Week by Week

What do you need to know to care for your 8 week old baby?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le.

msBahasa Malaysia

Development & Behavior

How should my baby be developing?

At this time, your baby’s brain is increasing in size and complexity. It may increase to about 5 cm within the first trimester.

You may notice your baby have short periods of being alert and quiet. Don’t worry. This is normal. Your baby is observing their environment. This is the best time to interact with them. You can talk, sing or describe in detail what you are doing. They may not understand you but will learn and absorb the sounds and expressions.

In this week, your baby is probably to:

  • lift head 90 degrees when lying on stomach;
  • hold head steadil when upright;
  • bring both hands together;
  • Become silent strangely. Actually this is when babies are observing and learning.

How to support my baby?

This is an important time for your baby to learn. You should use the time when he is silent to get used to the baby such as communicate, speak, and sing to your baby, describe the pictures in print anytime and anywhere. You can also speak along fondling them through little verses while changing a diaper or feeding. That is the best way for you to support your baby to develop language skills, hearing and vision.

Health & Safety

What should I discuss with my doctor?

You might have already taken your baby to see the doctor. Usually during a physical exam, your doctor will examine all or most of the following:

  • Heart sounds with a stethoscope, and visual check of the heartbeat through the chest wall.
  • Abdomen, by feeling outside: for any abnormal masses in hips, checking for dislocation by rotating the legs.
  • Hands and arms, feet and legs: for normal development and motion.
  • Back and spine, for any abnormalities.
  • Eyes, with an ophthalmoscope or a penlight: for normal reflexes and focusing, and for tear duct functioning. With an otoscope, for color, fluid, movement of ears.
  • Nose, with otoscope: for color and condition of mucous membranes.
  • Mouth and throat, using a wooden tongue depressor for color, sores, bumps.
  • Neck: for normal motion, thyroid and lymph gland size (lymph glands are more easily felt in infants, and this is normal).
  • Underarms: for swollen lymph glands.
  • The soft spots on the head, by feeling with the hands.
  • Respiration and respiratory function, by observation, and sometimes with stethoscope and/or light tapping of chest and back.
  • The genitalia: for any abnormalities, such as hernias or undescended testicles; the anus for cracks or fissures.
  • Healing of the umbilical cord and circumcision (if applicable).
  • The skin: for color, tone, rashes, and lesions, such as birthmarks.
  • Overall movement and behavior, ability to relate to others.

What should I know?

Here are some issues you need to know when caring for babies in this stage:

Circumcision

At this stage, your baby may be indicated to have circumcision. Soreness and, sometimes, a small amount of bleeding are also common after a circumcision and nothing to be concerned about. Using double diapers for the first day will help to cushion the penis and also to keep the baby’s thighs from pressing against it. Remember to keep the area clean and avoid getting the penis wet in a bath until healing is complete.

Hiccups

Some babies aren’t just born hiccupers, they’re hiccupers before they’re born. Experts say that the reason is baby’s reflexes. Another theory is that infants get hiccups when they gulp down formula or breast milk, filling their tummies with air. Babies are not bothersome when they hiccup.

Sneezing

Some amniotic fluid and excess mucus in respiratory passages a very common occurrence in young babies. Frequent sneezing  also helps the newborn to clear it out and to get rid of foreign particles from the environment that make their way to their nose as much as sniffing pepper that makes many adults sneeze. Your baby may also sneeze when being exposed to light, especially sunlight.

Baby’s eyes

Do not worry if you notice your baby’s eyes appear to be crossed. Actually, in most cases, it is simply extra folds of skin at the inner corners of the eyes that make the babies look cross-eyed. The folds will retract as baby grows, then the eyes begin to seem more evenly matched. For extra reassurance, mention your concern at baby’s next checkup.

During the early months, you may also notice that your baby’s eyes may not work in perfect unison all the time. These random eye movements mean that they are still learning to use their eyes and strengthening their eye muscles; by three months, coordination should be much improved. If it isn’t, or if your baby’s eyes always seem to be out of sync, then talk to a doctor about the problem. If there is a possibility of true crossed eyes, consultation with a pediatric ophthalmologist is in order.

My Concerns

What am I concerned about?

One of the habits that you should care about is sucking pacifiers. Consider the following before deciding whether or not to pop a pacifier, and, if you do, when to begin and how long to use it.

Pacifier is used to shorten the duration of breastfeeding. Another research, however, has concluded that offering a pacifier early on doesn’t cause nipple confusion or interfere with breastfeeding success in the first three months. The pacifier is in the parent’s control. That can be a good thing when you’ve fed, rocked, sung, and pushed the stroller for hours.

However, a pacifier can also backfire if your baby becomes too dependent and rely on it. Used at bedtime, a pacifier can interfere with a baby’s learning to fall asleep by themself. It can also interrupt theirsleep when they lose it in the middle of the night and can’t get back to dreamland without it. And you will have to rise to put it back in his mouth. If used temporarily, to satisfy the need for sucking when it’s at its most intense, a pacifier’s harmlessand can help parents and baby over get a tough time. While if used longer, it can become addictive for bothor become a habit that can be increasingly tricky to kick.

You have made through week 7.  Don’t worry. You are not alone. We will be here to give you support next week, in weel 8.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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