Tuesday, February 2, 2010
What a difference a week makes in the life of a 1-week-old baby! By the end of this week, your little bundle of joy is a bigger bundle — having likely regained all the weight lost during those first few days — and is probably peeing and pooping like a pro (peeing often… and pooping all over the place). Those survival reflexes you've heard about are getting put to good use these days: Your baby is rooting (instinctively looking for your breast or the bottle), sucking like there's no tomorrow (or no next feeding), grasping your finger, blinking (someone turn down those lights!), startling whenever there's a loud noise, and even assuming the fencing pose (en garde!) — though experts aren't quite sure why babies carry that one in their bag of reflexive tricks.
Crying is Communication
Another trick up your baby's onesie sleeve: crying…a lot. Crying is a baby's first form of communication. Long before words can say "I'm hungry" or "I'm wet and uncomfortable" or "I'm lonely and I need a cuddle," crying can speak volumes to parents — ensuring that those basic needs get met in a timely way (as in, "I know you just fed me two hours ago — but guess what? I'm hungry again!"). Sure, it's hard on your ears, your nerves, and your sleep schedule (sleep — what's that?), especially when it seems like all you're doing is feeding your baby to try to stop the crying, holding your baby to try to stop the crying, changing your baby to try to stop the crying, and repeating. One simple trick of the parenting trade (see…your baby's not the only one with tricks) that may bring some comfort to your little one (and some peace and quiet to your house) is swaddling. Wrapping your newborn in a light, snug blanket brings memories of the safety and comfort of your womb, and may result in less between-feeding crying.
Baby's Blue Eyes
What else is your baby doing this week? Gazing into your eyes — that's for sure. Your baby can focus on objects that are eight to 14 inches away now — just the right distance to see you during a feeding (so put down that magazine or that to-do list and make some eye contact). When your eyes do meet, you'll notice that your baby's eye color is blue or grey — but not necessarily for long. It's still anybody's guess what that eye color will ultimately end up — and you'll be kept guessing until around six months, when your baby finally settles on a hue.