What to Expect in the First Weeks of Your Newborn’s Life

After months of anticipation and perseverance, you finally get to hold that little, adorable bundle of joy in your arms. It is your first weeks with your newborn and your official beginning of motherhood. It is also a time when you get to know and deeply bond with your baby. Here are what you can expect in your first few weeks as a mother and some tips on newborn care after delivery.


The tummy capacity of a newborn is fairly small. Hence, most newborns need to be fed every 2 to 4 hours. This is at least 8 to 12 times of feeding needed every 24 hours. Each feeding may take anywhere from 10 to 15-minutes or sometimes 45-minutes to an hour. During this time, your baby is still getting used to latching and sucking as the muscles and coordination are still developing. It is important to get your baby to latch on correctly, as it affects how well he or she drinks the milk. It is common to feel some irritation when your baby is latching in the first week or two, but it shouldn’t hurt. Talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant if you are concerned with your milk supply or feel pain while feeding. Breastfeeding can sometimes be challenging, so always remember to get support when needed.


Newborn babies spend most of their time sleeping. They usually sleep around 9 hours in the daytime and 8 hours at night, which is about 16 hours in a day. But in most cases, the baby will wake up (you will know by the sheer noise of crying) or be woken up for feeding at least every 3 hours. A newborn has two distinctive types of sleep cycle: active sleep and quiet sleep.

  • During active sleep, newborns move around a lot and make noises, and they can wake up easily.
  • During quiet sleep, newborns will have deep and regular breathing. They are also less likely to wake up by their surroundings.

Sleeping patterns may vary from baby to baby, so it is important to watch for changes in your baby’s sleep pattern consistently. 

A few tips to help your baby sleep better are to encourage good sleeping habits such as calming a baby down by singing or playing quiet music, finding a comfortable position and rocking to sleep, giving your baby time to settle down and getting your baby used to following a consistent bedtime routine.

Baby’s Weight

One concern you might face during newborn care after delivery is that your baby starts losing weight the first few days after birth. Do not fret; this is entirely normal as nearly all babies will leave the hospital weighing with an average loss of 5 to 10 percent of their birth weight during their first week. Make sure you and your doctor consistently monitor your baby’s weight to ensure that your baby is getting all the calories and nutrients needed.

Baby’s Skin

A newborn baby’s skin is usually smooth and soft. However, it is also very delicate, so you should expect some bumps, spots and rashes. Newborn skins are prone to common newborn skin conditions if not properly managed. Such conditions are dry skin, rashes, eczema, cradle cap, milia, miliaria, jaundice and newborn acne. 

Some notable conditions to look out for are:

Jaundice is caused by too much bilirubin (product of the breakdown of red blood cells). It can be identified with a yellow colouration of the baby’s skin and eyes. The treatment for jaundice may include more frequent feeding or phototherapy in more serious cases. It is not usually harmful, but severe cases of jaundice can cause damage to the baby’s brain. Hence, please consult a doctor early if you are concerned with your baby’s jaundice.

Eczema is red patches of itchy skin which is caused by certain substances or trigger factors. Substances such as soaps and detergents, wool, skin infections, dry skin, low humidity, heat and sweating can cause a newborn’s skin to flare up. Trigger factors due to allergy can also cause eczema. Therefore, it is important to identify and avoid any triggers.

Here are some newborn care tips for the skin:

  • Don’t bathe your baby more frequently than necessary, as it removes natural oils that protect your baby’s skin.
  • Only use baby laundry detergents that are free from fragrance and dye. Using harsh detergent can easily irritate your baby’s skin.

Sensory Development

Baby Development

In your first weeks with your newborn, you might observe that they sleep most of the day. However, in a month, you will see your newborn begin to feel curious about their surroundings and environment.

Vision: Newborns’ vision is limited as they can only perceive objects that are 8 to 12 inches away. Their eyes are usually drawn towards different shapes and shades of sizes and colours.

Hearing: Being able to listen to sounds is nothing new for newborns as they have developed hearing while they are still in the womb. They might even recognise familiar sounds once they are out of the womb! 

Touch: Touch is one of the best-developed senses at birth, and babies are able to detect the difference in temperature, texture, shape, and even size of various objects. However, babies tend to primarily explore more with their mouths until they have more control over their hands and arms, so make sure the things you give your baby are safe and clean.

Smell: Like touch, newborns can also recognise smell from day one and are particularly sensitive to the smell of breast milk. 

Taste: Newborns’ ability to taste has also already developed since day one, and they are particularly born with a natural sweet tooth. They will be able to detect the flavours of food you’ve eaten through your breast milk.

It is important for you to have activities with your children that promote their sensory development as they grow. So here are some fun activities that you can do with your little one in the first three months to encourage their development of all five senses!

