Your 3-Week-Old

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Your Baby

Your baby is starting to adjust to life on the outside. While she still prefers being curled-up in your arms, you may find that she is increasingly interested in her world. A few times a day, lay her on her tummy for a new view; this week, she might... Read more

Your Life

How are things going "down there?" By now if you've delivered vaginally, your discharge should be yellowish-white to pinkish in color. If your flow is still heavy or bright red, call your healthcare provider. By six weeks, the discharge... Read more

Moms Like Me

TK Read more

Your 3-Week-Old: Your Baby

Your baby is starting to adjust to life on the outside. While she still prefers being curled-up in your arms, you may find that she is increasingly interested in her world. A few times a day, lay her on her tummy for a new view; this week, she might be able lift her head for a few seconds, if not, don't worry, it will happen soon. Because babies today sleep on their backs, they need extra awake time on their tummies to develop their neck, abdominal and back muscles. If your baby frets when you put her down on her tummy – and many do – try laying her on your chest as you recline for a few minutes in a comfy chair.

This week is also a good time to introduce infant massage. It's scientifically proven that babies need touch (lots of it!) to thrive. Don't be intimidated by the thought of learning massage. Massaging a baby is really pretty easy—and your baby isn't grading you on technique. Some parents swear that massage helps their babies sleep.

Of course, massage or not, babies this age still get up frequently throughout the night. As frustrating as this might be, it's incredibly normal. You've heard it before—but try to sleep when baby sleeps to make sure you're getting what you need, too.

It's also completely normal for your baby to cry—a lot. Colic, or prolonged episodes of unexplained crying, typically begins around the three-week mark. Rocking your baby or rubbing her tummy may help, but when the crying lasts for hours at a time, the person you need to worry about is you. It's stressful to listen to your baby cry! When the crying is grating on your last nerve, take some deep breaths, lay baby safely in her crib, walk away and take 10 minutes to do something you enjoy. She'll survive—and so will you.

Your Life

How are things going "down there?" By now if you've delivered vaginally, your discharge should be yellowish-white to pinkish in color. If your flow is still heavy or bright red, call your healthcare provider. By six weeks, the discharge should stop altogether. Go ahead and ditch the peri bottle if you haven't already! Any tears or episiotomy incisions should have healed by now. You might still feel sore for a while (after all, you pushed out a human being!), but you should be able to sit comfortably. Sitz baths can help with any lingering soreness.

Have you left the house with baby yet? Traveling with baby—or even just running errands—isn't as hard as it seems, but it does take more preparation. Try to time outings for right after a feeding. Your baby will be content, and may even sleep through the entire outing. If she wakes up, you can take the opportunity to practice your nursing-in-public (if you’re breastfeeding). If you're feeling shy, duck into a restroom, or head back to your car.

The key to hitting the town with baby is preparation. A well-packed diaper bag (including complete changes of clothes for baby—poop explosions happen when you least expect them) is essential. And so is a back-up plan. Yes, you might plan a trip to the bank followed by lunch with a friend, but if your baby suddenly gets fussy halfway through your meal, it's time for Plan B. Maybe your friend can burp your baby while you finish eating; odds are she's been dying to hold the baby anyway. Or maybe she'll agree to quickly end the meal, and you can continue to chat while strolling around the block. Don't worry, though, if you're not ready to head out the door. Having a baby is a major event and it can take time to adjust, especially if you had a difficult delivery.

With all the crying and the extreme life changes, it's also OK to have less-than-enthusiastic feelings about your baby sometimes. And if you don't periodically experience moments of extreme frustration then you're a saint. Taking care of a newborn is a demanding job; it's only natural to feel overwhelmed once in a while. Besides, bonding is an ongoing experience. Be gentle with yourself as you get to know your baby and if you're worried those feelings could be something more, talk with your health-care provider about postpartum depression—and don't forget about the support that comes from sharing your feelings with other moms who've been there.

Moms Like Me

TK

What Moms Are Talking About

Fussy babies: I keep telling myself we will get through this, we did with our DD. But with 2 weeks left of maternity leave I am frazzled! Not sure how I am going to function when I return to work if he is like this every evening at home...—hnjeffers Read More

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