Your 2-week-old baby: what to expect

Last modified on Friday 18 December 2020

Time is flying and your baby is already two weeks old! Find out how they're developing this week, plus any problems you should look out for and which activities to try with your little one.

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Now that your baby is two weeks old, you've probably got into a good groove with feeding, sleeping, nappy changing - and, of course, lots and lots of cuddles!

And whether you're a first-time parent or you already have children, everything will still feel new at this point. Here's what you can expect in your baby's third week - plus, how you might be feeling yourself.

Your 2-week-old baby: development



While it might not seem like your baby is doing much at this age, they're actually busy taking in everything that's going on around them.

As your little one develops, they'll be switching between different levels of alertness, known as the quiet alert mode and the active alert mode.

In the quiet alert state, your baby might have a still body but be wide-eyed and interested in your face and voice. This is a good time to play and interact with your baby, though they might just watch before engaging.

In the active alert state, your baby might be fussy and more unsettled; they might wriggle a lot and be especially sensitive to loud noises and lights. This might mean that your little one needs whatever is going on around them to slow down. Or it could be a sign that they're getting hungry, especially at night.

Every baby is different, though. With time, you'll learn to identify your baby's unique moods, and how to spot the signs that they're ready to play.


At two weeks old, babies can see around 20cm in front of their face . This is also the time where they'll start following faces or brightly coloured objects with their eyes, if the object is close enough. If your baby doesn't seem to be following objects or faces, mention it to your health visitor.

As your baby will be able to see your face close up, you should smile, make funny faces, and make eye contact with them, as this is another way for you to bond. They may even try to copy your expressions!

You might also notice your baby's eyes rolling away from each other occasionally, but don't worry. This is called a squint and can be common in newborns. A squint should go away by the time your baby is three months old, so talk to your doctor or health visitor if it doesn't.

Your baby likely won't properly smile until they're between six to eight weeks old , but you should still make sure to smile at them lots, as they will pick up on it.

When you're making eye contact with your baby, you'll also notice their eye colour - and this might change as their vision develops and more melanin (which affects pigmentation) is produced.

If your baby has light coloured eyes, such as blue or light grey, when they are first born, these could become darker or turn brown as they get older. Your baby's eye colour may gradually change throughout their first year.

Their nails

Your baby's nails will grow surprisingly fast, so it might be that you decide to cut or file their fingernails for the first time this week. This is important to stop them from accidentally scratching themselves; a nail file might be enough to file them down, or otherwise you can trim them with baby nail clippers.

It can be tricky to trim your baby's nails; many a parent has accidentally nipped a fingernail in the process! You may find it easier to do it while they're asleep, so they don't move around too much.

It's a good idea to get some mittens for your little one too, so they won't scratch themselves - and you can pop the mittens on if you're too scared to go near some nail clippers just yet!


At two weeks old, your baby won't be able to move much apart from their arms and legs. Still, never leave your baby unattended on a bed or a changing table, as they could still accidentally scoot over and fall off.

Your 2 -week-old baby: growth

Your baby's weight

By the time they're two weeks old, your baby should have regained or surpassed their birth weight . They will have lost some weight in their first week after birth, as they lose some of the extra fluid that they're born with. So once they start surpassing their birth weight, you'll be able to properly track their gains.

Don't worry if you think your baby is gaining weight too quickly or slowly. Your little one's weight will depend on a number of things, including how much milk they drink and the size that you and your partner were as babies. So if your midwife or health visitor isn't worried, then you don't need to be.

This growth spurt might also mean that it feels like your baby is feeding all the time, so make sure you have a comfortable set-up arranged for breastfeeding, as you're likely to spend a lot of time doing it! Read on for more tips on feeding.

Your baby's height

As your baby continues to grow, their weight and height will be recorded on centile charts in their red book (their personal child health record or PCHR). Don't worry if your child seems taller or shorter, or bigger or smaller, than other babies. Each child's growth is influenced by a number of factors, and the main thing is their weight and height follows the centile lines in their red book, more or less.

