Baby development and milestones: your 2 week old

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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

Physical 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.

Once your baby does start to gain weight again, they 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. 

He may have a little bit of hair, or lots of it. If his 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 
  • His umbilical stump is red, the area around it is swollen and/or it's giving out a foul smell 

Cognitive Development

At two weeks, your baby will start reacting to sound and light, startling at loud noises. This is also why swaddling them snugly will help control their startle reflex especially when they are asleep.  Though their vision has still not developed that well, you will notice them gazing at your face or their daddy's face. 

Your little one won't have much of a personality yet and you may think all he does is sleep, eat and poop! However, in reality, all that yummy breastmilk is fuelling his brain development as he spends his time moving between sleep, and being quiet-alert and active-alert. 

All that sleep your baby does right now is also helping his brain and body grow. By this week, you sweet baby can recognise your voice and even your smell! He 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 them 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

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Nutrition and Health

Your baby is very happy with your breastmilk, and this is absolutely all he 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 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. 

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 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 his mouth, or redness in the creases of his neck. The doctor may give you a mild topical treatment.
  • 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. 

Newborn Care

Your newborn is still very fragile, so care must be taken especially for duties like carrying and/or bathing him. His neck should be supported at all times as it is still not strong enough to support his 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 their 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. 

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Newborn Safety

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 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 his 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 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. 

Also Read: Baby development and milestones: your 3 month old

The previous week: 1 Week Old Baby Development

The next week: 3 Week Old Baby Development

Reference: Web MD