This week is marked by you and your family getting used to this new routine with the baby. You still have a ways to go before you have figured it all out, but at least you know what is in store for the next coming months.
Your baby’s development
Your baby continues to sleep most of the day during this week, waking up mostly for feedings. However, you might find her waking up more often at night as her body’s need for nutrition grows. This week should also mark the beginning of her weight gain. If you met with the pediatrician in week one, then you can coast along for the next three weeks in anticipation of the baby’s first month visit with the doctor at which time your baby will have gained all the weight she lost and then some.
Taking care of your baby’s umbilical cord mostly means staying away from it as much as possible. Occasionally swabbing it with alcohol will keep it germ-free and also allow it to dry up, shrink and fall off. While it may look and smell a little funny, once it falls off, the site will heal on its own without a fuss.
If your baby’s stools have already made an appearance in week one, you may be surprised to see its consistency changing quite dramatically this week. Your baby’s first stool or meconium that was black slowly gives way to a yellowish stool that is loose in consistency. If your child is mostly bottle-fed, the stool is brownish and much firmer. Sometimes, a newborn can go an entire week after the meconium before she is ready for a bowel movement. If this persists for over a week, contact your pediatrician to facilitate your baby’s stools.
Some amount of spit up is fairly common when you burp the baby. If on the other hand your baby is projectile-vomiting, bring the matter to your doctor’s attention for how you should treat it.
You as a Mom
This week will see some marked improvement in the discomfort or pain you felt in your uterus. As your body gets back to normal, you may continue to feel some labor contractions which should diminish as you increase the frequency of breast-feeding. It is always helpful to have an extra set of hands at this time; so if your mother-in-law wants to pitch in, don’t resist it! You will be sorry when all the help dries up a few months down the road.
Fatherhood is full of wonderful surprises, most of which are in the diaper department. If dad is helping out as much as he should, he likely keeps tabs on baby’s bowel movement more so than mom! Mom may be feeling more energetic with every passing day, but this should not be seen as a sign for dad to take it easy. Give her every chance to rest and recuperate her strength, so both mom and dad can enjoy the parenting experience.