skin of moisture by doing this. And this could lead to dry skin and rashes. Unless the weather is very hot, stick to a bath every other day. A gentle rub down with a damp, soft washcloth will be adequate on the other days.
Your 2 week old baby might have nails that look like they've been perfectly manicured. As pretty as they are, those pointy nails could cause some serious damage to baby's tender skin if he/she startles and scratches his own face.
Use a baby nail cutter to gently trim them while baby sleeps or breastfeeds. Or you could gently bite them off with your teeth! Use mittens if all fails.
Baby's head is still very delicate, and the soft-spot on top of it is very vulnerable. Be extra careful when you or other caregivers wash baby's head, and do not allow older siblings to touch baby's head. Never leave your newborn alone with older siblings.
Remember to always lay your baby down on his back to sleep, to prevent the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Avoid placing heavy bedding and soft toys in his/her crib or cot too.
When to see a doctor
If your baby:
- Has a bulging fontanelle. This could indicate dehydration.
New Parent Wellness
Yes, as much as you are excited to become a new parent, you may feel the blues. In fact, it's around this time in your motherhood journey that the baby blues might set in. As much as you lavish care and love on your 2 week old baby, you need to look after yourself too, mummy.
Due to hormonal changes and lack of sleep, you may feel overwhelmed and irritable. This is normal. But this is also why compassion and support from family and friends will be of utmost importance during this phase.
By week 2 of your baby's life, you would have figured out what works best for you in order to get some rest: Sleep when the baby sleeps or take turns to stay up the night so that both parents share the load and maintain their health.
Remember, this is a self-discovery journey and each parent goes through different experiences. Comparisons with others will only make it worse. Feeling guilty may come to you very easily in terms of not being good enough or missing out on a few minute details. But remember this is not the case.
If you feel like you just cannot cope, or struggle with feelings of overwhelming sadness, please, please reach out to your doctor without delay.
The previous week: 1 Week Old Baby Development
The next week: 3 Week Old Baby Development
*Disclaimer: This is the median length and weight, and head circumference according to WHO standards)
Reference: Web MD