Your 7-week-old Baby – Development, Milestones & Care
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A baby develops at every stage of his life. Although small, each baby will show some new development each week or growth in the previous week’s development. In this article, we shall discuss the development milestones of a 7-week-old baby. If your baby has crossed the 7-week mark and you are trying to figure out various things related to him, this article should provide you with the necessary information and tips on how to take care of your 7-week-old baby.
7-Week-Old Baby Development
Babies grow rapidly in the first few weeks after birth, and by the time your little one is 7 weeks old, you will find a remarkable change in him. Your baby may have gained approximately 200 grams weight per week, and thus your 7-week-old baby weight may have increased by 2 to 3 pounds. However, if your baby has gained lesser or more weight than this, there is no reason to feel stressed as every baby’s growth spurt may vary.
It is a good time to begin talking, singing and humming to your baby. Though he may not understand any of it, his brain will start making sense of things around. You will notice that your baby’s eyes are changing too. He will start making eye contact – he may even start tracking objects.
[Also Read: 1-Month-Old Baby Development]
7-Week-Old Baby Milestones
Here are some common milestones that you may notice in your 7-week-old baby:
- Your baby will be able to track objects with his eyes.
- Your baby’s head is stronger now, and he may even be able to turn his head.
- Your baby is becoming more social at this age. He may look at you and recognize your face.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Milestones]
These milestones are generally seen in all babies that cross the 7-week mark. Now, let’s take a look at other aspects of crossing the milestone in detail.
Your baby, around this age, may have developed better feeding skills. He is now more aware of how to suck and also swallows more efficiently. He may have also adjusted to a feeding pattern that suits his needs. As a nursing mom, you may also find your breasts lighter by now as your milk supply may have tuned as per your baby’s needs and demands. As your baby is growing rapidly, your 7-week-old baby’s feeding increases or your baby may be requiring more frequent feeds now. It may take a couple of days for your milk supply to adjust to your baby’s increased requirement, but it will happen. If needed, you may contact a lactation expert.
In case breastfeeding is not possible, and your baby is bottle-fed, it is suggested that you may increase the amount of milk in each feed to meet your baby’s growth requirements.
[Also Read: 1-Month-Old Baby Food]
Frequency of Passing Stool
If your baby is taking more feeds, that does not mean that he will pass stools frequently. The frequency of passing stool will be unpredictable. He may pass stools once in 3 to 7 days or 10 times a day, and both are normal. You may also keep a close eye on the colour of the stool to ensure your baby is not having any health issues because of the increased feeds. At times, babies could suffer from constipation when the feeds are not as frequent/regular. In that case, you may offer your baby feed at regular intervals to get him into a breastfeeding routine. Your baby might resist at first if he is not hungry, but eventually, he should accept it and get used to the routine. If you still find it difficult to feed your little one, consult a paediatrician immediately.
If you are wondering whether you will be able to get your eight hours of beauty sleep at night, the answer is that this dream may seem a bit far-fetched at this stage. However, if your baby is well-fed in the past 24-hour cycle, then your 7-week-old baby may sleep up to six hours at night. The good news is that your baby may have more predictable sleeping pattern by week 7 or his sleeping pattern may become more structured by this time. But, on an average, your baby will be sleeping 5 to 6 hours at a stretch every night. To induce better sleep, you may try feeding your baby half an hour to one hour prior to bedtime. It will be a good idea to start making a bedtime routine so that your baby knows that it is sleep time now. If your baby wakes up at night, try soothing him by patting on his back and without lifting him up. If he doesn’t feel settled, you may offer to feed him.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Sleep Basics]
Your baby may start expressing by this time. Get ready to hear those adorable coos. You may talk and even sing to your baby though he may not be able to make much sense out of it, he will surely enjoy listening, and this will help to stimulate his little brain.
It is recommended that you plan for a little tummy time every day. Make your baby lies down on his tummy on a firm surface and let him try to lift and hold up his head. Though he lifts his head for a longer duration than before, his neck is still not strong enough, so be on guard. He should get tummy time but under constant supervision.
There may be a considerable change in your baby’s crying too. You may notice a shift from mewing high-pitched crying to louder crying. You may notice different types of crying for different reasons. The cry for hunger, tiredness, restlessness and the need for diaper change may be all different. Some crying sessions do not require immediate attention, while some do. As a parent, you know best, what your baby wants and how your baby is feeling. Go by your gut feeling and take the necessary action.
