The first two weeks with a new baby requires a lot of adjustments and can be physically exhausting for new parents. Be sure to conserve your energy and rest when your baby sleeps. Let go of less important tasks at this time and accept help from family or friends. By 2 weeks your baby should have regained any initial weight lost.
Two-week-old babies can:
- Be expected to sleep a large portion of the day – about 16 - 20 hours.
- Raise their heads slightly. When your baby is awake, give him or her supervised time on his or her tummy so he or she can develop upper body muscles.
- Focus and begin to make eye contact with you.
- Blink in reaction to bright light.
- Respond to sound and recognize your voice, so be sure and talk to your baby often.
Diet & Feeding
For proper growth and development, breast milk or formula is all your baby needs for the first 4 - 6 months of life. Breast milk is the preferred form of nutrition for infants. However, not all moms are comfortable with this method of feeding or are able to breastfeed. For these babies, formula is an excellent source of nutrition.
Giving solid food, juices or homogenized milk too early can lead to problems including anemia or even obesity. Contrary to popular belief, cereal in the bottle will not make a baby sleep through the night. Most babies will sleep through the night once they weigh between 13 and 15 pounds and are around 4 - 5 months of age.
About 6 - 8 feedings every 24 hours for formula-fed babies is the norm; more frequent feedings are required for breast-fed babies (usually 8 - 12 within a 24 hour period). Your breast-fed baby will likely nurse 10 - 20 minutes on each breast every 1½ - 3 hours. Average amounts of formula are as follows:
|Ages||Ounces Per Day||Ounces Per Feeding|
For now, a flexible feeding schedule is best. Remember, these are just guidelines. Your baby is able to regulate his or her own intake to meet day-to-day needs.
Tap water is appropriate to make up baby formula. It does not need to be boiled, if your home is on city water. If you have well water, contact your local health department to ensure safety and fluoride content. Boiling of well water is recommended up to six months of age.
Offering plain tap water to your baby is not necessary since breast milk and formula are over 95 percent water.
Baby formula WITH iron is recommended. With this, no additional vitamins or iron are necessary.
Breastfeeding mothers should continue to take their prenatal vitamins and drink 8 ounces of water, juice or milk per feeding.
Although newborns can normally lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight during the first week of life, they should be back to their birth weight by two weeks of age. Then, over the next few weeks, they generally gain about an ounce per day.
Babies should not be placed flat on their backs while being fed. Hold your baby slightly upright so your baby can see your face. Propping the bottle or laying your baby flat can lead to choking or an increased chance of ear infections. A baby who awakens at night for feedings should be fed and returned promptly to his or her own bed. Do not encourage play during nighttime feedings. Many infants spit up often. If your baby tends to do this, keep his or her head elevated 30 - 45 minutes after each feeding.
Crying & Sleeping
Many infants will average two to three hours of crying per day. This is considered normal. This usually starts after two to three weeks of age, peaks by six weeks of age, and then resolves by two to four months of age.
If your newborn cries, you should pick up your baby. You will not spoil him or her at this age. During the night try and allow your baby to learn to fall asleep on his or her own, after you have ensured that he or she is not hungry, wet or uncomfortable. If you feel that your baby’s crying is excessive, please talk with your doctor.
Babies need to sleep in their own beds. You should also try to put your baby down when he or she is drowsy, but not quite asleep so they can learn from an early age to fall asleep on his or her own. This will help babies avoid having sleeping problems when they are older. However, getting a newborn or young infant to sleep may be challenging. They do require a lot of swaddling and closeness as they transition to the outside world. Biologically, because of their immature sleep cycle, they also tend to be light sleepers. Sleep difficulties should begin to improve after six weeks of age. During these first few months, your baby’s sleep- wake cycle may be confusing and trying. Try to nap when your baby does.
