Your 3 Week Old Baby
Growth and development mean you're both ready for the next step
Hey there good looking
When your baby was born a few weeks ago, while they were beautiful to you, there’s no doubt they still looked a bit odd in the first week or two. A strange shaped head, more wrinkles than a senior’s pool party and black puddles of poop should start to give way to a more “normal” appearance. Their 3 week old head will start to round out a bit more, the skin should be smoother and their nappies won’t look as weird on the inside (though they’ll still smell just the same, yay!). Don’t worry if your baby is still looking a bit funny or unusual, each child develops in different ways at different rates.
With bubba looking better than ever and a few weeks under your belt, you may be ready to go out with them. But it’s not just about appearance. By now, you’ll have started communicating more with each other, even if you didn’t realise.
All about signals
Your baby cries more in the first 12 weeks than at any point in their development. At first this might be a bit overwhelming, but as you’ve gotten to know each other more, you’ll be able to pick up on what each cry means. While one sound will be “feed me now!”, another will be “I want to cuddle”, “it’s time to sleep” or even “that person smells funny”. This is your baby’s way of talking to you, so it’s perfectly normal and healthy. If you find they’re crying for long periods of time (3 hours a day or more), they may have colic. It’s not serious, but if you’re worried they have it, just speak to your GP.
This isn’t just the time of crying through. It’s a great time for you to start giving your baby signals for them to learn routines. Here’s a few things that you can do to start setting up routines.
- Change them and feed them in the dark to let them know the night time is more of a downtime period where less things happen.
- Spend more playtime and learning in natural light.
- Whisper when you’re talking to them in the dark.
While night time training for a day night routine can take a lot longer than just a week, setting up these patterns and habits now will help to make night time feeding and changing easier, and hopefully help you get a better sleep.
It's not just the baby
With a new baby in your life, the first few weeks have likely been filled with focus on the little one. However, by now it’s likely your partner is back to work after parental leave, and any family or friends helping out haven’t got the same spare time. This can leave you feeling lonely, especially if you’ve been suffering from post-partum depression. Taking care of yourself is crucial at this point, not just for you, but your baby too.
It’s one thing to just say it, but actually practicing self-care can be tricky for some, so we’ve outlined a few great ways to work against any isolation or struggles.
- Keep up social networks. Connect in with local parent groups, anything social like a mum’s group or post-natal class. Spending time with people who are in a similar situation to you can help you feel less isolated, and also give you some good tips in this parenting journey.
- Find exercise and movement that suits your body. Three weeks after birth you’ll still be tender, tired and sore in spots. Here’s a great guide to some post-partum yoga. This helps not only with physical fitness, but also increases serotonin levels and gives you some time to focus on yourself, or just not think about anything for a little bit.
- Treat yourself. Parental leave means you’re still getting cash in the bank, so use some if it to splurge on yourself. Maybe it’s an at-home pregnancy massage, maybe a nice silk dressing gown to feel glamorous at home when nothing else fits. It could even be a fancy meal you always love to eat on special occasions. Whatever it is, make sure you love it.
Are you ready for a new sensation
Now that your little one has been in the wide open world for a few weeks, their brain has started to interact with the world. Though their vision is still limited to 30cm or so, they’re paying attention. Spend time up close with them, and use mobiles over their bed to help them learn to track moving items.
Hearing is also going to be developing more. You’ll notice they’re responding differently to different sounds, so keep talking to them, and play some gentle music or sing with them. If you had a home birth, it’s likely now that you’ll be ready for their first hearing test. Don’t worry too much here, as it’s not the only hearing test and isn’t definitive.
Touch is also important here. They may not be ready to do it themselves yet, but making sure you’re having plenty of skin on skin contact with them, as well as slowly introducing them to different textures and materials in play time.
A typical three week old’s day
- Breastfeeding is on the agenda as usual, but you’ll likely see more cluster feeding this week.
- Vision is the same range, but baby is noticing what they can see more. Movement will be more engaging.
- While it might seem like they’re crying more, it’s not because they’re upset, they’re just learning to communicate their needs.
- Bathtime should now be a regular occasion that has a bit more routine to it. This is a great chance to have play time and start teaching routine and structure.
Tips For You This Week
Eat enough for two
You’re still expending an extra 500 or so calories a day, especially with all that breastfeeding. Make sure you’re drinking more water than normal and eating more food high in protein.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor
It might be the thirtieth time in a fortnight that you’ve spoken to them, but whether it’s your GP, matrenal health provider or another health professional, they’re there to help you out.
Stay in touch
Join your local parents group, post-partum class or another social group. As long as they welcome you and bubba then it’s good to stay connected to others at this time.
Spend a little time each day just treating yourself. Have an indulgent ice-cream or play a podcast you haven’t listened to in ages. Just focus on you.
Peter Alexander pyjamas
Comfy, fun or sexy, these pyjama sets and dressing gowns are a great way to give yourself a nice gift that’s also practical, and great for when you’re at home with bubba.
MooGoo natural nipple balm
For Breast Feeding Mums – We’ve made a formula which we believe is the healthiest for your baby while also helping to soothe a sensitive area and keep the skin in good condition. Rather than use Lanolin, we’ve chosen a number of edible and soothing oils and combined them with calming and conditioning ingredients.
To give you one less thing to think about, this balm does NOT need to be removed prior to feeding.
Australian Gumleaf Mobile
Handmade Australian mobile from wood with soft natural colours and shapes to stimulate a healthy visual engagement. Local and child friendly, i’s not just great for your baby, it looks great in your home to..
See what else you can expect in our week to week parenting guide