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5 Week Old Baby: Growth and Development

5 Week Old Baby_ Growth and Development

Have the past few weeks excited you? There’s more to come! By now, your baby is beginning to become an interactive and smiling bundle of joy.

Every moment and every milestone is worth documenting, and as you witness your baby’s growth and development, you will also start to settle into a parenting rhythm.

In this article, let’s see what you can expect with your baby this week. I’ll also share some postpartum and baby care tips to help you navigate this wonderful stage of parenthood.

Baby’s Overall Development

Baby’s Overall Development

At five weeks old, your baby will become more alert and responsive. It’s an adorable time to be with your baby, as you’ll notice increased eye contact and smiles.

Their means of communication will still mainly involve lots of crying. But this week, expect them to coo and gurgle more.

I suggest encouraging them to communicate by cooing and gurgling right back. It’s also equally important to speak normally with your baby every chance you get. 

Babies learn by imitation. So go ahead and talk to them while you bathe them, change their diapers, during playtime, and while feeding them.

Of course, your baby cannot understand what you’re saying, nor give a clear reply. But they are listening to every syllable you say and slowly developing their speech.

You’ll be hearing them call “Mama” or “Papa” in no time!

However, some babies may take time to develop speech. That’s perfectly normal too. In case you are worried, check with your pediatrician for advice.

Baby’s Growth

During this time, your baby will continue to grow at a steady pace. On average, a 5-week-old baby should weigh around the 9-pound range

Keep track of their weight and length to ensure they are progressing as expected. But remember, each baby’s growth trajectory may vary. 

Consistent monitoring will help identify any concerns early on. But if your doctor isn’t concerned about your baby’s weight gain, then there is no reason to worry.

Baby’s Health

Baby’s Health

As your baby explores the world around them, you must stay vigilant about their health. Here are some common health considerations this week:

Thrush

Thrush is a fungal infection that may appear as white or yellow patches on your baby’s tongue or mouth. Oftentimes, you can find them on the roof of the mouth, inside the cheeks, or on the gums.

 If you suspect thrush, consult your pediatrician for appropriate treatments.

Dry Skin

Your baby’s skin is very delicate and susceptible to drying out, especially during colder seasons. Dry skin can appear on the hands, feet, face, and lips, and are usually rough and flaky to the touch. 

To alleviate their discomfort, I recommend using a gentle moisturizer. Avoid harsh chemicals to keep their skin hydrated and healthy too.

In case your baby’s dry skin worsens, go see your pediatrician or skin specialist to get treated.

Colds

At this age, your baby’s immune system is still developing. It’s common for them to often catch colds during their first few years of life.

But as long as it is mild, there is no reason to panic. Common symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, fatigue, and fever.

These symptoms are similar to COVID-19. Ideally, it is best to get them checked and tested.

To prevent your baby from acquiring colds, always disinfect and clean their living environment. As much as possible, limit their exposure to crowds of people, especially when they are sick.

Spotting Colic

Babies cry a lot. They can cry for no reason for long periods, and that’s normal. But colic crying lasts about 3 hours a day, three days a week, for at least 3 weeks in a row. 

This excessive crying, fussiness, and difficulty in comforting your baby may not necessarily be alarming, but it can be challenging. Fortunately, colic crying usually subsides once they are 12 weeks old.

Make sure to consult your pediatrician for management strategies.

Treating Diarrhea

Diarrhea or runny poop can be caused by many things, like bacterial infections, food sensitivity, and lactose intolerance, to name a few. Luckily, diarrhea will clear up on its own in a few days. 

However, remember to keep your baby hydrated at all times. Diarrhea can cause dehydration which can lead to worse health concerns.

 If your baby experiences frequent, watery stools, contact your pediatrician promptly.

Postpartum and New Baby Tips

Postpartum and New Baby Tips

As always, taking care of yourself and your baby remains vital during this stage. Here are some tips to help you:

Take Note of Baby Smiles and Sounds

Have you been spending a lot of time smiling and talking to your baby? These early interactions are an essential part of bonding.

