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5 to 6 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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This is part 2 of a 2 part series for this developmental stage (weeks 4 to 6). Click here to read part 1 of 2.

Changes this week:
  • You and your baby are both enjoying bath time.
  • You will probably feel ready to get out a bit more, with your baby.
  • Learning your new family rhythms – slowly.
How your newborn is developing:

Click here for newborn care tips for this week.

Parenting 101:
Around 4 to 6 weeks, your baby will start enjoying being bathed. The bath is a good part of the evening routine to settle the baby, and is a lovely part of the bedtime routine for both of you. Ideally you want to bath your baby, give them a last feed and have them ready for bed at 7pm. It’s very common for babies to be unsettled between 7 and 9pm at this stage – they’re often happy in your arms, but don’t want to be put down. Don’t worry about bad habits forming just yet, it’s normal for newborns not to settle during these hours, and they grow out of it between 2 and 3 months.

Heather recommends taking this time to spend quality time with your partner and baby, watching all those DVD series you never had a chance to watch before! This can also be Dad’s time for cuddles, you’re not needing to feed and your baby just wants to be held. It’s a given that babies are fussy for the first 3 months, they need a lot of cuddling and settling. They’re less fussy after 3 months, so rather put good habits into place then, when they’re easier to put down. Because most newborns at this age only settle at 9pm, you definitely don’t need to wake them up after an hour. If you get into bed at 9pm (when they fall asleep), you’ll have a few hours of good sleep before the first feed of the night.

Many parents worry about how to stimulate their baby at this age. Baby experts advise Moms to plan their day around what they would like to do, and take the baby with. So if you need to socialise and get out the house, take your baby with you – don’t plan your day around what you think they need. At this age, they just need to be held and loved and fed, and to see the world from the safety of their Mom’s arms. Even something as simple as lying on a rug underneath a tree can be stimulating for your baby – the leaves are fascinating and everything is new. Up to 3 months, you can also sleep your baby wherever you are. It’s only after 3 months and by 4 months that they need to be asleep in their own bed, because otherwise they’ll be too hard to settle.

Most Moms are usually ready to feed in public at this point – if you are shy or uncomfortable, be sure to take a shawl or blanket with you, or buy a nursing cover for more protection. It’s essential that you feel comfortable.

This week’s To Do list:
  • Buy a mobile for your baby’s cot.
  • Keep doing your pelvic floor exercises.
  • Make sure you have booked your six-week check-ups and immunisations.
  • Have a small glass of your favourite wine. Just be sure to wait at least two hours before you breastfeed, so the alcohol doesn’t transfer to the breast milk.
If you have 5 minutes…
Mom’s top tip.
Keep a spare set of clothes for both you and your baby in the car if you go out anywhere. You never know when you might need a change of clothes after a messy nappy or accident.

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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