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3 Week Old Baby: What Can You Expect?

3 Week Old Baby_ What Can You Expect

By week 3, your precious newborn is almost a full-fledged infant. This means more sleepless nights are on the way! Are you ready, mommies?

Even though at times it can be challenging, witnessing milestones in your baby’s development, growth, and health is always rewarding.

Without further ado, let’s explore what you can expect during this period. I’ll be sharing some helpful tips to make this experience smoother for you and your baby too!

Baby’s Overall Development

Baby’s Overall Development

It’s a thrilling time for mommies to witness their baby’s firsts. And in week 3, you’ll be surprised at how rapidly your baby develops!

At this stage, your baby is starting to familiarize people and objects surrounding them. You’ll start to notice your baby focusing their gaze more with their eyes.

They will even begin to respond to your voice and touch, making cooing sounds and attempting to mimic facial expressions.

While your baby is still gaining muscle control, some of their movements may become more graceful this week. Remember to support them when they try to move.

When it comes to sleep, your baby will need about 14-17 hours a day, waking every 2-4 hours to feed.

Baby’s Growth

You may have noticed that your baby is steadily gaining weight, which is an indication that they are healthy.

As your baby develops physically and emotionally, make sure to provide your baby with proper nutrition and a nurturing environment. Continue taking prenatal vitamins, making healthy food choices, getting ample rest, and managing your mental health.

When it comes to feeding, as a general rule, babies at week 3 should get about 16-24 ounces of breast milk or formula every 24 hours. 

Aside from nutrition, I also recommend spending supervised tummy time with your little cuties. This encourages their muscles to gain strength and control.

As the weeks pass, your pediatrician will constantly monitor your baby’s growth trends. Whether your baby is gaining weight too fast or not getting enough to eat, your doctor will be aware and recommend healthy practices.

Baby’s Health

Baby’s Health

During your baby’s first few weeks, some health-related concerns may arise. But don’t worry! Most of them are not too alarming. 

Here are the common issues you may encounter, and tips on how to manage them:

Spitting-up Baby

Does your baby often spit out milk during feeding time? If so, as long as your baby is still gaining weight and seems content, then you need not be alarmed.

Spitting up is common in infants and should subside in a month or two. In my experience, feeding your baby in an upright position reduces the spitting. Burping them frequently during and after feedings helps too.

Baby Fevers

Any sigurista mommy like me will want to monitor a baby’s temperature any chance we get! If your baby’s temperature exceeds 100.4°F (38°C), they have a fever.

Baby fevers in a 3-week-old baby require immediate medical attention. Contact your pediatrician right away.

Poop Color

Have you been mindful of your baby’s diaper business? Make sure to check out their poop color and consistency. It can indicate how well their digestive system has developed.

Your baby’s stool qualities may vary depending on whether they are breastfed or formula-fed. 

Breastfed babies typically have mustard-yellow, seedy stools. Formula-fed babies may have firmer, tan-colored, or brownish-green stools. 

If you notice any significant change in your baby’s stool color or consistency, discuss it with your pediatrician.

Crib Safety

Most of your baby’s time will be spent in a crib. So you better be sure it is safe!

Go for cribs that meet the latest standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Avoid any loose bedding, toys, or any potential hazards. 

I highly recommend placing your baby to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) too.

Vitamin D Requirement

Did you know babies need 400 IUs of vitamin D each day? Breast milk alone may not provide enough vitamin D for your baby’s development. You may need to supplement with Vitamin D drops. 

In the case of formulas, some manufacturers may have already incorporated Vitamin D in their mix. Consult your pediatrician for your baby’s needs.

Postpartum and New Baby Tips

Postpartum and New Baby Tips

I know what it’s like to become a mother. Experiencing anxiety, doubts and specific concerns about caring for yourself and your baby is normal. Here are some helpful tips:

Milk Bank Considerations

Some mothers be unable to breastfeed. And even if you can, it’s totally fine to decide not to either. It’s your body!

In any case, if your baby requires breast milk due to prematurity, failure to thrive, or intolerance to formula, you can get donated breast milk from other mommies through a milk bank.

Buying milk from legitimate milk banks can be expensive. Even though they are donated, guidelines are set in place to make sure the milk collected is safe. 

There are costs to these procedures, including storage. Furthermore, they have to be prescribed by your doctor. It will cost you about ₱150 an ounce.

As tempting as it may sound, do not allow any other mom to breastfeed your baby. There is always the risk of transmission of viruses or diseases like hepatitis or HIV.