Consider even throwing a few song numbers too! Music also helps them develop speech and social interaction. 

Just make sure to choose sounds that give your baby pleasure. Gentle sounds like bells and running water are usually good for infants.

Proper Meal Planning

Are your fridge and pantry full? If not, I suggest you head to the grocery for a much-need fill!

If you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to eat a balanced diet to support you and your baby’s nutritional needs. 

Make sure to stock up on the staples like rice, whole grain bread, eggs, nuts, and chicken broth. Discuss with your physician or ask a nutritionist for food recommendations while you are breastfeeding.

Dealing With Milk Allergies

Milk allergies are caused by the baby’s immune system negatively reacting to the proteins in cow’s milk in the formula. If they are breastfed, it’s a reaction to the dairy the mother has eaten.

Watch for symptoms like:

  • Rash 
  • Vomiting 
  • Excessive fussiness 
  • Hives 
  • Bloody stool 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Wheezing 
  • Watery eyes
  •  Stuffy nose 
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Lack of weight gain 
  • Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction. Immediately head to the ER when this happens.

If your baby has symptoms of a milk allergy, your baby will need to undergo a physical exam where your doctor will monitor their stool, and ask whether they have a family history of allergies. 

Your pediatrician should be able to provide alternative formulas.

Curing Infant Acne

Despite usually happening during puberty, babies can get acne, too! Infant acne can occur due to the hormonal changes of the mother which are still circulating in the baby’s bloodstream from pregnancy. 

For the acne to resolve on its own, avoid using harsh skincare products on your baby.

Checking Your Post-Pregnancy Bump

Around five weeks postpartum, your uterus should start shrinking. During this time, you might feel some abdominal cramps too.

If your post-pregnancy bump seems unusually large or painful, consult your healthcare provider.

Strawberry Hemangiomas

Taking a close look at your baby, have you noticed any raised red marks? If you have, then your baby must have acquired strawberry hemangiomas, also known as infantile hemangiomas.

Strawberry hemangioma is common among infants. It’s not too alarming, but still requires the pediatrician’s knowledge.

Strawberry hemangioma appears to be soft, raised, berry-like birthmarks located on your baby’s chest, back, scalp, or face. They can grow quickly but only last for a few months. However, scar tissues can remain for a much longer time.

While most hemangiomas resolve on their own, your doctor may prescribe oral or topical medications depending on the progress of the hemangioma. 

If the hemangioma worsens and grows large enough to affect your baby’s vision, breathing, or eating, you might need to visit a specialist to discuss treatment options.

Is Breastfeeding Considered Birth Control?

You’ve probably heard many say breastfeeding can provide some contraceptive protection. While it’s not entirely true, it’s not false either. 

To some extent, breastfeeding can serve as a form of birth control through Lactational Amenorrhea (LAM). However, certain criteria must be met.

You’ll ned to exclusively breastfeed your baby consistently for the first six months postpartum, at which, your period has not returned to its normal cycle. 

Furthermore, you have to nurse your infant at least every four hours in the daytime, and at least every six hours at night. 

If you do not exactly fit these criteria, breastfeeding will not provide you with any contraceptive protection. But even if you do meet the criteria, it is not foolproof.

Speak with your doctor about suitable birth control methods.

Recommended Products

Recommended Products

As a sigurista mommy, I highly recommend having the following products, especially those that tackle health concerns:

  • Baby books to capture milestones and memories.
  • Baby-friendly lotion to combat dry skin.
  • Nasal aspirator for clearing congested noses during colds.
  • Baby colic drops or gripe water for colic relief.
  • Rehydration solution for managing diarrhea.

Conclusion

The fifth week of your baby’s life is a time filled with joy and discoveries. Those precious moments of smiles and coos will make every person’s day!

Mommies, just remember to be mindful of both you and your baby’s health and well-being.

 Savor the rewarding experience of nurturing your growing baby, and seek support from healthcare professionals whenever needed.

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!