Learn everything you need to know about your 5 week old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Your baby is gearing up for a huge, heart-melting milestone: Her first social (not gas-inspired) smile. Because she learns to mimic your expressions, grinning wildly at her can help nudge this adorable accomplishment along -- not that you need any incentive to do that.
Your baby's getting used to terra firma more and more each day -- and you might notice her body finally starting to unfurl. Five weeks out of the womb now, she'll start to spend less time curled into fetal position as she begins to stretch out her legs, spread her arms, arch her back, and straighten her fingers. She's also building stronger core muscles, which means that her head is less wobbly; she might soon start to briefly lift it off the floor when she's lying on her back or belly. To help her overall muscular development, aim for 15 minutes a day of tummy time. Place her tummy-down on a blanket, with enough toys spread in front of her that she'll be inspired to take a gander at them. If she fusses, lie down next to her and tickle her back; your presence will likely calm her right down. Be forewarned: Plenty of babies hate tummy time. But sticking with it, even for a few minutes at a time, strengthens your baby's neck, torso, and arm muscles, and paves the way for pushing up and rolling over, milestones you'll see in the next three or four months.
Spending time in a bouncy seat, in a stroller, in your lap, or on your hip is a great way for your baby to hang out, too. Each is a mini workout of different muscle groups. Plus, as your baby gets more interested in the world around her, she'll appreciate the ever-changing view.
Right now your baby is probably eating six to eight times a day -- less than a few weeks ago -- and taking in 2-5 ounces at a time. If you're nursing exclusively, of course, you have no way of knowing how much she's really eating, and you might wonder whether she's getting enough. As long as she's growing well and looks plump and perky, the answer is almost certainly yes. Another indicator: Wet diapers. Six of them a day means she's taking in enough fluid.
At this stage your baby will also average a few bowel movements a day. Breastfed babies tend to have more. You probably never wanted to get this up-close and personal with your baby's poop, but you might see a range of colors and consistencies, from pea-soup green to grainy Dijon mustard, every time you change a diaper. That's totally normal. If you're worried, keep track of your baby's diaper details for a few days; you might just figure out that your baby's already established a regular poop routine. It'll also help you identify the sudden changes -- such as super watery stools or pooping far more often than normal -- that can mean it's time for a quick call to the doctor.
In the quest to get a good night's sleep for both you and your baby, you might be sharing the same bed with your little one. The upside: When she wakes up screaming and hungry at 1 a.m. (and 3 a.m., and 6 a.m.), all you have to do is roll over to feed her, then go back to sleep, which makes bed-sharing hard to beat for convenience. Plus, you get to cuddle all night long, which some parents think helps with bonding. But the age-old practice isn't without controversy in the United States. In fact the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages bed-sharing because it puts your baby at risk of being smothered by people or soft bedding, falling out of the adult bed, being trapped by the mattress, or dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Cut the danger but keep the benefits by investing in a cosleeper, a mesh crib that sits right next to your bed. Your baby's right at hand but safely tucked in her own space.
Plus, there's some evidence that both babies and parents who bed-share sleep less soundly and wake more often during the night. Since most babies (and here's hoping yours is one of them) begin sleeping for longer stretches during the second month -- up to six hours -- putting your little one in her own bed could earn both of you a better night's sleep soon. To help your baby sleep better, try this.