Growing from strength to strengthEven though it might seem that all your new baby does is sleep and eat, there’s an incredible amount of growing going on before your very eyes. In the first 3 months they will gain around 5 – 7 ounces each week and grow around 2.5 cm a month!
As they grow, that new baby appearance will start to disappear, along with some of their cute newborn reflexes. The soft spot towards the back of their head is already closing, but the part towards the front will stay soft until the bones move together, which happens somewhere between 12 and 18 months.
Your newborn’s neck is very delicate at first, but because they develop from head to toe, the muscles soon become strong enough to support their head. Their shoulders and chest are next in line and it won’t be long before they surprise you by pushing themselves up on their little arms to get a better look around.
Astonishingly, your baby is born with more bones than an adult! They have around 300 at birth whereas we have about 206.
During the first 3 months their bones lengthen, harden and some fuse together, eventually making the same amount as us.
Smile please!At around 6 weeks your baby’s facial muscles are becoming stronger and much more expressive. As those little eyes watch your face intently, you’ll start to see them imitating your expressions and even silly faces. One day, when you’re looking lovingly into their eyes, your baby will delight you with that first unprompted little smile – a precious moment to cherish.
Little tummies need lots of nutrition!Your breastmilk has absolutely everything your baby needs to grow and develop properly. It’s rich in calcium for bone growth, has proteins for energy and contains lots of other essential nutrients too. If you’re not breastfeeding, infant formulas contain all the nutrients needed for development.
Because your baby is growing so quickly and their tummy is still tiny, they will need small, frequent feeds every 2 to 3 hours at first. And of course, this also means waking for feeds at night. As your baby grows, they will be able to take in more and go for longer between feeds.
When your baby goes through a growth spurt, they are likely to want longer or more frequent feeds. 3 months of age is a common time for this to happen so if they seem extra hungry, it’s not a sign of being ready to wean. They simply need more milk.
The feeding support you needThe mums and feeding advisors on our Careline have got lots of professional and personal experience to share when it comes to feeding. So whenever you’ve got a question or need a little extra help, feel free to get in touch.
Read our article on breastfeeding. And if you want to connect with other new mums who are going through many of the same things as you, our C&G baby club forums are a great place to find some new friends.