Take a moment to congratulate yourself on getting through the first 5 weeks of parenthood. At your appointment, we introduce tummy time and show you how your baby’s weight, length, and head are progressing. We will also take a moment to make sure you are feeling healthy as well.
Your baby is not constipated unless they produce “little pebble” stools. Typically, at this age, infants will lose the reflex that causes them to stool after each feed. But, mainly with breastfed five-week-olds, they will use most of the nutrients they are consuming and, therefore, stool less frequently. In addition, some babies will stool only once a week. Do not be alarmed unless it is accompanied by vomiting, inconsolable irritability, or decreased urine output.
Your child should begin tummy time around five weeks to strengthen their neck. Start with your baby lying on the floor and aim for four sessions of approximately 5 minutes each. Over the coming weeks, increase the tummy time to 30-60 minutes daily. Do not push the issue if your little one does not enjoy it. Wait a week and try it again.
If you are breastfeeding, it is a good idea to introduce a bottle at this point. Allow someone other than the breastfeeding mother to provide the bottle during a mid-day feed. Introducing a bottle will free up some time for mom and give the child experience with a new way of feeding. By this point, the risk of nipple confusion has decreased dramatically.
All babies develop at different rates. Do not be discouraged or worried if your child has not achieved the following milestones by five weeks. At this age, your child should:
- Lift chin for a few seconds when lying on tummy
- Cannot support head without assistance
- Grasps whatever is placed in the hand
- May follow some moving objects with eyes
- Make sounds that are not crying
- Cries when left alone; usually stops when picked up
At this visit, your child will receive the Hepatitis B vaccine. All mothers will also receive a 2 question postpartum depression screen.