Your 3-week old baby is still surprising you every day. It probably feels just like yesterday that you brought your little one home. Most parents report that parenting becomes extremely challenging by the third week. You will be left exhausted by the end of the day. You may be sleep-deprived and extremely tired this week.
What to expect in the third week of your child’s life?
- Your baby is probably keeping you up all the time with crying for long periods.
- The champion will continue to grow. Your baby will continue to gain muscle control.
- Your baby will continue to form sleeping patterns.
- Your baby will continue to gain weight.
- This week your baby will be more awake and alert than the second week.
- Look out for colic during this week.
Your baby’s development in the third week
Your baby will continue to grow by leaps and bounds during the first month. On average babies gain around 30 grams every day in the first month and will grow up to 5 cm. As your baby gains muscle control, you will notice that his movements are no longer jerky.
Your baby can keep the head lifted for a few seconds when you put them on their tummy. Your baby will also move its head from side to side when on its tummy.
Remember that your baby’s neck is still very fragile and you should only allow your baby to lift the head for a few seconds at a stretch. Remember that the tummy time should always be supervised and it will help your baby to prevent getting flat heads.
- Cognitive development-
Your baby is going to go through a language development phase this week. You will notice that your baby loves to watch everyone and especially when you make facial expressions or chat with your baby. Whenever you get time to talk with your baby a lot.
Your baby can now focus on complex shapes as the vision and concentration abilities are improving this week. Your baby will love it if you jangle bright colored objects in front of him. You can put bright colored toys over your baby’s crib so that your baby can focus on the moving object.
It may seem like your baby is trying to torture you with all that crying but it is quite normal for a 3 week old. You will notice that your baby is fussier and is crying a lot compared to the second week. Sometimes 3 weeks old have fits of inconsolable crying which can last for hours. Such crying can be attributed to growing pains and colic.
Some potential triggers of colic are reflux, immature digestion, environmental factors, and milk supply problems. Colic generally is the most intense during the 6th week and completely disappears by the third month.
How to deal with crying fits and colic?
- Skin to skin care-
When your baby is crying for hours and seems inconsolable try rocking rhythmically and provide skin to skincare by cuddling, snuggling, or carrying your baby against you in a sling. You can also try swaddling or introduce white noise and other soothing sounds.
Sometimes giving your baby a pacifier can also be helpful. Even though your baby seems to be a noise hazard, take that little noisemaker out in public for short work and maybe all the new things will calm your baby down. If everything fails just let your baby cry out for a few minutes and take a break.
- Avoid gripe water-
As colic can be triggered by refluxes and indigestion, sometimes people suggest using gripe water as a remedy but doctors advise that gripe water will not be effective in preventing colic and can do more harm to your baby.
- Milk supply-
Breastfeeding mothers need to be more careful about their diet as everything in the mother’s diet will affect the baby’s stomach. Notice if your baby gets fussier after feeding session or is forming a lot of gas try to change your diet.
Try to find out if there is a correlation between your diet and your baby’s reaction after feeding. Generally, chocolate, seeded fruits, and caffeine in the mother’s diet affect a baby’s digestion and can trigger colic.
- Start to form a routine-
Make your baby realize the difference between day and night time sleeping. Don’t let your baby take all it snaps during the day. Even though your baby will need resting during the daytime also but make sure that your baby is awake every 3 to 4 hours for feeding. Don’t tiptoe around your baby when they are sleeping during the daytime.
These sounds will help your baby to differentiate between day and night. At night try to follow a routine of gentle bath and infant massage. Remember to use baby safe lotions. If your baby is particularly suffering from gas, try different massage techniques to provide some relief to your baby.
What is some basic baby care knowledge that every new parent should have?
- Sleeping patterns-
Your baby is going to continue forming sleeping and feeding patterns during this week. Even though you don’t have any routine set you should start developing a routine and don’t forget to include tummy time during your routine.
Even though your baby will continue to sleep for at least 16 hours each day, you will notice that your baby will be more active and alert during this week.
- Feeding sessions-
You will notice a decline in the frequency of feeding sessions during the third week. The growth spurt has already happened in the second week so this week your baby will require lesser nutrition. However, feeding sessions will continue to happen on demand and it will last from 20 minutes to an hour.
- Vitamin D-
Your baby will require greater Vitamin D supplements if you are breastfeeding. In case you do not have any vitamin D drops ask your doctor for Vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to serious bone problems in your newborn.
- Bath time-
By third week your newborn may face skin problems such as redness, spots, scaly skin, baby acne, and skin irritations. To relieve your baby of such skin problems, remember that you need to that your baby only once to thrice every week. If you must use soap during bath time, remember to use only baby-safe mild soaps. Keep an eye on your baby’s skincare products and change them if you notice your baby’s skin irritations continue.
Control the urge to pop your baby’s acne. Baby acne is different from that of teenagers and your baby’s skin will clear within the next few weeks.
Remember that you need to strip your baby down and let them roam around in the house without a diaper for a few hours to prevent rashes. If your baby has scaly skin on the scalp, you can brush it gently with the baby comb during the bath time.
- Don’t forget to give your baby Vitamin D supplements if you are breastfeeding.
- New parents need rest and the new mother is still going to recover from childbirth so don’t forget to take some self-care.
- Talk with your baby whenever you can and play with the little one using bright colored toys and objects.
It is already the third week of your baby’s life and you continue to get more and more exhausted every day. Remember that you are not alone in your journey. Your baby continues to grow and is becoming a listen noisemaker day by day. Remember that there is no right or wrong in parenting and you don’t need to feel guilty about letting your baby cry for some time.
FAQS about 3 Week Old Baby
1. Should I start pumping in the third week after delivery?
Yes, 3rd week can be a good time to start pumping as it will help to form a frozen milk supply. However, you need to make sure that your baby has finished eating before you start pumping. By the end of the nursing session, a different kind of milk is produced which contains higher fat composition and colostrum which provides your baby with higher nutrition. Your baby needs to get this type of milk for faster development and growth and that is why you should never pump before your baby empties your breast.
2. Is my 3-week old spitting up its entire feeding?
It may seem that your baby is spitting out the entire milk of a session but it is probably just a few tablespoons worth of milk and it’s quite normal for babies to spit out a little more in the third week. However, spitting out is different than projectile vomiting. If you notice that your baby is spitting up excessively or is becoming very fussy after feeding session then it may indicate colic and you need to call your pediatrician.
3. How do I give massage to my 3-week old baby?
You should be using infant massaging techniques for the newborn. You can use baby safe massage oils and lotion. However, remember that the oils and the lotion need to be washed off properly to prevent any skin irritation. In the summers, you can use cool oils such as olive oil and coconut oil. During winter, you may use mustard oil and massage your baby in a warm room.
4. How do I take care of my newborn when I take him in public?
Even though it is safe to take a 3-week old newborn outside for short walks, you need to remember that your baby’s immune system is very weak during this point. You should avoid any crowded places to prevent any infections. You should always keep your baby in the carrier, sling, or your stroller whenever you take him out. Remember to practice proper hand cleaning with wet wipes after every outing.
5. Are pacifiers necessary?
If your baby is suffering from colic a pacifier may help to calm him down and it is okay to introduce a pacifier to 2-3 weeks old babies. However, if your baby does not have colic, try to avoid introducing pacifiers as your baby may get confused and start the nutritive sucking on the pacifier which will lead to milk supply problems.
Remember that not every baby will have an inclination towards the pacifier. So whether you want to use a pacifier will depend on your baby and your personal choice.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.