The third week home with baby

You’ve been taking care of your newborn for two weeks now. Here’s what you can expect during the third week home with baby. By Sister Lilian

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Day 15

Baby is now a communicative little being. She grasps your fingers tightly and can even be pulled into a sitting position. This reflex will gradually fade from about three months. Notice how she also has a fright reflex, throwing out her arms and scrunching up her face when she’s startled.

Day 16

Forget about maintaining a spotless house now. Many women want to prove that they can be the perfect housewife and mother. Baby can easily turn her head from side to side, but still has difficulty holding it up. Resist the urge to keep her continuously in her pram or car seat, so that she can start strengthening her back, neck and tummy muscles.

Day 17

Read your baby’s body language, which incorporates physical gestures and ways of crying. If she cries stridently, usually after feeds, and goes quite red in the face, this may be her way of saying, “I’m frustrated and quite cross, Mom! I need you to understand that my appetite doesn’t work like everyone else’s!”

Day 18

If Baby feeds with difficulty, examine her tongue, gums and the inside of her cheeks for signs of oral thrush, which looks like raised white patches. This will require treatment with an antifungal oral gel, or the homeopathic remedy Calendula Tablets, or the tissue salt Kali mur. You’ll also need to treat your nipples with antifungal cream as cross-infection is likely.

Day 19

Ask family and friends to help with the shopping, run errands and make meals for you, so that you can still take it easy.

Day 20

Newborns are prone to many facial rashes in the early days, most of which will pass. You need only adjust diet or seek advice if they don’t let up soon.

Day 21

Babies often have a growth spurt around now. You may have to increase the amount of feeds your little one needs for the next few days. This isn’t because you have insufficient milk or because your milk is too weak. Take things more slowly again for the next few days and allow Baby to nurse more frequently, so that you can build up your milk supply. Feeding patterns will revert to normal in about three days. Formula babies also have growth spurts and should be offered more milk. It’s probably better to give feeds more frequently rather than to increase the volume of feeds.

*Originally published in September 2011

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