Your health visitor or midwife will be able to notice any problems on the chart and will advise you if their growth is faster or slower than it should be.

Medical checks for your baby this week

In your baby's first week or two, they'll have already had their newborn physical examination, their vitamin K injection, and their heel prick test.

If they didn't have their newborn hearing screening test in the hospital before you were discharged, this should happen within their first few weeks. This test is to help identify permanent hearing loss in babies as early as possible.

While the test can pick up problems, you might also be able to notice any issues with your baby's hearing yourself at home. If they don't seem to respond at all to loud noises, then it might indicate a problem with their hearing, so let your health visitor know.

Your baby won't have any of their vaccination jabs until they're eight weeks old, so you don't need to worry about that just yet! Find out more about which vaccinations you can expect here .

Common concerns with a 2-week-old baby


Colic is the name for excessive, unexplained crying in babies. It often starts when babies are a few weeks old, so it could be something to start looking out for this week.

Think about the rule of three. According to NHS advice, if your baby is otherwise healthy and cries inconsolably for three or more hours per day, at least three days per week, and it's been happening for three weeks or more, then it could be a sign of colic.

Other symptoms include:

  • intense crying, which lasts for several hours
  • clenched fists, arched back, and knees being pulled up to their tummy
  • a red or flushed face when crying
  • being inconsolable, where nothing you do seems to make it better

Some experts think that colic is usually the result of tummy troubles, as baby's digestive system is still maturing. But really, we don't fully understand exactly why colic happens; it's just a phase some babies go through.

Unfortunately, there's no actual cure for colic, but there are things you can do to soothe your baby and provide some relief. For example, try burping your baby after feeds, sitting them up during feeding , hold or rock them while they're crying, give them a warm bath or massage , and create a calming atmosphere (white noise can be particularly helpful) .

There's no evidence that anti-colic drops, gripe water or supplements will help. You also don't need to change your diet if you're breastfeeding.

Colic is very common and is thought to affect up to one in five babies. It usually stops when babies are four to six months old.

In the meantime though, dealing with colic can be very stressful for everyone in the home. If you have a partner, try to give each other regular breaks. If you're a single parent, see if someone else can take your baby for a while to give you some respite.

If you're worried about your baby, or finding it hard to cope, call your health visitor or NHS 111.

Find out more about baby colic here.

Silent reflux

You've probably already heard about reflux (also known as spitting up or posseting), which is where your baby brings up milk after a feed. But did you know that some babies swallow the milk as it comes up, so it's not always so obvious? This is known as 'silent reflux'.

Silent reflux can be difficult to spot, however you can still spot some of the other reflux symptoms in your baby, such as:

  • constant or sudden crying when feeding
  • frequent ear infections
  • lots of hiccups or coughing
  • refusing, gagging or choking during feeds
  • poor weight gain
  • frequent waking at night

Reflux is very common for babies during the first three months, and should usually stop by the time they are 12 months old.

Most of the time, reflux isn't anything to worry about, but if it happens frequently or your baby seems to be in pain, speak to your midwife or health visitor. Find out more about reflux in babies here.

Bumps, bruises and scratches

By the time your baby is two weeks old, any bumps, bruises or scratches sustained during birth should be disappearing. It's common for newborn babies to get swelling and bruises on their head, and even bloodshot eyes, especially if they were delivered by forceps or ventouse.

If they don't disappear or you're worried, ask your health visitor.

Feeding your 2-week-old baby

Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, feeding your baby will still be a new experience for you both - but by this point any ongoing problems will most likely make themselves known.

You might feel like you're breastfeeding all the time, especially as your baby is putting on more weight at this stage. But don't worry; it won't be like this forever, and your baby will need to eat less frequently as they get older.

If you're breastfeeding and are worried that you're not producing enough milk , talk to your midwife or health visitor about ways you can increase your milk supply. Your milk supply can be affected by a range of things, including how often you feed your baby , topping up with formula milk , and how well your baby latches on .

