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Baby Care: 2 Week Old Baby

Feb 15, 2022 | 2 minutes Read

At 2 weeks old, your baby will have become a little more familiar to you. The noises he makes, his feeding and sleeping habits won’t be as foreign. Every day, your baby will adjust a little more into their independent life. But you will be frequently reminded of just how vulnerable and dependent they are on you.

It is common for parents to feel a sense of relief when their baby is around 2 weeks old as the labor and birth process has finally passed. There can also be a sense of disappointment that the excitement of pregnancy is over, particularly for women who loved being pregnant. Many women develop a bond with their midwife or obstetrician and feel some sadness when this relationship comes to its natural end around this time.

Breastfeeding and nipple care

If you are breastfeeding , you and your baby may be struggling to find a rhythm. This is normal! The standard comment that breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful and should be easy is simply not true for a lot of women. Even when the baby is correctly latched, it can take several weeks for nipple tenderness to stop. The initial discomfort and feeling of the nipple stretching as the baby latches should stop as the feeding proceeds.

Generally, ongoing pain, cracks, or trauma to the nipple are due to an incorrect latch. This needs to be addressed as early as possible with your healthcare provider to prevent further damage and to prevent complications.

Your breasts will adjust to meet your baby’s nutritional needs. Avoid trying to fit your baby into a feeding schedule or routine at this early age. Instead, watch for hunger cues and aim to feed them as they demand. Doing this will help your breastmilk supply to establish and reduce the likelihood of either of you developing complications.

If you are having issues with latching your baby or any other aspect of feeding, talk to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant.

Sleeping

Your baby is likely to still spend most of the day sleeping  and feeding. It is common for young babies to have a couple of wakeful, alert periods each day. Sometimes, your baby may cry for no apparent reason, which can be very distressing for parents. While every baby is different, swaying, singing, rocking, cuddling, swaddling, a pacifier, or a warm tub bath are some of the more effective ways of helping newborns to soothe.

A lot of your baby’s energy will be going towards feeding at this age. If your baby was born prematurely, they may be sleepier than a full-term baby, and you may need to wake them up for feeds. Jaundice, a low birth weight, and pregnancy complications can also cause newborns to be overly sleepy.

The safest place for your 2-week-old baby to sleep is in their own bassinette or crib in your room. This way, you can hear the baby and the baby can hear you. Babies can be very noisy when they are sleeping. Grunting, groaning, whimpering, and moving around are all common sleeping behaviors and are considered normal.

Behavior

Some babies are active from birth or are more responsive, calm, or fussy than others. Every baby is different in terms of their temperament and personality and sometimes it can be clear early on what type of little person they are going to be.

You will undoubtedly find yourself looking for similarities and differences between your baby and yourself. Genetics accounts for a large percentage of inherited characteristics, but remember that your baby will be their own unique individual.

Diapers

Changing diapers will be one of the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks you do for a newborn. Set up a changing area that has everything you need at arm’s reach and is easily cleaned.

Umbilical cord care

Your baby’s umbilical cord may or may not have fallen off at 2-weeks-old. Your baby may still have a small, raw area on the belly button area where the cord was attached. Occasionally, a small drop of blood may be on your baby’s diaper or clothes. Keep the skin and cord clean and pat dry after bathing. Fold the top of the diaper down so it is below the cord or belly button area.

Bathing 

Bath time may feel stressful, but it can also be a wonderful time to connect and communicate with your baby. It will get easier, and your baby will soon love the feel of the warm water and time spent with you.

Your emotions

Weariness might be catching up with you by now. The excitement and adrenaline which fueled you for the last couple of weeks is now easing up. It is important for new mothers to rest and sleep whenever they can. When your baby naps try to rest yourself. Being up several times at night can take its toll.

If you haven’t taken naps in years, you might want to try now. And if you are breastfeeding, taking naps can help boost your milk supply.

Physical recovery

If you had a vaginal delivery, you’ll find you are less sore this week. Healing in your perineal area is usually fairly quick. While you will still have some bleeding called lochia for a couple more weeks, the amount of blood in the discharge should change from red to pink, and then to a yellow or clear color. If you start passing blood clots, have an increase in the amount of lochia, develop a fever, have pelvic pain, or your lochia has a foul smell, call your doctor or midwife.

If you have had a Caesarean section or more serious tear in your perineum, your body will take longer to heal. Avoid straining, driving, heavy lifting, or sexual intercourse until you have been given the okay by your doctor. The general recommendation is to delay these activities for six weeks after birth.

Your emotions

Most new mothers will experience at least a little bit of the “baby blues” after the birth of their baby. You might feel teary, emotionally fragile, or even irritable and anxious. Baby blues is thought to be due to hormonal fluctuations after birth and typically lasts through the second postpartum week.

If your labor and delivery were not what you had planned or you don’t feel as well supported as you would like, this may add to an already stressful time.

These hormonal fluctuations, plus being tired and adapting to the changes in your relationship with your partner, can all take time. Be kind to yourself and don’t worry about being an expert in caring for your new baby or getting everything done. It will take time, practice, and lots of patience. Lean on your family and friends and call your midwife or doctor if concerns come up.

Your partner

Your partner is likely to be your major support, both in an emotional and practical sense. But they may not know how best to help you if you don’t tell them. Be specific about what you’d like them to do and expect that they may do things differently than you might.

The reality of having a new baby will undoubtedly be hitting home for them as well this week. The newborn period is generally a time when partners tend to be doing the housework, shopping, and running errands. If you are usually the one who does these things, you may need to go through some of the details. Lists can be helpful for the whole family. This is a time for you both to work smarter and conserve as much energy as you can while looking after your new baby.

The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.