Baby Development Week-by-Week

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The first few weeks and months of your baby’s life are an exciting time for both of you. Within the first week after her birth, your baby should be able to recognize you and your voice. As she continues to grow, she will develop other new skills, such as the ability to smile and make noises. She will also become more aware of the world around her.

Weeks 1 and 2

Many babies lose a few ounces right after they are born, only to gain them back and more by the end of the second week. Your newborn has several reflexes that he may exercise in his first two weeks of life. He’ll grasp your finger or hunt around looking for a nipple to feed on. If he hears a loud noise, he’s likely to startle. By the second week, he should also be able to see a bit better and focus on things that are up to 14 inches away, according to Parents magazine. During this time, try to make eye contact with him to help his eyes focus better.

Weeks 3 and 4

By the time your baby hits his third week of life, he should be able to move his body in a more controlled manner. You may notice that he starts to respond to you when you hold him by cuddling into you. Develop a tight bond with your child by holding him as much as you can. By the fourth week, he should start cooing and making other noises besides sobs and crying. You may want to set him on his stomach when he is awake so that he can begin to develop skills such as the ability to raise his head.

Weeks 5 and 6

The fifth and sixth weeks are an exciting time in your baby’s life. She should develop the ability to smile by this point, so you may want to have your camera at the ready. You may also notice that she reacts more to certain sounds and may enjoy pleasant music. By week 6, she should be able to stay awake for almost half the day.

Weeks 7 and 8

Toward the end of the second month of your baby’s life, she will start to notice more and more things. She’ll be better able to see colors and will begin to develop hand and eye coordination. She’ll also start to notice her fingers and may even begin sucking her thumb at this point. She should start to lift her head for longer periods of time as well. Keep giving her plenty of time on her stomach each day so that she can continue to develop her muscles and motor skills.

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