If your baby has trouble latching on it could be down to tongue tie . This is when the piece of skin which connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is shorter than usual. It is usually easily fixed, so ask your midwife to check if you suspect tongue tie could be a problem.

If you're having a bit of pain due to blocked ducts or engorgement, Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy for breastfeeding mums could be just what you need. The pads can be warmed or cooled for instant relief. See more details here at Amazon.

When should you give your baby a dummy or soother?

If you're breastfeeding, using a dummy could also affect your milk production; if your baby is sucking on a dummy it may affect how often they want to feed or how well they latch on.

So for breastfeeding mums, it's advised to wait until your baby is at least a month old before giving them a dummy, as by then you will probably both be in the swing of things.

If you're formula-feeding, you can give your baby a dummy now if you like, though it's best to only offer it for settling them to sleep. There's a small amount of evidence that giving your baby a dummy could help to reduce the risk of SIDS .

However, even without a dummy, it's likely that your baby will start sucking on their thumb soon after birth. But don't worry; sucking is one of your baby's natural reflexes, and it's their way of comforting themselves.

Read more about bottle-feeding your baby , or get tips on how to find the right formula for your little one.

If you're struggling with night feeds, the Tommee Tippee perfect Prep could make your life SO much easier as it makes up bottles for you in a matter of minutes, keep your hands free to soothe and cuddle your little one. See more details here at Boots.

Check out our top breastfeeding tips, and if you're struggling with breastfeeding, visit our breastfeeding drop-in clinic , where trained Parent Supporters are waiting to answer your questions.

Your 2-week-old baby's sleep

Your baby will still be sleeping a lot at this stage. In fact, they will do until they're around three or four months old. The amount of sleep a baby needs will vary depending on the child, but it can range from eight hours up to 16 or 18 hours per day, according to the NHS .

At this stage, your baby will sleep on and off throughout the day and night. But you can still start gradually teaching them the difference between daytime and night-time. At night, keep the lights low, speak with a soft voice and avoid playing with your baby; instead, set them down in their cot as soon as you've fed or changed them.

Over time, they'll gradually start to learn that the night is for sleeping.

You may also like to give your baby a dream feed ; this is where you half-wake your little one briefly for a feed just before you go to bed. That way, it'll be longer before they need to wake for a feed again, and you might get a longer stretch of sleep yourself.

Remember that a clear cot is a safe cot. It can be tempting to let your baby sleep with a cute cuddly toy, but it poses a risk of suffocation, so always keep toys out of the cot. The same goes for pillows and cot bumpers.

Need advice?

Our health visitors and nursery nurses are online Monday to Friday evenings to answer your queries on feeding, sleep and child health.

Ask our experts now

What to do with a 2-week-old baby

Now that you're more settled in with your baby at home, you and your little one will have had plenty of time to enjoy cuddles and get to know each other. But if you're getting a teeny bit bored of gazing at your baby's face and snuggling on the sofa, this might be the time where you start looking for some new things to do together.

If you don't already have a group of parent friends, you might want to join a group to make friends with other parents in your local area - and especially those who have babies that are a similar age to yours.

You might already have some parent friends from your antenatal class, or you could join a postnatal parent and baby class . There are all sorts of classes, whether it's baby sensory, baby music or baby yoga, which can be great for your little one's development - and you'll get to spend time with other new parents, too! Find more baby activities in your area here.

If you don't fancy joining a group, you can also find your local board in the Netmums forum to chat with and meet other new parents near you.

In terms of activities and toys for your baby, there isn't much they'll be able to do just yet, but you can wiggle toys in front of them until they're old enough to play with them!

Also try giving your baby some tummy time each day for a minute or two; just pop them on their tummy on the floor, and talk to them or wiggle a toy in front of them. This is really important for your baby's development, as it helps to strengthen their back and shoulder muscles.

Make sure to keep talking to your baby throughout the day; tell them what's going on and what you're doing. This will help to stimulate them and will help them to pick up language in the future.

