Your baby has passed the one-month mark and is progressing steadily from a vulnerable newborn to an engaging and lively infant who loves to smile and babble. You can look forward to many delightful moments with your little one in the coming months!
Your baby’s growth is taking off now, and you will find that it has outgrown its newborn diapers and clothes. But you probably notice that they are alert, aware of their surroundings, and are getting engaged with you.
But the five weeks are challenging. Your baby will still wake up frequently at night, and you may not fully have their days and nights sorted out. They turn quite fussy at times or develop colic symptoms. In this case, consult with your doctor immediately.
There are online courses related to baby milestones and physical development. So, let’s look at what to expect from life when caring for your 5-week-old baby.
Also read: When Do Babies Start Laughing?
5 Week Old Baby’s Development
As a parent, you know that crying is your baby’s way of telling you something is wrong. However, your little one is also discovering other ways of communicating and developing her language skills. Those adorable grunts, gurgles, and coos are all part of the process as she experiments with her mouth, tongue, and throat to create different sounds.
Conversing with her is one of the best ways to encourage your baby’s communication skills. Responding to your baby’s coos and gurgles will be satisfying for your cutie and encourage her to keep exploring her verbal abilities, eventually leading to her first meaningful words like “Mumma” or “Dada.”
While speaking your baby’s language is essential, speaking yours is equally important. Babies learn through imitation, so don’t hesitate to talk up a storm during everyday activities such as diaper changes (“Look at those cute little toes!”), walks (“It’s such a beautiful day outside!”), or shopping (“Such a lovely dress!”).
Even if your baby doesn’t understand everything you’re saying, hearing you talk is crucial for her speech development. She’s soaking up every syllable and learning from you.
If your little one isn’t saying much yet, don’t worry. Some babies take their time when it comes to language development, and that’s perfectly normal. You can always consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns.
As parents, you may wonder, will my baby start smiling by 5 weeks?
All babies are born differently. So while some babies need the next few weeks, by the 2-month mark, your child should start smiling. As per Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, Dr. Daniel Ganjian, MD – by 4-5 weeks, babies occasionally start smiling, which increases in frequency as you get to the 6-8 weeks mark.
But all babies develop at their own pace, so if yours is not smiling yet, do not worry. You should start seeing small real smiles for heart-melting moments in no time.
Additional Baby’s Infant Development
Your baby should be gaining weight at this age. Every baby has a growth curve, but on average, babies start gaining 1½ – 2 pounds a month. They also grow an inch in length every month. Also, your baby’s head size will grow by 1/2 every month.
At A Glance
During the first few months of their life, infants require 14 to 17 hours of sleep within a 24-hour cycle. Typically, they will wake up every two to four hours to feed.
As a newborn, an exclusively breastfed infant typically consumes around 2 to 3 ounces of milk every 2 to 3 hours. However, by the time they reach 2 months of age, their appetite will have increased, and they will likely consume closer to 4-5 ounces of milk every 3 to 4 hours.
Did you know?
When infants mimic the facial expressions of their caregivers, it elicits an emotional response within them as well.
5 Week Old Baby Milestones development
Now that your baby is moving from the newborn development phase, all the newborn reflexes you have noticed at birth – startle reflex, rooting reflex, stepping reflex – will start to decrease. Now you will start seeing your baby’s moves become more deliberate.
You can see these in the way your little one moves their hands. For example, they may start looking at their hands and realize they can move their hands to the baby’s mouth.
When you lay your baby in a crib, you will notice them use their hands to swipe at the toys, or they may try to grasp the toys from your hand. They may even be able to grasp a toy for a short period. Before you know it, they can grasp toys for longer periods. In this article, you will learn about the baby’s age, scalp, vision, etc.
Additional Baby Behaviors:
- When you place your baby on their stomach, they should be able to hold their head up
- When placed on their stomach, they may be able to crane the baby’s head from side to side to look around
- They should kick their legs more often
- Your baby’s neck muscles start becoming stronger every day
- Your baby will now cry with a purpose, and they start developing different cries for different feelings like sleepiness, hunger, cleaning, fussiness, etc
Feeding Your 5-Week-Old Baby
You already have a feeding routine with your baby that works for you both. So, how much breastmilk will your baby need? If breastfeeding, you should expect to be frequently nursing at this stage. Most babies need 8-12 feedings in 24 hours.
If you are bottle feeding, cleaning and sterilizing the bottles and feeding equipment will become second nature.
According to peer-reviewed studies, babies will want to breastfeed every 2-4 hours at this stage, but in some cases, they may feed every hour, and in other times will not eat for 5 hours. But she says this is all normal. If unsure about your baby’s feeding schedule, get the right support by consulting your pediatrician for your concerns.
Doctors recommend that when you breastfeed, you will start to see changes in your baby’s poop schedule. It may slow down. While this may feel like a worrying signal, it is quite normal. Poop schedules change around the 5-week mark and become less frequent. But watch to see that the poop is not too hard and occurs every 5 days. If you feel something is off, talk to your healthcare provider.
5 week baby development is a big developmental milestone for feeding as breastfeeding parents are asked to start introducing the bottle. This prepares working mothers to start weaning their babies from breastfeeding to bottles. Most healthcare providers recommend breastfeeding until 3-4 weeks after a baby is getting used to breastfeeding. But starting from week 5, you can start introducing the bottle.
When you do, it is normal that your baby will not recognize the bottle. But they get used to it. At first, anyone other than the breastfeeding parent can introduce the bottle to make it less confusing for the newborn. New mothers can also bottle feed their children in different locations than they normally nursed.
If you start formula feeding, your pediatrician will advise you to increase the volume of feeds at the 5-week mark. As a newborn, babies drink 2-3 ounces of formula. But, by the end of the first month, the amount will increase to 4 ounces every 4 hours.