  • Encourage visual stimulation by decorating bright colours and patterns in the nursery, and always smile, talk and play with your baby. Peekaboo!
  • Provide plenty of skin-to-skin contact, like hugs or massage, to help soothe your baby. It is a great way to bond with your child.
  • Sing! Babies love it, and it helps enhance a baby’s listening skills.

Meanwhile, you can use interesting baby books and toys to stimulate your baby’s sensory development. Visit MumChecked for a wide range of best-selling baby books, baby toys, nursery essentials, and more mum and baby products!

Newborn reflexes

Believe it or not, you will never be completely clueless when it comes to tending to your baby. When your little one needs something, they have their ways of letting you know. In fact, right from the beginning, your baby is already equipped with a number of reflexes to protect themselves and make sure their needs will be attended to. So don’t worry! If you feel like you are not quite there yet in terms of parental instinct, your child will help you get there! 

Before we get deeper into it, remember that some of the newborn reflexes can last until your baby is about 5 to 6 months old, so do not feel like you have to rush it if they are not yet doing these at the start. Common newborn reflexes include:

Rooting reflex: Your baby will turn to or follow where their mouth is stroked or touched. This helps your baby with being fed. 

Suck reflex: your baby will start to suck when the roof of their mouth is touched.

Palmar grasp reflex: When you stroke your baby’s parm, their fingers will close in a grasp. 

Moro reflex: Often known as the startle reflex, this occurs when your baby gets jumpy when started by a loud sound or movement.

Involuntary Movements

During this time, your baby’s movements will mostly be reflexive, and they will have little to no control over them. This will go on for the first few weeks of their life, so do not worry so much if it seems like all your baby does is get fed, cry, sleep, and occasionally make you change their diapers – those are simply what they’re mainly able to do at this point. Past the first few weeks, their reflexive movements will gradually disappear, and they will be able to control their movements better. 

Your Baby’s Communication Cues

At this particular stage, your baby’s most common mode of communication is crying. They will cry to let you know everything that is happening with them. Whether they are hungry, need their diapers changed, or experiencing any discomfort, ‘informing’ you through their cries is the only way they know how to do it. A newborn normally needs to be fed every two to three hours, so if they are crying, check if it has been that long since their last feeding. If it is, then it might be time for the next one. 

The good thing is you will also start to learn your baby’s cues! They may have cries you can easily recognise as part of their hunger cues. Likewise, you can also tell the difference between these cries and the other kinds of cries where your baby is simply tired or in discomfort.

Ways to Support & Promote Your Baby’s Development at Earlier Stage

You might feel like all the interactions with your baby are one-sided at this stage, but the effects of that one-on-one time can go a long way. Slowly, your actions will stimulate their social, visual and emotional development and listening skills. So, although it seems like your baby is not responding well to what you do or how you talk to them, it will benefit extensively from this period. You can practise several things along the way to encourage your baby’s development from this crucial month onwards.

  • Talk to your baby 

They may not understand a word you say yet, but they will know that you have been interacting with them, making you a familiar sight to them. If your baby seems to produce some sounds and noises, let them have their turn to ‘speak’. This will make them realise that you are interested in what they have to say, and they will be more open to such activities.

  • Play with tactile toys.

At this point, your baby’s hands are curious explorers. The sense of touch helps your baby recognise the world around them. Using tactile toys with various textures, materials, and shapes will help your baby’s development. If you are not sure where to start, there are a lot of baby items and toys that could help in your parenting journey. Choose a credible and trusted platform to get them, such as MumChecked, for online purchases or official physical stores.

  • Take a walk 

Carrying your baby around is a great way to calm and soothe them if they are distressed. If you are going outside, try to interact with your baby in the middle of your walk by describing what you see. Remember to get an ergonomic stroller and infant car seat to properly support your baby’s body!

  • Massage 

Among the very few things off the short list of activities you could do with a newborn, massage is one of the best. The skin-to-skin contact is what your baby needs to build a stronger bond with you. They will eventually get used to your touch. Not to mention, massaging your baby can greatly soothe and comfort them, as well as prevent gas, bloating, and colic.

All in all, you do not have to stress too much over their development at one month old. If your baby is generally healthy, they are most likely doing fine and developing well regardless of whether they follow any milestones chart closely or not. They will catch up on everything soon, so just give them some time. 


Baby care is important, especially in the first few weeks after delivery. It may be challenging, but you will learn a great deal about your baby and yourself as a mother, which you will cherish forever. With plenty of care, observation, and love, you will help your baby grow healthy and happy! And moms? Don’t worry, you’ve got this! If you happen to be looking for a confinement baby nanny agency in Singapore service that can help you during the critical first month of your baby’s life, PEM is just a phone call away! We’d love to help you take the first step in your parenthood journey.