By now, you must have an idea of what you can expect when your little one turns 7 weeks old. To make it a little more convenient for you, here are some tips you can use to manage your -week-old baby’s growth and development milestone efficiently.
Tips to Take Care of Your 7-Week-Old Baby
Here are some care tips for your 7-week-old baby:
- Your baby is growing at a faster pace and may demand feeding sessions than before. Meet your baby’s demand by offering him to feed as and when you see signs of hunger in him.
- Your baby may sleep for up to 6 hours at night, make sure he is well-fed and sleeps in a safe and clean environment. Make sure you do not cover his face while he is sleeping.
- Daily tummy time will help your baby develop his neck and back muscles. Ensure that he gets tummy time daily under your supervision.
- It is recommended that you talk to your baby. Your 7-week-old fussy baby may feel comforted and it will also help in developing his listening skills.
- Change your baby’s diaper regularly as babies are prone to having diaper rash. Keep his groin area dry and clean.
- In order to refrain your baby from throwing up, feed at regular intervals, keep your baby calm and offer a little amount of milk or formula at each time. But if breast milk is sufficient for your baby, you don’t need to formula feed him.
- Do not jolt or shake your baby as it may cause permanent damage to his brain.
- After every meal burp your baby to help release the stomach gases.
- Refrain from consuming alcohol and smoking until the time you are breastfeeding your baby.
- Stick to your baby’s feed and sleep schedule to avoid any unnecessary fussiness and crankiness.
- Get all the necessary check-ups and vaccinations required for your 7-week-old baby. We shall talk about these a little in detail below.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Care]
Check-Ups for 7-Week-Old Babies
When you take your 7-week-old baby for the routine check-up, your doctor may carry out the following steps:
- Check your baby’s head and his fontanel.
- Test his ears to see how your baby responds to the sound and also to check for infections.
- Check your baby’s eyes for blocked tear ducts or to see if there is any congenital eye problem.
- Your doctor will check your baby’s mouth for thrush or any other infections in the mouth.
- Your doctor will examine your baby’s heart and lungs to check for any abnormality in the breathing or the heart.
- Check the muscles for reflexes and examine the skin for rashes.
- Check your baby’s genitals for any rash or infection.
- Examine your baby’s stomach to check any enlarged organs or symptoms of a hernia.
- Move your baby’s legs and hip joints to check flexibility.
Let’s also take a look at the activities you can do with your 7-week-old baby. These activities will help build your baby’s skills and also grow your parent-child bond.
Games and Activities for 7-Week-Old Babies
Your 7-week-old baby has a better hand and eye coordination and also responds well to the noises around him. You can engage him in various games and activities to help develop his fine motor skills, listening skills, cognitive skills and various other skills. Following are some games and activities that you can indulge your baby in at this age:
- Wiggling a rattle toy – to help his listening skills.
- Singing to your baby – to help his language and listening skills.
- Massaging your baby – for better bonding and body awareness.
- Reading to your baby – for a better understanding of language and cognitive development.
- Giving your baby vibrant and colourful toys to play with – for improving his sensory skills.
These are some of the activities that you may engage your baby in when he turns 7 weeks old.
[Also Read: 1 Month Old Baby Games and Activities]
Since your baby is fragile, some things might affect his health. Ensure that you do not miss the routine check-ups. But, there will be times, when you might wonder if you should take your little one to a paediatrician. Read on to know more.
When to Consult a Paediatrician
Every baby may achieve the above-mentioned milestones at his own pace. However, sometimes there may be developmental issues and other health complications that might require immediate medical attention. Here are some symptoms that could indicate the need for immediate medical attention for your 7-week-old baby:
- Your baby doesn’t respond or react to loud noises.
- Your baby is not alert at hearing various sounds.
- Your baby is unable to lift up his head while lying down.
- Your baby does not recognise you, your spouse or the people he sees on a daily basis.
If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, check with your doctor immediately. Close attention to the little changes in your 7-week-old baby can help you keep him away from major health complications. Every milestone is important in your baby’s life. Be attentive, follow the care tips provided above and enjoy your little one prepare himself to win the world!
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