You and your baby are still in the “getting to know each other” phase. You’re not going to be able to interpret every one of your baby’s cries, but there are some little cues that may help you figure out what your baby wants or is feeling!

  • Sleepy cues include: being less alert…even a bit glassy eyed, blinking. By the time babies are fussing and yawning, they’re already overtired.
  • Hunger/thirst cues include: sucking on the lower lip or hands, opening/closing the mouth, getting more vocal. Later cues are turning the head and opening the mouth when you touch the cheek or lips (rooting reflex), sucking energetically on a pacifier— and getting fussier if you take it away— and, of course, crying. 

Babies also can cry for other reasons, like discomfort (a little gas or diaper irritation). For many babies our world is too bright, too noisy, too many colors, smells, sudden changes. Like being in a Las Vegas casino, after a few hours it can get overwhelming. Surprisingly, an even bigger reason for fussing is under-stimulation! Our world is too still and too quiet for many babies.

Remember, your baby enjoyed constant holding, rocking, shushing 24/7 in the womb. It is not so much that they’re feeling homesick for the “good ol’ days,” but that the constant soothing rhythms (sound, rocking, cuddling) babies enjoy when they were enclosed in that cozy home help activate your little one’s calming reflex.

Even when you hold your baby 12 hours a day—which is a lot from our POV—it is a major rip-off compared to the 24/7 soothing your little bean had inside you. That’s why mimicking the womb with a 4th Trimester of rhythmic sensations—with SNOO or the 5 S’s—often works like magic!

2-Week-Old-Baby Sleep

There is so much to say about sleep, but for now let’s start with a couple of basic ideas… 

First, it’s weird for babies to have to spend 12 to 14 hours/day in a flat still bed in total silence. Before birth, your baby always slept with calming rocking, sounds, and being “swaddled” by the velvet walls of the uterus. So, what sense does it make to rip away every sleep cue your baby has ever been comforted by? 

Would you like it if someone said to you, “Why do you need your pillow, blanket and mattress? Can’t you just sleep on the floor?” Of course, you can sleep on the floor, but you wouldn’t sleep well. Same with babies. They can sleep in sensory deprivation, but they wake up a lot more. 

Lastly, what about swaddling? It’s the first of the 5 S’s and it is key for helping new babies sleep better. Most parents today find it is easiest to snugly wrap their little one in a sack, like our Sleepea swaddle, or they swaddle with a big 42 x 42 receiving blanket using the DUDU technique (down-up-down-up).

Some babies resist swaddling, but 98% sleep better that way (arms snug and down and hips loose). Swaddling your baby with the arms at their sides reduces wake-up calls from the startling or accidental nose whacks. If your baby fights it at first, don’t worry. Just add some of the other S’s (like shushing, swinging, sucking) after the wrapping…to turn on your baby’s calming reflex. 

Note: It is perfectly safe to swaddle babies for 6 months in SNOO. However, if you’re not using SNOO your doctor will want you to stop swaddling—to reduce the risk of SIDS—as soon as your baby is showing signs of rolling over (usually around 2 to 3 months).

Your 2-Week-Old Baby’s Development 

Did you hear that? Most babies hear very well at birth. In fact, your baby was already eavesdropping on what was going on in the world…while they were in the womb. During that time, your baby’s two favorite sounds were of your voice and the whoosh of blood moving through your arteries. (Every culture around the world shushes babies. Why? Because making a “sh-sh-shush” sound imitates the whooshing of blood and helps turn on the calming reflex.

After birth, your baby can hear even better, so keep up the chatter! Amazingly, studies show that talking, reading, and singing boost a baby’s learning…and even success in school!

BTW, your little one should have gotten a hearing test before leaving the hospital. The American Academy of Pediatrics says 1 to 2% of babies don’t pass the initial screening test. That’s usually just because of a simple issue—like some fluid in the baby’s middle ear that may take a week or two to clear up. But, just in case there is hearing problem, babies who fail the test need it to be repeated.

A fun way for you to check your baby’s hearing is hold your swaddled baby in your hands, looking up. Then move your head to one side—out of their vision—and softly speak or shush. When your baby is quiet and alert, they may stop moving and widen their eyes when they hear your voice…or even turn their head to the side where you are speaking. Then you can try that again—on the other side—to check that ear.

Feeding Your 2-Week-Old Baby

How much does a 2-week-old baby eat? 

Feeding is a full-time job! Your little one’s stomach is now about the size of a golf ball. Although that’s still quite small, it can hold about 2 ounces of milk per feeding. Those 2 ounces don’t last too long, which is why feeding your baby every few hours is part of life these days. (Before birth, you fed your baby every single second. So, your breastfed baby thinks they’re doing you a big favor if they wait an hour or two between their little milky meals. Bottle-fed babies can go a bit longer between meals.)

How can you tell if your baby is getting enough to drink? Easy, look for these simple clues: the inside of mouth is slippery and slobbery (the lips may be dry, that’s okay); frequent wet diapers (6 to 8 per day; several should feel a bit heavy, and the pee should not be dark yellow); hearing gulping during a feeding, and the fussiness before a feeding is replaced by a relaxed, sleepy mood afterwards. These are all good signs.

Over the first few days, most babies drop 6 to 12 ounces from their birth weight. But, by 2 weeks your baby should have gained all that weight back…and then some. Babies who aren’t drinking enough may also have little peachy pink spots in their diaper (concentrated pee can cause these pink little crystals). If you see these, that’s another good reason to give a call to your medical provider.

If you have concerns about your baby’s eating patterns or weight gain, bring them up with your child’s pediatrician. Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question when it comes to caring for your baby!

Your 2-Week-Old Baby’s Health 

2-Week-Old Baby and Constipation

You’re only two weeks into parenting, but you’ve probably already figured out that poop is going to be a big part of your life! Your lovebug is probably pooping several times a least three times, and maybe more. However, if your baby goes several days without pooping or you notice poops are hard and pellet-like, your little one might be constipated. Learn more about baby constipation

2-Week-Old Baby Eye Discharge

Your teeny-tiny baby also has teeny-tiny...tear ducts! Due to their small size, these narrow ducts can get clogged pretty easily, so most of the time, eye discharge is no big deal. However, sometimes it can point to something more serious. In fact, as your little one cruised (or squeaked) through the birth canal, they were exposed to bacteria that can possibly cause an eye infection. This is why all babies are treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment as soon as they arrive. If you notice that the whites of your baby’s eyes are red, give your pediatrician a call. Otherwise, you can gently clear eye discharge using a damp, warm washcloth. 

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About Dr. Harvey Karp

Dr. Harvey Karp, one of America’s most trusted pediatricians, is the founder of Happiest Baby and the inventor of the groundbreaking SNOO Smart Sleeper. After years of treating patients in Los Angeles, Dr. Karp vaulted to global prominence with the release of the bestselling Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block. His celebrated books and videos have since become standard pediatric practice, translated into more than 20 languages and have helped millions of parents. Dr. Karp’s landmark methods, including the 5 S’s for soothing babies, guide parents to understand and nurture their children and relieve stressful issues, like new-parent exhaustion, infant crying, and toddler tantrums.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.