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5-6 weeks old

Babies of this age...

  • Will enjoy lying in a bouncing cradle
  • Can often hold their heads up for a short while when they are on their tummies.
  • Love to look at your face, so get up close and cuddly as often as you like!
  • Have you had that first smile yet? If it hasn’t happened already, it will happen soon...

After they are born, babies still naturally curl up in the position they were in the womb - when you hold them, their little legs are often positioned like a frog’s! But by now your baby will be starting to straighten out and lose that new baby look.

A bit of “tummy time” each day – when you place your baby tummy-down on a mat or blanket - will help your baby’s neck muscles to develop.

 

Looking after yourself as a new mum

Despite what the tabloids imply, it's not realistic to expect to get your old figure back straightaway, but if you try to eat healthily, walk regularly and remember to do your postnatal and pelvic floor exercises, you’ll soon be a slimmer you. Eating well will also help you handle the stresses of looking after a baby. Breastfeeding is not only great for your baby, but will also help your womb to quickly return to its normal size. (Bonus: it also helps use up the extra fat your body stored during pregnancy.)

 

Postnatal check up

About 6-8 weeks after your baby’s birth you will have your postnatal check – this is just to make sure that you are recovering from the birth and are well. This may involve checking your urine and blood pressure, and examining any stitches you may have had. This is also a chance to ask any questions or to discuss any concerns you have – it may help to write these down beforehand, so you don't forget!

 

Checks for your baby

Your baby will have routine health checks, too. In the first 6 weeks, these include a hearing test and physical examinations (as well as the heel prick or newborn bloodspot test). The hearing test can be carried out in hospital or by a health visitor at home. Your baby will have had a physical examination within 72 hours of birth, and another one is carried out at around 6-8 weeks by your GP, health visitor or paediatrician. This is a general all-over check and includes examination of the eyes, heart, hips and, in boys, testicles.

 

Taking precautions

Your sex life may not be the first thing on your mind, but do remember to use contraception when you start making love again - even if you are breastfeeding, and/or your periods have not yet started again, you can still become pregnant.

 

Have you visited the baby clinic?

The baby clinic is the place to get your baby weighed and have a chat with your health visitor. It’s also a good place to meet other mums of young babies and to find out about local mother and baby groups. You can also meet other mums and share your experiences on the HiPP Facebook page.

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