Learn everything you need to know about your 2 week old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Your 1-week-old doesn't have much in the way of physical control, but he's hardwired with an array of automatic reflexes, such as flinging his arms out when you lay him down on the changing table too quickly, or sucking when you stroke his cheek. Those stimulus-response mechanisms are your baby's survival instincts at work -- and a sign that he's doing just fine physically and neurologically, which is why pediatricians always check for them. Most of these reflexes will fade over the next several months as coordination kicks in, but here are some to watch for:
Such a tiny baby and already in need of a manicure? Believe it: Your baby's nails grow ultra-fast, sometimes requiring twice-weekly trimming; if they get too long, he might unwittingly scratch his face, so it's up to you to keep those nails nice and neat. Newborn nails are soft and small enough that a bit of filing might do the trick, but if not, break out a set of mini nail clippers designed for babies. Hold the pad of the finger away from the nail and trim in small snips along the curve. Move to the toenails and trim straight across. You might want to wait until he's dozing to do it to avoid a mini wrestling match.
If you nick him, don't panic. (And don't wallow in guilt; you certainly aren't the first parent to draw a little blood this way.) Just hold a tissue to the scratch to stop the bleeding; in a few minutes, it should be fine. Skip the Band-Aid, since it's a choking hazard if your little one manages to get it in his mouth.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Invest in a few pairs of infant mittens, designed exactly for this purpose. They'll keep your baby from scratching himself while you work up the nerve to cut his nails.
Hey, where'd everybody go? By now you're likely back at home, and the steady stream of help -- your mom, sister, girlfriends -- that followed you there is probably starting to peter out. Suddenly it's just you and the baby, which might leave you with that "yikes; now what?" feeling.
Now's actually the perfect opportunity for you to explore what it's like to be a new mom. With no one looking over your shoulder, you can figure out exactly what kind of a mom you are. What's the comfiest feeding position for you? Where do you like to cuddle? How exactly do you get this diaper on? Sure, it's nice to have loved ones around to lend a hand to the two of you, but a bit of one-on-one time with your baby will boost your confidence that you know how to take care of all his basic needs -- feeding, dressing, playing. What more could he ask for?
Of course, there are some logistics left to figure out, such as showering sometime before 5 p.m. Now that there's no doting grandma to pass baby off to, invest in a bouncy seat. Place it on the bathroom floor while you wash your hair and rest assured that leaving him alone for 10 minutes is totally fine -- and that you'll feel much better once you're clean.
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