You and Your Baby -- Week 3
At three weeks old, your baby is establishing a routine. You may be able to discern the meaning of his or her cries. This can allow you to prevent crying if you recognize the behavior leading to it. However, if your baby cries for more than three hours at a time, for at least three days a week, and for more than three weeks, he or she may have colic.
Your Baby at 3 Weeks and YouWelcome to week three of your baby's life! Can you believe it has already been three weeks (or, for some, has it only been three?). But if you look back, you will realize that your confidence as a parent has grown significantly as you and your baby begin to settle into a nice rhythm that is both predictable and comforting.
A quick fact: At three weeks old, most babies have regained all of the weight they lost in the first week.
Learning the "Cry" of Your 3-Week-Old BabyInevitably, crying has become a major part of your daily life. With three weeks under your belt, you have likely noticed how in tune you have become with your crying baby's needs. You may even be able to prevent some cries by taking early action when you notice certain pre-crying cues.
One example is the "I'm hungry" cry. As you become familiar with your baby's eating habits and schedule, you may start to recognize some pre-crying signals for "it's time to eat." Some of these signals may include:
- Rooting (when they physically search for your nipple by turning their face, head, and neck)
- Lip-smacking/sucking noises
- Putting their hands up by their face
- Putting their hands/fingers in their mouths
- Attempting to bite/lick their sleeve.
Recognizing these behaviors and promptly "answering the call" may help to minimize the amount of crying your baby does each day.
You may see some of these behaviors appearing even when feeding is not the goal. These behaviors are also self-soothing mechanisms that are early coping strategies. It will be up to you to discern if the "feed me" message is actually being sent based on timing and other feeding-based factors. It could simply be that your baby is overstimulated and working on calming themselves down.
(Click Understanding a Crying Baby for more information on decoding the cries.)