Most parents, especially first-timers, want all the information they can find about their baby’s development inside the womb. Many of them also want to check each milestone week-by-week after their baby is born. This article will help parents trying to find information about baby’s first 52 weeks after birth.
Week 1 – 3
During the first three weeks, your newborn baby will spend most of the time sleeping, eating and crying. Of course, a few babies will deviate from this. Some newborns are not as loud as others, while others will sleep more or eat more. Do not worry if they lose a little of their birth weight, as this is natural. So is the passing of stools which are black in color.
By their second week, they will focus more on looking at your face, and may even seem to recognize your voice. The portion of the umbilical cord still attached to your baby will start to shrivel. You will need to clean it to prevent infection. By the end of the second week, it may actually fall off. Most babies will start putting on weight as they adjust to their feeding schedules.
As you approach the first month, some babies will start cooing and best of all, smile. Those first smiles will melt your heart – so have your camera ready. Colic may rear its ugly head at this time. There is not much that parents can do at this time except to comfort them as much as possible. A wellness check may be in the works as your pediatrician will want to check your baby’s progress.
Week 4- 6
The sense of taste and smell are definitely getting better. The baby also knows your scent quite well as well as that of other caregivers. Researchers have proven that babies can distinguish taste, like sweet and sour, as shown by their facial expressions. As they approach the one-month mark, these expressions become even more pronounced.
At this point, your baby is definitely doing lots more. They can and will hold their heads up for longer periods of time. They will respond to sounds, turning towards a whistle, a slamming door or other noises. They will cry to show that they need feeding, changing or that they are in distress.
Patterns, especially in black and white will become more intriguing. You will notice the baby focusing more than usual, trying to differentiate where one part starts and the other ends. Continue to stimulate your baby by singing and talking. Most babies like to be tickled, so this is a great way to bond. Many babies will also start using their arms to push themselves up.
At this stage if you were breastfeeding exclusively, you may want to try bottle-feeding. Since your little one is used to mother’s breast, the best results might be achieved with someone else handling bottle feeding initially. Expressed breast milk can be used instead of formula.
Week 7- 9
Babies become more agile and may start rolling over. Most babies will become very adept at rolling over on one side only, but will soon master rolling over on either side. As sleep patterns develop, you can set bedtime routines. They will find objects and put them into their mouths as their hand to mouth coordination kicks in. Make sure to keep choking hazards out of reach.
Talk to your baby as at this stage as they are learning very fast. Stimulation is good but do not overdo it as when over-stimulated a baby can become very fussy.
Be prepared for peals of laughter, giggles and other sounds of delight from your little one. Keep talking and explaining what you are doing even if it seems silly. Baby’s brain is in full throttle and they are being stimulated in a major way. Make sure to have burp cloths and rags handy as you are now in drooling territory.
Week 10 – 12
Your baby is now the master of rolling over so take care not to leave him alone. Have fun making expressions for your baby to mimic. Stimulating activities are ideal for them at this time – rattles, mobiles with different colors and sounds, toys with different textures will bring them joy.
It is hard to believe that you are approaching the 3-month mark. By now your baby will more than likely turn his head in the direction of your voice. As their muscles get stronger not only can they raise their heads up longer, their heads are now in line with their bodies when sitting.
Your baby is definitely getting big. Some babies will love being held upright on their legs and many will be able to bear their weight while held in this position for a few minutes.
Week 13 – 15
Your baby may start sleeping longer, and some will even sleep through the night; a relief for sleep deprived parents. Some will suffer the discomfort of teething at this stage even if teeth do not show until another 3 months. Teething rings can offer some relief.
Some babies have now learned to use their arms to move around. Most will not start crawling yet, but they are exploring their surroundings. Keeping them still will become a challenge now, so diaper changes and baths can be quite a handful. Watch as your baby discovers that their actions produce results such as shaking a toy to get a sound.
They have now upped the communication scale by learning to make razzing sounds. Thumb sucking may be a new habit your baby picks up around this time. You may also start to decipher the code of your baby’s cry, knowing when feeding or a diaper change is needed.
Week 16 – 18
Now your baby is more than willing to express displeasure by screaming or crying. They will also show delight by laughing out loudly. Their personality is showing more each day.
Babies at this age love interacting with everyone and everything around them. Play dates and drives around town will feed their curiosity. While they will start interacting with strangers, they will still mostly reach for familiar faces.
Your baby can be safely propped up with pillows, and some may already be sitting up for short periods unsupported. As they grow their need for food increases. You can start them on solid food, but be guided by your pediatrician. Some parents introduce light cereals and move up from there. Be on the lookout for allergic reactions.
Week 19 -21
Your baby’s sleep pattern may change again with some nighttime interruptions. The most important thing is that they should be averaging around 11 hours per day. Using a sippy cup is now possible for most babies as their grip is firmer and they certainly know where their mouths are. It is at this stage that many dads get excited as the word ‘dada’ can be clearly heard.
