7-week-old baby: development and milestones

seven week old baby

by Emily Gilbert |

Your gorgeous baby is slowly starting to interact more with the world around them and you're both learning new things every day. As you near the two-month mark, we’re here to answer all the questions you have about your 7-week-old baby’s week-by-week development and introduce you to those exciting baby milestones you can look forward to.

7-week-old baby's growth

Since entering the world, your baby has likely gained between 140-200 grams each week, which translates to about 2-3 pounds. Don’t worry if they've gained more or less than that though, as every baby is different. Between six weeks and eight weeks old, your baby will have a physical examination, usually done by the a GP. This should have shown if your baby is a healthy weight or not, and your GP or health visitor should have offered you advice if there was a problem with your baby’s feeding.

Your baby has likely grown almost two inches since entering the world and is starting to realise they can use their tiny limbs to do different things. Reaching out with their arms is a big step this week, as they may start grabbing onto things all around them.

They may have recently had a little baby growth spurt, or be in the midst of one right now, which means they are starting to look more and more like a little person.

7-week-old baby development

If you've been wondering when do babies smile, you're not far off! At this point, many babies will have dazzled their parents with smiles but don't worry if they haven't as this can happen from any point between six weeks old and twelve weeks old. If your child is smiling away, you might now notice them smiling in response to something or someone.

If you’ve been struggling with colic - repeated episodes of excessive and inconsolable crying, for at least three hours a day - try not to worry. Remember this is normal and will settle down eventually.

It’s not just their body that’s growing, your baby's brain also grows two inches in the first three months. Since your baby is likely more alert for more of the day now, this is ample time for learning.

Talk and sing to your baby when they’re awake, they may respond by cooing, gurgling or simply becoming quieter as they listen to your voice. With their eyes now able to focus more (they should be able to focus about 60cm ahead of them now, as opposed to the 25cm a few weeks ago) and as their memory begins to improve, show them more complex patterns and pictures.

You may even want to improve their other senses by encouraging them to feel different textures. Since they’ve started reaching out and their hands are likely always open, it’s a good time to play with different styles of toys – both hard and soft, and move them from side to side in front of their face to encourage better focus.

If they haven’t started to lift their head up when they’re on their tummy, now is the time to start encouraging it by introducing some tummy time. Lay on the floor in front of them so they have something to look up at - this will help strengthen their neck muscles.

7-week-old baby sleep

Your sleeping pattern should finally be taking hold, but don’t worry if your baby is still struggling to distinguish between night and day or establishing a bedtime routine, it takes some longer than others.

You should start to notice your baby’s daytime naps are becoming longer but less frequent. Where before they might take 4-8 naps a day, now they’re edging towards a maximum of four. This will hopefully mean more sleep for you at night, as your baby's average of 8-13 hours will be less interrupted than a few weeks ago. Check out these different sleep routines if you’re still struggling to get your little one to sleep well through the night.

7-week-old baby food

Whether it's with breast milk or formula, you will have noticed your baby feeding more and more over the past couple of weeks as your baby grows faster. By now, your baby will likely have matured in understanding feeding and will be taking their milk faster, meaning a shorter feeding time for you. They are also more likely to stay alert while feeding as opposed to dosing off.

Your 6-week check-up should have revealed your baby's weight, and a good guideline is to feed them 150ml-200ml per kilo of that weight. It also depends on how much they want to take themselves, as babies understand pretty well how much they should eat and when to stop.

7-week-old baby health

You may have already had your baby's six-week check although sometimes this can fall at seven weeks old and eight weeks old. Here, the healthcare professional will check over your baby physically and do a few tests. This is also a great chance to share any worries you might have.

When it comes to jabs, you’re a week early! Babies don’t usually need their jabs until the two-month mark, but if you want to prepare yourself, check out our handy tips on how to keep your baby calm during vaccinations.

Remember, if you're concerned about your baby in any way, don't be afraid to reach out to a professional.

How much should a 7-week-old baby be pooing?

Your growing baby has been feeding a lot more, which means more nappy changes for you. A lot of parents worry their baby is pooing too much or too little, but between one and ten times a day with at least six wet nappies is normal. If you’re worried your baby is constipated, that they've had three or less bowel movements in a week or that they're often uncomfortable when trying to fill their nappy, it’s worth checking everything is ok with your GP. You’re probably starting to distinguish between the different nappies by now, but our baby poo colour chart might come in handy if it hasn’t already.

Postpartum and new baby tips

Crying: With all this new growing and learning, your baby may be somewhat uncomfortable and tired during this week and begin to cry more. There’s also the chance of colic starting later than usual and your baby is crying for no reason whatsoever. You may want to try using a sling in the day to keep your baby close, as this can reduce the crying, although try not to let them nod off too much in the sling as this could result in some sleepless nights for you.

Early teething: It seems impossible, right? Wrong! It is rare, but some babies start teething as early as seven weeks which may explain the seemingly reasonless crying. You may want to apply a teething gel to their gums to help the pain, but take a trip to the doctor first to check out that it’s definitely early teething - they can recommend some safe gels for a seven-week-old.

Starting to grab onto objects: Your little one is starting to focus more and has realised their arms can move around. With their tiny fists starting to open more, they’re also realising they can grab onto things. This means one thing, watch those dangly earrings as they’re about to be tugged! It’s great to see your baby interacting more with the world, and it’s a good time to start encouraging them to touch and hold different objects.

Introduce toys: With their mind more alert during the day, you can start using those developmental toys you stockpiled during your pregnancy. Encourage playtime and chat to them even when they are quiet - their little minds are growing and learning every minute, so it’s great to keep them engaged while they’re showing more interest in life. Of course, don’t overstimulate them, if they begin to cry you’ll know they’re just after some peace and quiet – it can be pretty overwhelming trying to take everything in!

Postnatal Depression: Within the first year of your baby’s life, you’re at greater risk of postnatal depression. You may feel overwhelmed by guilt and feelings of failure, or that everything could go wrong and it’s all your fault. If these feelings are starting to worry you, take a trip to the doctor and ask for some help. With one in ten women experiencing postnatal depression, it’s important to talk to someone.

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