By now, you have already started learning a little about your infant’s personality and likings. Your little bean is growing every day and it seems that there is new to learn about parenting every day. This is week is going to be a crucial transition if your maternity leave is ending and you are planning to join back work.
What changes can be expected this 6th week?
- Your infant may experience a growth spurt this week.
- Get ready for music sessions with your baby.
- Your baby recognizes you and your partner by now and openly prefers you over strangers.
- Your baby reserves that intentional social smiles and coos for you.
- Your baby is starting to develop sleeping and feeding patterns.
- You will probably be getting ready to transition to work.
Your baby’s development in the sixth week
Your baby may experience a growth path living this week. Your baby will continue to gain around 200 grams per week and will be growing by an inch per month. During the growth spurt, you may notice that your baby is being fussy and sleeping irregularly.
- Cognitive Development-
This week your baby’s memory is starting to form and your baby will now be clearly able to distinguish you and your partner from other strangers. You will find that your baby will be choosing you over others for the cuddle sessions. Your baby will be cooing and will be calm whenever you are close. Get ready for the heartwarming smile and coos that your baby is going to reserve only for you.
- Head and neck –
The baby’s head is also growing in circumference. Your baby can now keep its head up for quite some time but you still need to continue the tummy time. Your baby can now focus for longer periods and its attention span has also improved. This means that your baby will now be following sounds and moving objects more closely.
Gone are the days when your baby could only make startle or jerky movements. Smoother movements are also spotted.
- Self soother-
By now, your baby has likely found its thumb and the joys of thumb sucking. Don’t be surprised to find that your baby has voluntarily brought its fist to its mouth and has started sucking its thumb on its own just to soothe herself.
- Music lover-
The improvement in hearing and greater alertness has turned your baby into a music lover. You will notice that your baby will respond differently to different types of music. Now would be a great opportunity for you to understand your baby’s personality.
Don’t restrict yourself to only lullabies and baby rhymes. Your baby may be an Ed Sheeran fan or can even be a metalhead. Your baby will be more calm and relaxed whenever you play its favorite music.
The improvement in your baby’s memory means that it is both a boon and a bane for you as a parent. It means that your baby recognizes you and chooses you over others but at the same time gets bored pretty quickly. Gone are the days when you could entertain your baby with the same object time and again. With improved memory, your baby will get bored with the same things and you will need to find new ways to keep your baby entertained.
If you don’t feed your baby’s curiosity from now, you will notice that your baby will get fussy and start crying just to get your attention. Try going out with your baby as you will see that your baby will love to explore new places and people. However, remember that you still need to keep your baby in the stroller while in public. If this is your second baby, ensure that you know the things to do with your first child.
What is some basic baby care knowledge that every new parent should have?
If your baby is going to have a growth spurt during this week; you will notice that your baby will be hungrier. You will still need to continue feeding your baby on demand. The breastfeeding sessions will continue up to 20 minutes. If you notice that your baby is nearing the growth spurt then it will be less hungry than the previous week.
If your baby’s nighttime sleeping is improving then your baby will require lesser night feeds and will tend to do cluster feeding.
Your baby will start to develop a sleeping pattern. Your baby will start sleeping less during the daytime and will be sleeping for longer stretches during the night. You will have a more alert and interactive baby and your baby will be sleeping around for 14 hours each day.
Make your baby develop a consistent and efficient sleeping pattern by helping it understand the difference between night time and day time sleeping. Introduce a story-time, and make the story-time extremely fun for your baby.
- Bowel movement-
It is normal for babies to have lesser wet diapers from this stage onwards. If you are exclusively breastfeeding then your baby may have even lesser bowel movements.
A lot of babies only have one bowel movement each day and can even have no bowel movements for or a few days. As long as you don’t notice any signs of constipation, it is completely normal.
When to call the doctor?
- If your baby still can’t hold its head up for a few seconds while lying on tummy.
- If your baby doesn’t smile at all.
- If your baby has no response to loud noises.
- Visual following is absent.
- During the sixth week, women start experiencing postpartum depression. If you seem disinterested in your and the baby’s life or if you feel constantly worried over the baby, call your doctor or therapist to access help.
- Your baby may have a 2-month visit to the doctor. This important check-up will provide your baby with various vaccinations including DTaP, polio, and Hib vaccines.
- Start introducing the bottle to your baby. This will help you to transition to work easily as you won’t be constantly worried about your baby’s feeding.
- Get your childcare in order. You need someone dependable looking after your baby when you go back to work. This will help ease the separation anxiety that most working mothers face while going back to work.
- Take some time out of your busy schedule for self-care. Take some time off and spend it with your spouse, partners, other children, or friends. This will make the time you spend with your infant even more special.
- Get medical help and emotional support to get you through postpartum depression and anxiety.
Your baby has voluntarily started giving you that heartwarming smile. This smile will keep you going for a long time and it will make all the sleepless nights and diaper changes worth it. Your baby may trouble you a bit this week with lesser sleeping and more eating if your little one is going through a growth spurt.
You will have to put on a brave face and get back in the groove of things as you transition back to work. Remember all these anxieties and baby fusses will soon get over. If you start feeling extremely stressed out, don’t shy away from getting therapy and medical help. A happy and healthy mama means a happy baby.
Frequently Asked Questions on 6-week old baby development
1. When will my baby be able to say, mama?
You have to wait a few more weeks as your little bean can only grunt and gurgle as means of communication. Generally, it takes 8 months for babies to say their first words like mama or dada.
2. Is it normal if my 6-week old has her tongue sticking out?
Yes, it is quite normal for infants to have their tongues sticking out. This behavior is a manifestation of the feeding and sucking instinct that all babies are born with.
3. Is my 6-week old teething?
Even though the first teeth will only appear when your baby is six months old, the process of formation of new teeth that will erupt through the gums can start in the second month. So, yes, your 6-week old may soon start teething.
4. What games can I play with my 6-week old baby?
As your baby has improved vision by this week, you can play mirrors with your little one. Take your baby in front of different mirrors and show them their reflection. Point out the eyes and ears to help your baby with identification.
You can also play with your baby on your lap. Your baby will love music and rhymes from the sixth week so music sessions are also a good way to bond with the baby. You can play with your baby using different textured and brightly colored toys as your baby will try to grab and hold on to the toys.
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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.