Learn everything you need to know about your 6 week old baby. Track important developments and milestones such as talking, walking, growth, memory & more.
Crying usually peaks at 6 weeks old, so if you're tired of the waterworks from your little one, you can breathe a small sigh of relief that the tears should begin to lessen in coming weeks. But for the 20-25 percent of infants who experience colic -- defined as sudden and prolonged bouts of inconsolable crying, lasting up to four hours at a time -- you might have a while to go. For most babies, the condition shows up in the first few weeks, peaks right about now, and lasts until 3 or 4 months of age, when many babies outgrow it.
There are all sorts of theories about what triggers colic; some blame genetics, others gas, and still others cite reflux or an adverse reaction to something in mom's breast milk or formula. The truth is that doctors still aren't sure what causes it. If you're concerned about your baby's nonstop crankiness, talk to your pediatrician about altering your diet, switching formulas, or trying an antigas remedy, such as infant Mylicon drops. Or try some more homespun remedies, such as massaging his belly, bicycling his legs (it helps get gas out), swaddling him tightly, or holding him in a dark room to block out an overload of sensory input. No matter how bad it gets, be reassured that colic ends by 9 months of age for 90 percent of children.
Does your little guy's bald spot make him look more like a 66-year-old than a 6-week-old? No worries. Whether he's born with a full head of hair or a cap of peach fuzz, most babies gradually lose their hair over the first six months. Partly it's hormonal, as hair cycles through natural growing and resting phases, but it's also from contact, as all that lying in the crib or sitting in the car seat rubs a bald spot on the back of his pate. His luxurious locks will grow in again, but when they do you might be surprised to find that the hair is a completely different color or texture than when he was born. Infants who arrived with jet-black hair can become towheads, and blondies can go red.
On the feeding front, don't be surprised if your baby's an eating machine this week. It could be the sign of a six-week growth spurt. If you've been breastfeeding exclusively, let your baby keep feeding on demand so your supply will increase, or pump in the off-moments so you'll not only boost supply but have extra milk on hand. If you'd like to be able to pass off feeding duties now and then, now's a great time to introduce the bottle to a nurser, since breastfeeding is well-established by now. A few tips on making the transition easier: Let your husband do the bottle-feeding, since your baby associates breastfeeding with you. Don't wait until baby's starving for your first attempt, since he might be too upset to try something new. Finally, take your time letting him adjust. Squeeze a few drops from the bottle onto his lips and wait for him to open wide.
Around six weeks postpartum your ob-gyn will want to see you for a checkup to make sure you're healing well (particularly if you had a C-section, episiotomy, or tearing during delivery) and are getting the hang of this new-mom thing. If all's well down there, she'll also likely give you the green light to start having sex again. But just because you can doesn't mean you'll want to. In fact, sex might very well be the last thing on your mind these days. For starters, nursing can be a libido dampener, as you figure out how to share your breasts with your hubby and your baby. Plus, the only thing many moms want to do in bed for quite some time is sleep.
No matter how you feel about the prospect of having sex again, make sure you clue your partner in. Scared it's going to hurt? Truthfully, the first couple times you get busy postbaby, it might, so plan ways to take it really slow or let you take the lead. Feeling so not in the mood for sex? Find other ways to strengthen your connection, even if it's just spooning in front of a chick flick or kissing while baby snoozes. You've been so focused on your baby that it's healthy and healing to reconnect as a twosome again. And trying it now might turn out to be just the change you need.