Not only do babies recognize parents, they recognize themselves as well. Babies will smile and play with their reflections. Personality traits will continue to emerge with some being content to play alone, while others enjoy greater interaction and babble all the time. Their coordination has improved so that they can easily pass objects from hand to hand. They will sometimes play by dropping objects for you to pick them up.
Sounds will increase rapidly and baby’s repertoire may now include, mama, gaga and baba. Some will be so busy exploring their domain they won’t have time for you. They may not have mastered crawling but they sure can move.
Week 22 – 24
If you ever wondered what type of personality your child will have, now is when you can start to see the signs. Around this time, they will either start showing that they love attention, like to play by themselves, or love to be noisy, or quiet.
Crawling starts in earnest now as your baby realizes that going anywhere on all fours is easy. You can also help them develop muscle strength and coordination by helping them to stand. Some babies will enjoy standing and bouncing on your lap.
Some babies may show a tooth or two so use a soft brush and water, as you want to start dental care early. They may point at objects when you call them out, showing that their memory is at work.
Week 25 – 26
Can you believe that 6 months have passed since your baby’s birth? Most babies will start sitting up at this point, although some may still need a little help. Babies will scoot around on their bottoms, holding onto things and leaning forward.
Many babies will start calling either parent correctly. They will reach for or indicate that they want a particular toy. Many will become chatterboxes, entertaining you with nonstop attempts to have conversations. At the halfway mark to becoming one year old many babies are more selective about who can hold them, showing preference for some caregivers.
You will notice your little one throwing or dropping their toys even more often. Some will laugh when you return it to them only to have them repeat this action. This is all about learning about cause and effect. Switching to heavier, chunkier food is common at this stage. Just be careful that the pieces are small enough so as not to cause choking.
Week 28 – 30
Look at me, I can feed myself, well, sort of. Many babies can now handle finger foods. They will also enjoy clapping their hands and using their hands in other ways too. The baby should be practicing standing by holding onto furniture.
Separation anxiety may worsen so prepare for tantrums and crying when you leave them with someone else. They will also start waving at you, and even at strangers but they are not be so open to being held by them.
Watch your baby try sorting blocks by size and even color. They will also have discovered mirrors and will enjoy playing peek-a-boo with themselves. Playing games is even more fun now as they interact with you more easily. Covering their eyes while playing peek-a-boo with you shows baby’s development.
Week 31 – 33
Many babies can stand without support for a few minutes if they were already holding furniture and moving around. This is the next stage before taking that first wobbly step. Childproofing is extremely important at this stage.
Be prepared for tumbles as baby tries to master standing solo for longer periods. Food choices can also change at the 8-month mark. Toast and other foods that require little chewing are worth trying.
Hearing ‘no’ from your baby is normal at this stage. They are testing boundaries and know what they do not want. They also understand what it means when you say no.
Week 34 -36
Many babies will have mastered cruising by now. You will find that some have become fascinated with their private parts. It is nothing to be worried about. Do not forget that they are learning a lot at this stage so keep reading and playing with them.
Week 37 – 39
Your little one has learned how to use thumb and forefinger to pick up things so be careful what you leave lying around. This ability, coupled with baby’s curiosity and ability to move around more, means they will be getting into everything.
Week 40 – 42
Your baby is becoming a mini me trying to copy what you are doing, like combing their hair if they get hold of a comb or brush. You will hear your baby talking and you may actually make out some words, like nana for grandmother. You may not have given it much thought, but have you noticed that your baby will cry when another baby is crying? This is their way of showing empathy.
Most babies will now be able to stand unsupported at this stage. This shows that they are fast growing out of the baby stage. They also love being acknowledged and will generally squeal in joy when you applaud them.
Week 43 – 45
Your baby now wants to show even more independence and may insist on feeding himself. Be prepared for messes, but think of the pictures you will have for later. Test your baby by giving instructions such as come here and see how well they respond. They now understand you quite well. If your baby is not walking by now, it won’t be long.
Week 46 – 48
Interactive play is even better now. Babies might play along with patta-cake and similar games. Many babies will be able to wave bye-bye. They are also quite the busy-bodies, moving around under their own steam by crawling, creeping or even walking.
Week 49 -51
Insecurity and separation anxiety may begin for some babies or return for others, but there is no need for major concern. Many babies pass through this stage as they start socializing more. Anticipation is high as you watch your baby approach that special milestone age of one. If the first steps have not been taken yet as yet, be prepared for this. Many babies start taking tentative steps now. Do not be alarmed if your little one does not. Each baby is different and may reach certain milestones at different ages.
The last 52 months would have been one of love and adventure and of course, moments of fear and feeling overwhelmed. This is natural as you watch your baby go through the many stages of development.
When it comes to rearing children, from the day of conception magical things happen. When they are born, you can observe and share even more in the joy of each new discovery, each milestone achieved. What better way to do so than keep a chart of what to expect than by getting baby week-by-week information.