What to Expect When Your Newborn Is Two Weeks Old

By Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell
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You may be a little bleary-eyed by the time your newborn is 2 weeks old. Even though your infant sleeps about 16 to 17 hours per day, she may doze off for only a one- to two-hour stretch, explains HealthyChildren, a website published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The "can't miss" changes that take place during the early weeks of your newborn's life will help you stay alert during this wondrous time.

Physical Changes

When your newborn is 2 weeks old, his body gradually straightens from the compactly curled position he'd grown accustomed to in the uterus in the months leading up to birth. He’ll begin to stretch his arms and legs now that his extremities are free to move about. You may also see him occasionally arch his back. Your baby's head should return to a normal shape if it initially appeared malformed after traveling through the tight birth canal.

Weighty Issues

By the time your newborn reaches the 2-week mark she should begin growing at a rapid clip now that she's regained the relatively minor weight loss that takes place after birth. Your infant's birth weight included a surplus of bodily fluids that were excreted during the first few days of life. The typical newborn gains about 2⁄3 of an ounce per day.

Umbilical Cord Care

The stump from your newborn's umbilical cord may have dried and fallen off by the time she is 2 weeks old. The stump typically falls off between ten days and three weeks after birth. A completely healed area, now the belly button, should be left behind. However, you may find a raw spot, which may emit fluid containing a hint of blood. Applying a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol will help keep the area dry and clean. Notify your doctor if the raw spot hasn't fully healed in two weeks.

Frequent Feeding

A 2-week-old bottle-fed baby will generally consume 2 to 3 ounces of formula every three to four hours. Breastfed babies usually drink smaller amounts during each feeding than formula-fed infants and may be fed more frequently. Breastfed 2-week-olds are ready for what's called mature milk -- the type of milk a mother produces following colostrum and transitional milk. Mature milk keeps your 2-week-old well hydrated since it's 90 percent water. The remaining 10 percent is made of up fats, proteins and carbohydrates, which promote growth and energy, explains the American Pregnancy Association.

Communication

Now that your baby is 2 weeks old you're probably growing accustomed to his various cries. If you haven't already, it won't be long before you'll pick up on the meaning of the various tones of your baby's cries and wails. For example, a broken up cry can mean your infant's upset, while a low-pitched cry often signals hunger, explains KidsHealth. Sometimes your 2-week-old will cry simply because she wants to be rocked or cuddled. With care and patience you''ll see your baby's first smile in no time.

About the Author

Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.