The first weeks with a new baby can be tough. You spend all your waking hours (and a lot of non-waking hours) attending to the needs of your newborn and you don’t get much back.
Don’t worry – it will be all worth it when you see that first smile this month sometime! Your heart will melt and you’ll forget all about the frequent night waking, the seemingly endless crying and even the poo explosion in the car seat.
Also, this month your baby will start to vocalise in ways other than crying – so expect to hear some ‘coo-ing’ and ‘goo-ing’!
How is baby going?
At this age, your baby still needs an average of 14-17 hours of sleep over the course of 24 hours. They might be starting to have at least one longer stretch of sleep – maybe a six-hour sleep (hopefully at night!)
You may notice that your once-sleepy newborn is becoming more alert and can stay awake for longer. Until now your baby might have drifted off anywhere, any time – on grandpa’s shoulder, in a pram at a noisy party or on the floor at your friend’s house. But now, your baby might only sleep when you make an effort to ‘put them to sleep’.
To make sure she doesn’t get overtired, you should learn to recognise your baby’s tired signs and start preparing them for sleep when you see the signs. At this age, a baby will probably be ready to sleep after 90 minutes of being awake so start to look for tired signs before then. Tired signs might include jerky arm and leg movements, pulling away, difficulty focussing, clenched fists, grizzly cry, rubbing eyes and yawning.
Your baby is still very tiny – and so is their tummy – so feeds will most likely still be every 2-4 hours. Hopefully, by now though, you’ll have ironed out some of the early feeding issues and it is all starting to get a bit easier. If you still have questions why not ask them in the baby feeding section of our forum.
If you’re breastfeeding but want your baby to accept the occasional bottle of expressed milk, this month might be the best time to give it a try. At five weeks your baby is said to be old enough to accept a bottle without risk of nipple confusion and young enough to accept it without much protest.
Babies don’t really need toys, but it is handy to have somewhere safe and comfy for baby to lie and watch the world from a different angle. A play mat or baby gym is quite inexpensive and your baby will enjoy seeing their toys swing overhead. Try giving your baby a rattle or a similar safe object, as he’ll soon grab objects if you touch them on his palm.
Vaccinations are due when your baby is two months old. Make an appointment with your GP or your local immunisation clinic.
How are you going?
You may be settling in to your new role as a mum but if some days you feel completely overwhelmed (or sometimes completely braindead!) then don’t be afraid to ask for help.
New mothers aren’t expected to do this alone – it is a tough job and you need support and guidance. There’s a saying about it taking a village to raise a child, well, it also takes a village to raise a mother. Sometimes because of distance or isolation it isn’t always possible to have a village of close family and friends always nearby but there are other ways to find your village. This article – it takes a village to raise a mother – explains it perfectly and give tips on finding your village.
4 things to do when you have a one-month old baby
- Try these 5 ways to deal with neck and back aches
- Read our article on colic and colic relief
- Get some tips on meeting other parents
Please note: All babies are different, these are generic guides and aren’t a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider.