If this is your first child, you’ve probably spent some time looking down at his or her adorable chubby little cheeks in awe that you could help create such a perfect little person.

Over the course of the first month, you’ll get a lot of these happy little moments because your baby is going to be doing a LOT of sleeping. If you’re concerned that your baby is sleeping too much, don’t. This is completely normal and healthy for newborns – it’s best to keep that concern for the teenage years when it’ll be nearly impossible to get them out of bed!

Development

Week one – You might notice your baby losing some weight from when he or she was first born. This is 100% normal. In fact, most babies lose up to 10% of their birth weight in their first week of life.

You may also notice that your baby’s head is a little misshapen. Again, this is a natural side effect of traveling down the birth canal and will correct itself within a few days. Your baby’s umbilical cord is also still attached. Keep it clean and dry until it falls off.

Week two – By the end of this week, your baby should have regained most, if not all, of the weight he or she lost in the first week. If he or she is still slightly less than the birth weight it’s okay. However, if she or she has failed to gain most of the weight back or has continued to lose weight, you should consult your pediatrician.

Some babies also go through a small growth spurt in the second week. You’ll know when this happens when your baby acts like he or she needs to eat all the time (even more than normal).

Week three – You may start to notice your baby’s awake more this week than in previous weeks. If he or she didn’t go through a growth spurt last week, he or she likely will this week. This growth spurt, along with less sleep, may make your baby a bit more irritable than before.

When your baby cries, remember to check to see if he or she is hungry, has a wet or dirty diaper, or has some other discomfort like gas. The more frequent crying can get frustrating, but the more time your baby is awake, the more time you and your partner have to socialize and bond with baby. The more he or she sees you, especially when they’re upset, will help grow your relationship.

Unfortunately, this week you’ll also need to be on the look out for colic symptoms. Colic is when a baby seems to cry uncontrollably, and inconsolably, frequently and without what seems like a cause.

week four – Toward the last week of your baby’s first month of life, his or her vision will continue to develop and by this point his or her vision will be good enough to see your face! This makes the perfect time to introduce mobiles or hanging toys with different shapes.

At four weeks, tummy time is also really important for your baby’s development. Don’t be discouraged if he or she cries throughout tummy time (some baby’s don’t like it!) but it’s still really important to do and baby needs to get used to it. You can make tummy time more interesting for baby by getting down on the floor with him or her. They’ll love playing with daddy!

Milestones

Week one – In the first week of your baby’s life, you, your partner, and your baby will be getting used to your new lives as parents. This will include a new daily routine and developing new habits.

After being cooped up in the hospital for a few days and spending a few days at home resting and recuperating, try to take baby out for his or her first excursion outside the house – taking a walk around the neighborhood to get some fresh air is a good start. Try to stay away from germy areas like malls or other high-traffic areas. And don’t forget to dress for the weather!

Week two – At some point during this week, or the next week, your baby’s umbilical cord will likely fall off, so be on the look out for that. This is important because that means you can give your baby his or her first real bath!

This is also a great time to start introducing your baby to tummy time. Giving your little one a few short sessions of laying on his or her belly will help develop arm and neck muscles as well as helping to prevent flat head syndrome. But don’t forget to put your baby on his or her back when taking a nap.

Week three – You may notice your baby going cross-eyed every once in a while. While this may appear concerning, it’s actually because he or she still has blurry vision and is trying to focus. This isn’t anything to be concerned with unless one of his or her pupils remains fixed while the other moves or he or she is consistently looking back-and-forth like windshield wipers.

Something else that’s cool is that this week you’re baby can better recognize your voice and smell!

Week four – Why is tummy time important? Well, at four weeks your baby should be able to start lifting his or her head off the floor for a few seconds, a good indication his or her neck and arm muscles are developing.

While it may not appear to be significant on the surface, your baby should begin turning his or her head to the left and right on their own and lifting his or her clenched fists up to their mouth.

Feeding

Week one – Newborns eat … a lot! Doctors will suggest that you or your partner feed your newborn every two to three hours (yes, that includes at night as well!) If your baby is breastfeeding, some newborns will cluster feed, meaning he or she may need to feed more often than once every couple hours. This is simply because the baby is trying to help boost your partner’s milk supply.

If you or your partner is concerned about whether or not your child is getting enough to eat, count how many wet diapers he or she has. A newborn should have between five and eight wet diapers a day.

Week two – In the second week, you’re still feeding your baby at frequent intervals, about every two to three hours. Understanding hunger is an ability ingrained in us at birth, so if you’re baby’s crying or acting fussy, there’s a good chance he or she is hungry.

Many experts say a breastfed baby should be fed roughly eight to twelve times in a twenty-four hour period. For formula-fed babies, two or three ounces of formula every three to four hours should be the benchmark for how much your baby should be eating each day.

Week three – Start looking out for your baby’s signs for hunger, he or she will let you know when it’s time to eat. Crying, lip smacking, rooting, or turning they’re head in search of a nipple are all signed that he or she is hungry.

At this point, your baby may be looking for food eight to twelve times a day, but at this point, if he or she is sleeping more than a few hours every night without waking up, it’s okay not to wake him or her up for a feeding. Enjoy all the sleep you can get!

Week four – At this point, your baby should still be eating about every two to three hours until he or she is content. Baby is probably consuming about 23 to 26 ounces a day if you’re bottle feeding, but it’s okay if he or she eats a little more or less.

Sleeping

Week one – Newborn babies also sleep a lot. While each baby is different, most babies get between 16 – 20 hours of sleep each day, only waking up long enough to chow down on some yummy breast milk or formula then fall asleep again.

Your baby will wake at all hours of the day because he or she doesn’t understand the difference between night and day yet. One thing you can do is try to keep things bright during the day and dark (low or no light) at night to help baby begin to understand the difference.

Remember, always put your baby to sleep on his or her back and remove any objects, like blankets, stuffed animals, or other objects to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Week two – Your baby is still going to sleep around sixteen hours each day. While that may seem like a lot, you’ve got to remember that he or she will be waking at all hours of the day, including the night, so be prepared to take some naps throughout the day with baby to keep up with his or her sleep schedule.

Week three – At this point, your baby will still be sleeping around 16 hours a day, but you may start to notice that the time he or she is awake between naps is getting longer. Something that can help get your baby to understand the difference between night and day is to do more “exciting and active” activities like tummy time, singing, or playing with toys during the day and more quiet and passive activities like reading books and listening to lullabies at night.

Week four – Your baby is still going to sleep fifteen to sixteen hours a day. A typical baby takes about three daytime naps and will sleep about eight and a half hours at night, with interruptions, of course! At this point, your baby is still getting used to eating and sleeping so don’t be concerned if he or she hasn’t developed a consistent schedule yet.

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