As your baby grows and their energy requirements change, so will their caloric needs. During these growth spurts, you may wonder if your milk supply has dropped. Your baby’s increase in suckling will cause your breasts to increase its supply, so give it a day or two and your supply should catch up.
If you are bottle feeding you may find your baby is demanding more formula. This is common at around 6 weeks as they go through a growth spurt. The recommended feeding volume from 5 days of age to 3 months is about 2½ ounces of formula per pound of body weight, per day. Check with your baby’s healthcare provider or nurse who will weigh and measure your baby and plot their growth on a growth chart.
Aim to place them in their crib when they are drowsy but still slightly awake. Although it is always important to place your baby to sleep on their back, make sure they have some time on their tummy each day. When they are awake and you are watching them is the best time to do this. If your baby is not used to being on their tummy, he may not have much tolerance for long stretches of time. Start with a few minutes each day and work up.
Gradually, they will become more used to it and you will see the benefits as they develop strength in their neck, shoulders, and upper body. It is from this position that they will begin to push themselves up on their knees and eventually crawl.
Behavior and development
Look at weight gain over a few weeks or over a month to give you a more accurate picture of normal variation. Try not to compare your baby with others of the same age. Although it can be tempting to do this, it doesn’t really achieve anything and often just creates concern and worry.
Your baby is likely to be smiling by now, giving you some positive feedback for all your hard work! Smiling is a powerful way for babies and parents to communicate with each other, especially in early life when speech and language have not yet developed.
Some experts believe that babies in this age group become easily overstimulated and crying is a means to communicate their frustration. Overtiredness, discomfort, boredom, hunger, or a need for affection are some of the reasons why babies might cry.
You will find there is not one sure way to calm your baby. Most respond to being rocked and cuddled, and having their parents close by.
There are likely to be times when your baby cries and you have no idea why. Check first for obvious reasons such as hunger, tiredness, being uncomfortable, having a dirty diaper, or perhaps a tummy ache from gas.
Figuring out why babies at this age cry can be very difficult. Generally, they will settle by feeding, rocking, going for a walk or ride in the car, taking a warm bath, or a tummy massage. Ask for help from your partner, family, and friends, and reach out to your healthcare provider or nurse if your efforts are not working.
The symptoms of postpartum depression and exhaustion can be very similar. Many women worry they are depressed when they experience ongoing feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion. If you are concerned you may be depressed, talk with your midwife, obstetrician, or family healthcare provider.
Your physical recovery
Returning to work
If you are breastfeeding, you will need to make sure your baby will take pumped milk from a bottle. Find out what your workplace offers in terms of specific areas to take breaks to pump.
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.