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3 to 4 weeks old

Katie de Klee
Your baby’s development, what you need to do and some great tips for the week ahead.
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Changes this week:
  • Learning the meaning of ‘hell hour’.
  • Getting some quality cuddle time with your baby.
  • Figuring out how to soothe your baby.
How your newborn is developing:
Babies are more alert in the third week and awake for longer – an hour or so at a time. They still sleep between each feed, but if your baby is struggling to go down, you may need more settling time – the Five Ss can help with babies who have wind or cramp (shushing, swaddling, side or stomach position, swinging (jiggling) and sucking a finger or a dummy).

Another great way to settle your baby is to put them in a pouch or sling, or take them for short walks in the pram. It’s a good idea to get out of the house this week – go for a coffee, or a short walk, or meet a friend who understands what you're going through. Most Moms need some time out of the four walls each day!

Parenting 101:
Most babies have a lot of cramps and wind until they’re about 3 months old – if you have a fussy baby, you’re going to do a lot of cuddling and holding. Another important thing to realise is that newborn babies sleep very noisily – they grunt and moan and groan. Some parents sleep better if the baby is in another room, because the sleeping baby wakes up the sleeping parent. And that's just cheating! In the first six weeks, sleep is king. Defer any routine until then – if it’s between routine and sleep, sleep always wins. You don’t have to worry about bad habits forming until after 3 months: rocking to sleep, cuddling too much and sleeping in your bed won’t become a habit until you continue after 3 months.

Most South African Dads will have to return to work this week - if they're not already back. If your partner is back at work, make sure you still split some of the responsibilities in the evening – Dad needs to bond with the baby, and you need some down time.

This week’s To Do list:
  • Have a look at slings for your baby – it may be a new favourite place to nap.
  • Make sure your baby gets regular tummy time every day.
  • Don’t have too many expectations for yourself – just take it one step at a time.
If you have 5 minutes…
Mom’s top tip.
Babies love feeling your skin on theirs, they find it very comforting. Holding your baby against your chest skin-on-skin is a wonderful way to bond.

Curious about next week? 
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after.

Share your thoughts and concerns.
Chat with other Moms in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

BabyGroup says…
This article has been checked by Heather Wood, Nursing sister, Midwife and Lactation Consultant. A member of the BabyGroup Medical Council.

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