Soothing Baby’s Skin

Skin conditions like red pimples, whiteheads, pink diaper rashes, and mottling can occur in your 3-week-old baby. Fortunately, these imperfections are only temporary, and are a result of your baby’s immature circulation.

These skin conditions should naturally go away. But any treatment advised by your doctor works too.

To ease the discomfort your baby might be feeling, use mild, hypoallergenic products to moisturize and protect your baby’s skin.

Fecal Incontinence

Are you having a hard time controlling how and when to take a dump? Postpartum fecal incontinence is a common experience for women who just gave birth.

Delivering your precious baby takes a toll on your body. The perineum muscles, in particular, may have been stretched and damaged. These take a while to return to normal, which is why you might leak and poop a little bit even without notice.

To alleviate the concern, I found it helps to avoid eating foods that are hard to digest. Practicing Kegel exercises helps strengthen these muscles too.

Keep Your Newborn Close During Outings

Week 3 is still a very early stage in your baby’s life. This means their immune system has not had a lot of time to strengthen. With that in mind, I discourage taking your baby out, especially in crowded areas.

You don’t want to risk your baby acquiring diseases. If you must go out, keep your baby close in a secure baby carrier or sling. Constantly wash and disinfect your baby’s hands too.

As much as possible, only start bringing your baby out of the house once they have received their first set of vaccines.

Tips to Improve Baby’s Sleeping Patterns

You’ve guessed it, restless nights are here to come! Your little one will most likely mix up day and night during their early months of life. 

However, you can establish a bedtime routine and create a calm environment to help your baby develop their sleeping pattern. 

Make sure to stick to a nap schedule. Wake your little one up and keep them alert during the day, if necessary. I found that limiting my baby’s day naps to only three to four hours gets them right on schedule for nighttime sleep.

Hand Washing Is Important

Your hands are invisible carriers of a lot of bacteria and viruses. If you want to reduce the risk of your baby getting sick, regular hand washing is crucial.

But you’re not the only one handling your baby. Surely, family and friends are excited to meet your little one!

I enjoy welcoming loved ones into my home to pay my baby and me a visit. But they need to follow a few ground rules first:

  1. Anyone who is sick should not bother coming. 
  2. Anybody who wants to hold the baby must wash their hands first. 
  3. Never kiss or touch the baby’s face, and avoid touching their hands. 

Oftentimes, you may come off as rude and uninviting. Help people understand that you only want the best for your baby’s health and safety. So boundaries need to be set.

A Brief Explanation on Baby’s Crying

Ever heard of the “witching hour”? This is the time most babies are fussy. It often occurs during the afternoon or early evening.

During this period, your baby will cry as a means of communication. They may cry when hungry, tired, uncomfortable, or seeking comfort. 

Responding to your baby’s cues with love and care will help them feel secure and develop trust.

However, if the crying is colic, it may be because your baby is struggling with gas pain as a result of an immature digestive system. To soothe your baby, I found that using a pacifier helps a great deal.

Make sure to check your baby’s temperature too. Crying is also a way for them to communicate they might be coming down with something. Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect they have a fever.

Recommended Products

Recommended Products

As a mother of two, I highly recommend having these products ready to get you through a smooth week 3 of your baby’s growth:

  • Baby carriers or slings for easy outings.
  • Nursing pillows for comfortable breastfeeding.
  • Baby-safe skin care products for gentle care.
  • Swaddling blankets to soothe your baby during sleep.
  • A reliable baby thermometer to monitor their temperature.

Conclusion

So how are we feeling about our babies, mommies? As they reach three weeks old, significant developments are definitely in play.

To support your baby’s growth, be attentive to their health, provide them with a safe sleeping environment, and provide the love and care they need to thrive.

But remember that postpartum and motherhood are not easy. Remember to take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Embrace the challenges and cherish the precious moments with your little one. Happy parenting!

Nayna Llenos
Nayna Llenos

Hi, I’m Nayna!
I’ve always wanted to be a mother, and I’m lucky and blessed to have two wonderful children to care for and love.
Despite this blessing, there are times wherein I do wonder if I truly am the mother my children need. Am I giving them the right food, care, and discipline to them?
But that is the beauty of parenting — you grow along with your children as they flourish to be their wonderful selves!
I wish to share my experiences with motherhood and how these tips can help you in your parenting journey.
I hope my advices and experiences will prove useful to you and that you have a smooth and wonderful journey as a mother!