As you move past the first month, your baby will start going longer in between feeds and consume between 24 and 32 ounces daily. But, all baby’s cues are different. You should look into your baby’s signs during tummy time.
Sleep Schedule for 5 Week Old Baby
At the five-week mark, the baby still needs a lot of sleep, though not consecutively. Your baby will now need baby sleep for an average of 15 hours a day, with over 7 hours in the daytime and 8-9 hours at night.
With time your baby will start understanding the difference between day and night and will sleep more during the night and less during the day.
You can set bedtime routines with your baby even at 5 weeks. You can dim the lights when they get sleepy and play soft sounds. Some babies may like baths or a baby massage, and others may like sounds. The idea is to signal to your baby that it is time for the baby to sleep. But make sure you have a diaper change from time to time.
You can help your baby reach those developmental milestones sooner rather than later by establishing healthy sleep habits, such as a bedtime routine with a calming bath, a baby massage, or a bedtime story.
Monitoring 5-Week-Old Baby’s Growth
Babies born through a scheduled c-section in pregnancy may face challenges. The average baby weight of your 5-week-old baby will be in the 9-pound range. But remember that this range might be wide. So, depending on whether your growing infant is in the 10th or 90th percentile, it may differ from the average.
So, track your baby’s growth spurt rather than measure it against other babies, and if your pediatrician finds that it is fine, you do not need to worry.
Health and Safety for a 5-Week-Old Baby
Post birth, once your baby has a 1-month visit, you do not need to schedule a visit to the pediatrician’s office until 2 months. The 5-week time is a good week to visit if you have not gone already. A simple telephone call will also work if you have concerns but need help to visit the pediatrician.
As your baby is not mobile, you do not need to start baby-proofing your home with cabinet locks and outlet covers. But that does not mean that you, as a mama, should not take some safety measures to make your home as safe as possible for your child’s mental health.
Here are points to look into
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You may already have smoke alarms in your home, but carbon monoxide detectors are just as important. You need to have at least one on every floor of your house. Check to see if they are in working order every 6 months.
If you think your baby is getting good at grabbing small objects, keeping window cords out of your baby’s hands is a good choice. Most window cord injuries happen to children under 2 years of age, so ensure that all your blinds or cords are out of the baby’s reach
Babies are very vulnerable to smoke. No one should smoke inside the same house or in a different room as a baby. It is best if people who smoke do so outside the house.
Schedule of a 5 Week Old Baby
As your baby grows at that age, they are more alert and now have long stretches where they stay awake during the day, and you need to start integrating your adjusted age home schedule into the baby’s. Your baby’s development is no longer a newborn who does nothing, but the baby sleeps. There will be several hours in a day when your baby is awake and wants to play.
Start by setting up different stations around your house where you can set up your baby’s playtime. Then, consider investing in a baby activity center so that she’s growing and can be in a safe playing zone while you take care of household chores.
Basic Baby Care for 5 Week Old Baby
The 5-week age is when you focus on claiming your fussy baby. This week, colicky pregnancy symptoms peak, and premature babies who do not have colic are extra fussy and irritable at this milestone. Studies show that as your baby develops rapidly at that age, so does its central nervous system.
So, what can you do about the fussiness and crying?
Remember that this is a difficult time and will pass. According to credible sources, fussiness can be due to your baby reacting to breast milk. Eliminating any dairy products can help. You need to observe what your baby reacts to and try to eliminate it. Take care not to overfeed your baby, as it can give them an upset stomach.
Ways to Soothe a Fussy Baby are
- Swaddling them
- Walking them in a carrier
- Offering a pacifier
- Holding them while you bounce on an exercising ball
- Using a white, loud noise machine
If your baby constantly cries or makes irritating sounds, you should call your doctor to cross-check medical problems.
FAQ on 5 week old baby
1) What activities can I do with my 5-week-old baby?
At 5 weeks old, your baby is still developing and needs a lot of rest, but you can still do some activities to help stimulate their senses and bond with them. Some ideas include singing or talking to your baby, playing peek-a-boo, providing tummy time, reading books with contrasting images, and taking a gentle walk outside (if weather permits). Always follow your baby’s lead and stop any activity if they seem uncomfortable or fussy.
2) Can babies smile at 5 weeks?
Babies can start to smile socially at around 5 weeks.
3) How much breastmilk should a 5-week-old have?
On average, a 5-week-old baby consumes around 24-32 ounces of breastmilk daily. However, each baby’s needs may vary, so it’s important to follow your baby’s cues and feed on demand.
4) How long should a 5-week-old baby sleep at night?
At 5 weeks old, most babies will still wake frequently throughout the night to feed. However, they should sleep longer than in the early newborn days. On average, a 5-week-old baby may sleep for 2-4 hour stretches at night.
5) How often should a 5-week-old wake to eat at night?
A 5-week-old baby may still need to feed every 2-4 hours at night. It’s important to follow your baby’s hunger cues and feed on demand, even if that means waking up multiple times at night.
Life with a baby is not a linear progression. Things will change just as you start to understand how to care for your baby and try to fit their needs into your own.
By week 5, you will feel like you have many hours mastering feeding, changing diapers, and managing your baby. But suddenly, they are more alert and start getting fussier. And you face new challenges. You may be sensitive to sleep or at least more uninterrupted sleep as a parent.
Nevertheless, your baby will stop fussing in the next few months as the baby’s sleep cycle evolves. Try to hang in there, as it is normal to feel overwhelmed.
If you have any other questions about the baby’s developmental delay, baby name, separation anxiety, stranger anxiety, postnatal depression, or behavior, immediately consult your healthcare professional or take a doctor’s professional medical advice. I hope this blog has helped you, as keeping our content accurate is always our priority!