Stools should be soft, and range from liquid to pasty. With breastfeeding, a baby’s stools are usually looser than with formula feeding. Seed-like particles in stools are normal. Babies may have small stools after every feeding or might only have one large stool every three to four days. Straining, grunting, and turning red in the face during stooling does not signify constipation as long as the stools are soft. Constipation is defined as hard and infrequent stools. Please talk with your doctor if your baby is having hard, infrequent stools or is not feeding properly.
At first, your baby may or may not enjoy bath time. Pay special attention to your baby’s genitals. Do not force back the foreskin on uncircumcised boys; the foreskin will gradually go back within a few years. Little girls should be wiped from front to back rather than from back to front. Gently spread the outer labia apart to cleanse out stool and secretions.
Medications & Vitamins
Do not give your baby any over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol®, fever drops, ibuprofen, or cough and cold medications. These can be harmful at this age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all exclusively breast-fed children receive vitamin D 400 IU per day. Infants who are breast fed should receive supplemental vitamins, such as Enfamil Poly-Vi-Sol®, D-Vi-Sol® or Tri-Vi-Sol (1mL per day) m, by two weeks of age. Formula-fed infants do not need any additional vitamin D.
Suffocation & SIDS Prevention
- Your infant should only sleep on his or her back in the crib, bassinet or cradle.
- Do not let your baby sleep on a pillow, plush blankets, couch or sofa, your bed or waterbed to reduce the risk for SIDS.
- Crib slats should be no farther apart than 2 3/8 inches. There should not be a gap between the mattress and the crib where arms and legs could get caught. Pick a safe location for the crib in the same room where you sleep, preferably away from any heaters.
- Recent research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) states that the use of pacifiers may reduce the likelihood of SIDS. Do not tie the pacifier on a string around your baby’s neck or use a pacifier holder during sleep.
- Research shows the risk of SIDS has been reduced when the infant sleeps in the same room as a caregiver, but in his or her own bed.
- Learn infant/child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which involves management of choking.
- Never carry your baby and hot liquids or foods at the same time.
- Do not warm your baby’s bottle in a microwave oven. Uneven heating can cause scalding of your baby’s mouth. Formula can be given at room temperature.
- Set your water heater temperature to no more than 120° F to avoid scalding accidents.
- Always check the baby’s bath water before placing your baby in the tub.
- Have a working smoke detector in your home. Change the batteries roughly two times a year.
- Remember most house fires are caused by improperly extinguished cigarettes so do not allow smoking in your home.
ALWAYS use an approved infant car seat while traveling in an automobile. The safest place for your child is the backseat until 13 years of age. Car safety experts now recommend keeping children rear facing until they are two years of age. It is okay if their legs are bunched up. It is still the safest way to transport young children. Make certain that your baby’s car safety seat is installed correctly. Read and follow the instructions that come with the car seat and in the owner’s manual of your car. Strongly consider having the installation inspected by local experts.
NEVER leave your baby unattended in a bath, even for a second. Children can drown in two inches of water.
Always strap your baby in when using the car seat as a carrier. Babies can stretch their legs and may roll from the carrier. Be aware that although two week olds do not usually roll, they can wiggle. Do not leave your baby unattended on a changing table, bed or sofa. If your child has a serious fall or does not act normally after a fall, call your doctor.
All household members and direct caregivers of your baby should receive a flu vaccine each October. All children older than six months should receive an annual flu vaccine. Children under nine years of age need a booster shot four weeks after their very first flu vaccine.
- Do not allow smoking in your house or car. Tobacco smoke in a baby’s environment is linked to more frequent ear and respiratory infections and even to SIDS.
- Do not give honey to an infant less than 12 months of age. Honey contains a toxin, which a baby’s digestive tract may not be able to inactivate.
- Since babies, during the first two months of life, do not fight off infection as well, keep your baby away from people with colds, the flu or other contagious illnesses. This could mean not taking your baby out much, especially during the first four to eight weeks of life, unless absolutely necessary.
- Practice good hand washing.
- Breastfeed for up to 12 months of age, if possible.
Your child’s next appointment is at one to two months of age. The vaccine series will begin at two months of age. Please call us if you have any concerns about your child before then.