You'll probably have had some skin-to-skin time with your baby in the hospital, and there's no reason why you shouldn't carry this on at home - and your partner can, too. It's a great way to bond with your baby and is also thought to have some health benefits, including regulating your baby's heartbeat, temperature and breathing, encouraging feeding and making them feel safe.

Can you take a newborn out at 2 weeks?

It's fine to take your baby out straight away if your feel comfortable doing so, unless you have been advised otherwise by a health professional.

The fresh air and vitamin D from sunlight will be good for your baby and can give you a much-needed mood boost, too - but make sure not to give your baby too much direct sun exposure. Avoid going to any locations that might be too germy, and don't bring you baby into contact with visitors who are ill; their immune system is still developing.

Read more tips on taking your baby out for the first time.

Registering your baby's birth

If you haven't registered your baby's birth yet, you'll need to do so this week if you live in Scotland, where the deadline for registering a birth is 21 days. If you're in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you've got until 42 days, but you might prefer to get it out of the way sooner.

Your body 2 weeks after birth

You're still very fresh from giving birth, so it will take a while for your body to recover, especially if you've had a C-section. Be kind to yourself; you've been through a lot!

You won't have your proper postnatal check with your doctor until about six to eight weeks after birth, but in the meantime make sure to mention any worries to your midwife or health visitor.

Stitches should heal within one month of giving birth, so they might start to look almost healed in the next week or two. But if stitches are causing you pain, paracetamol can help (and it's safe to take if you're breastfeeding).

As well as feeling generally sore, you might also still have some vaginal bleeding (lochia) , even if you've hada C-section. Bleeding can carry on for a few weeks after birth, so it might be coming to an end this week. You'll know it's stopping when the blood gradually turns into a brownish colour and the amount of blood starts to decrease.

Make sure to keep using maternity pads or sanitary towels and avoid using tampons until your doctor has given you the all-clear to do so at your postnatal check.

While sex might be the last thing on your mind right now, it's also worth noting that you can get pregnant as little as three weeks after the birth of your baby, even if you're breastfeeding and your periods have not started again yet. If sex is on your radar, you can find out more about post-baby contraception here .

Don't feel under any pressure to get straight back into shape after having your baby, as you might have seen some celeb mums do! For most women, it takes several weeks or months to get back into shape.

At this stage, some gentle exercise like a walk with your baby is enough - and you shouldn't do any strenuous exercise or sit-ups until after your postnatal check.

Pelvic floor exercises can also be a good thing to start again once you feel ready to. They'll help to prevent you leaking wee when you sneeze, cough or laugh, and they can make sex more satisfying when you do feel ready to have sex again.

Read up on the postnatal symptoms you should never ignore , and learn more about your body after the birth , including C-section recovery.

Your feelings as a new mum

You may have suffered from the 'baby blues' in the first few days after your baby was born, but those feelings should have gone away by the time your baby is two weeks old.

If they haven't gone away and you are still feeling down, or are feeling even worse, more than two weeks after giving birth, this could be a sign of postnatal depression (PND) .

Here's a reminder of the signs of PND to be aware of:

Emotional signs:

  • loss of interest in your baby
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • not being able to stop crying
  • feelings of not being able to cope
  • not being able to enjoy anything
  • memory loss or being unable to concentrate
  • excessive anxiety about your baby

Physical signs:

  • panic attacks
  • sleeplessness
  • extreme tiredness
  • aches and pains
  • feeling generally unwell
  • anxiety
  • loss of appetite

If you feel that you're experiencing some of these symptoms, do mention it to your midwife or health visitor; they'll be able to direct you to all the help and support that's available near you.

You can read more about postnatal depression (PND) here , or get support and advice from other mums in the same situation on our PND support forum .

It's also possible for dads to get postnatal depression , too, along with any parent or primary carer for a new baby. Some experts even think PND can be just as common for partners as it is for women who've given birth. Learn more about PND in dads and partners.

Looking for more information on your 2-week-old baby and what to expect as a new parent? Check out our other articles below or chat to parents in the forum.

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