Link Copied

A link has been copied to your clipboard!

Baby Care: 7 Week Old Baby

Feb 16, 2022 | 2 minutes Read

Your baby has now moved from a distinct newborn look to more of their own unique characteristics. Your own genetic influence, as well as your partner’s, may be very obvious in some of their features.

A dimpled chin, distinctive nose, long fingers and toes—the list of shared characteristics with parents is endless. Unfortunately, we cannot predict or influence the inherited traits we’d like to pass onto our children. That is for nature to determine and exciting to watch unfold as they grow!

Don’t forget to take lots of pictures of your baby while they are still so young. Some parents do a series of monthly photos so they can compare their baby’s growth and development. Others record every little milestone in their baby book or records.

Understandably, if this is your first baby, you’re likely to have more time to invest in this. But even if you’ve had children before, try to find a few moments to record some of their unique qualities.

Feeding

Your baby’s skills in feeding will have developed even further by 7 weeks of age. They will have become more efficient at sucking and swallowing and have learned to feed at a rate and pattern which suits them. If you are breastfeeding, you may find your supply has decreased. Your milk supply will be determined by the frequency of your baby’s feeds as well as how effectively they empty your breasts.

If your baby is going through a growth spurt, they are likely to need to be fed more often. Don’t worry if your supply seems low for a day or so. If you allow your baby to feed more often and ensure they are suckling correctly, your supply will increase.

If you are bottle feeding, you may be increasing the amount of formula you are offering in each bottle. Don’t forget that your baby will need formula for the first 12 months of their life. Regular cow’s milk should not be started until after the first year.

Sleeping

You still won’t be back to your normal 8 to 10 hours of sleep just yet. Hopefully your baby will be having at least one longer, uninterrupted sleep cycle overnight. This is commonly around 6 hours, but only if they have had sufficient feeds during the day.

Keep following safe sleep guidelines. Always position your baby on their back, in a safe and empty crib or bassinet. Do not sleep with your baby. Have the baby’s bassinet or crib in the same room with you for at least 6 months. Safe sleep recommendations are for a baby’s first year of life.

Behavior and development

You are probably getting lots of smiles from your baby each day now, with little cooing noises as well. It is important to talk to your baby throughout the day. Even though they can’t talk back yet, they will be listening to you and will benefit from the stimulation.

Try to find time each day to read to your baby. They won’t be too particular about what you are reading, but the sound and rhythm of your voice will help your baby lay the foundation for their own speech and language to develop. Don’t forget to sing too, and recite some nursery rhymes. Your baby can only benefit from your loving interactions.

Don’t forget tummy time every day. Your baby’s tolerance for having this is hopefully increasing and you’ll see the benefits as they lift their head to almost 45 degrees. Watch out for that little bobbing head though; it can be hard to hold up for long! A soft blanket is usually enough protection for their nose and face if they fall.

Crying

Your baby’s cry may be changing now from a high-pitched cry to a louder, fuller one. You’ll notice the intensity of your baby’s cry is different as well, depending on the reason. A tired cry is very different to a hungry cry.

Some cries are easier to tolerate than others. Follow your own gut feeling on whether you feel your baby needs immediate attention. Research shows that babies who are attended to quickly tend to cry less and be more settled than those who are left to cry.

Routine

Your days will still be largely occupied with feeding, holding, and attending to your baby’s needs. He or she is too little yet to have a predictable and set routine, but there is likely to be a little more structure to your days.

This may be the week when you get out more and aren’t so focused on the baby. Although a trip out might take a lot of planning, it can be worth it just to have a break from being at home. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a supportive network of family and friends. New parents are not meant to be isolated are highly social creatures by nature.

Things to remember

There are likely to be more noises coming from your little one this week, especially when you talk, look, and smile at them. Each time you do this, you will be helping form the pathways in your baby’s brain. Your baby is a sponge at this age and their brain will literally be molded by the loving interaction and care you provide them.

Watch their response when you interact with them and be sensitive to their cues. One of the most important factors in raising emotionally healthy children is that parents are tuned into them.

Communicating with your baby is a two-way process. If your baby breaks eye contact with you, looks away, or becomes fussy, take this as a sign that they need to move onto something else.

No need to worry that you are spoiling your baby by going to them quickly when they cry. Your baby is progressing through a very important stage in their development from now until one. During this time, they will learn who to trust and who will best meet their needs.

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.