Your 5 Week Old Baby – Development, Milestones & Care
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This is the first time you can tell somebody your baby’s age in months instead of weeks! With a month already passed, your baby’s development will be in full swing and rapidly progress ahead. He will be getting more used to the entirety of his body and want to explore it further ahead.
5 Week Old Baby Development
This is an important time when your 5 week old baby growth spurt starts occurring a lot in the mental form as well. As you start observing that your baby is more open to interaction and communication with you, fixed playing times for a few minutes can be scheduled for the day. You could either play with him or carry him around the house or outside to show him more of the world. However, it is important to not go overboard and provide so much stimulus that he stays awake instead of falling asleep.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Development]
Five Week Old Baby Milestones
As your baby crosses the month mark, his weight will keep growing at a good rate with the increased activity leading to increased feeding. This, too, usually results in a 5-week-old baby weight gain to be around 160-200 grams every week.
Along with that, the growth in upper body strength combined with nice tummy time in the initial weeks could make it possible to hold his head up. This isn’t permanent, though, and your baby will barely manage to hold that for a moment or two, while you make him sit or lay him a little upright. As small as that might be, it should still be acknowledged and encouraged.
By this time, your child starts getting a slight control over his facial expressions and manages to convey his emotions using them. This might be the time when you spot him smiling while looking at you. And every mother recounts that moment with great happiness when, for the first time, your baby seems to give a semblance of recognition when looking at you, and smiling.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Milestones]
Having undertaken to breastfeed for more than a month now, both you and your baby will find an understanding of what works and developed a position and skill to feed off the breast in an appropriate manner. The suckling process might be natural, but for a 5 week old baby, feeding from the breast does take some time until it can be done with ease.
Having developed confidence in feeding your baby, you can now step around the house or go to a nearby park and feed your baby as well since you may not have to worry about being awkward anymore and breastfeed successfully. This helps you combine multiple activities and give you more time to rest.
For bottle-fed babies, formula should be prepared fresh as much as possible, due to the risk of formula going bad or infected. Also, it is best to have at least 2-3 feeding bottles and feeding nipples, so that they can be alternately sterilized by dipping in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Food]
Even if your 5 week old baby sleeps regularly, the sleeping pattern is still not set, as day and night difference, or the diurnal cycle, is not set in the brain. Thus, there might be certain occasions where your baby does not sleep after a feed and results in him staying awake or waking up at random times of the day or night.
Wrapping your baby, or swaddling, should be optional, and depends on the baby’s ability to sleep without being wrapped. In summers, a simple cloth should suffice to swaddle. But even in winters, wrapping in multiple cloths should be avoided, for it may be too hot for your baby. Touch your baby’s neck and baby to get a hang of his temperature and wrap him accordingly.
Things that are consistent may not always continue to be so. Your baby sleeping deeply at the right times might suddenly change at this age, unfortunately. Their cycles might keep changing since their body demands change and their curiosities, too.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Sleeping Basics]
One of the best moments occurs at this age when your baby manages to focus his sight on your face, take a while to recognize you, and then give one of the most beautiful smiles in the world. The baby is able to follow you for some time and with some degree of head movements. These usually occur when your baby has just woken up and feels glad to be able to see you right away. At other times, if the feeding has been rather satisfying for the baby, he may grant you by looking up from your breast, smiling slightly, before drifting off into a deep sleep.
Communicating in coos and grunts will continue and these conversations should continue unabated. Furthermore, spending time on tummy under your supervision just like before should continue as well. Introducing your child to bright colours might evoke strange reactions as well, as he may or may not recognise the colours, but may understand that something is different. If your baby has a sibling, you can slowly start introducing him to the baby and play under your guidance.
By this age, babies usually learn to breathe well and deep, and realize they can control their crying volumes. This might result in more crying than usual. Especially for a 5 week old baby, sleep is paramount and any obstruction in it could cause him to keep crying for a long time.
It is important to note that every cry is unique in its own way and most mothers start getting the gist of it around this time. So it is important to respond to crying as soon as possible, before attempting to understand the reason for it.
5 Week Old Baby Care Tips
- Make sure you give your baby a bath regularly. In summers, it might be fine to give him a bath more than once to get some relief from the hot weather.
- Although a routine might not be in place, do try to ensure that your baby starts sleeping after feeds at fixed times or so.
- If your baby has trouble sleeping at night, remove all kinds of stimulus, and turn off the lights. Keep noise to a minimum, and keep the room temperature around 24-25 degrees C. Stay close to the baby and make your presence felt. After a while, he will get bored and be lulled into sleep.
- Avoid shaking a baby during games or while burping since that can cause harm to his neck. Always rock him gently or play around without intensive physical activities.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Care]
Tests and Vaccinations
If all the previous vaccinations supposed to be done at birth are complete, then no fresh set of vaccination are due till age of 6 weeks or 1.5 months. Keeping your doctor in the loop is important in this regard.
Games and Activities
As your baby’s curiosity increases, he starts being more aware of other senses and other detailed aspects of the previous ones. Your baby might recognise aromas vividly or be able to understand the significance of bright colours. If you have a park or a garden close by, take your baby for a small round and let him be amongst the flowers. The fresh air, slight fragrance, and the bright flower colours can stoke the curiosity of your baby. Watch him take it all in at the same time with a wide-eyed delight. If you have your own garden, pluck a flower and bring it closer to him. Let him touch them as well. Be careful if your baby is particularly handsy and if the flower has thorns or if he starts putting the petals in his mouth. Also remember that flowers can cause allergic condition, so if a sibling or parent has a history of asthma, you should be cautious.
Towards this age, your baby might realize the presence of a body that he has. This can be seen when baby watches own hand or foot with curiosity, or put his mouth to it to understand its taste. So converse with him through it or make funny faces or movements. This can evoke a good reaction in form of giggles, cooing, or loud laughter.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Games and Activities]
When to Consult a Doctor
If your 5 week old baby’s constipation problems seem to continue from before or being to manifest at this stage with the varying feeding patterns, it is important to rope in your doctor in the situation.
Certain babies at this age might tend to have cradle cap. This is a skin condition that results in yellow flakes or dry skin on the scalp. If this condition or any other skin problems are observed that seem to manifest over time, do get your doctor to take a look at them.
If your baby suddenly starts losing interest, does not respond as required, or seems excessively sleepy and lethargic, something might be troubling him or he might be suffering from a condition that needs a doctor’s examination.
At 5 weeks old, your baby will soon start feeling like a family member who has been present for the longest time with you. You will find ways to integrate the baby’s time with your lifestyle, or tweak yours to integrate it with you. Let your other kids or your spouse take over some responsibilities at times as well, which will help you get some rest and make the baby acquainted with others, too.
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