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Typical Behavior of a 6-week-old Newborn

by Eliza Martinez, studioD

During the first six weeks of your baby's life, she makes major strides in development. They may not seem like much to you, but they are important for her. Knowing what behaviors are common at the six-week mark lets you monitor your baby for milestones that she should hitting during this time. If you are concerned that she is not meeting them in a timely manner, contact your baby's pediatrician.


At six weeks, your baby is still going to spend a good deal of time sleeping, but you'll probably begin to notice periods of longer wakefulness. Your baby's neck is getting stronger, and he'll probably be able to hold his own head up for a few seconds. He is probably spending more time looking around when he's awake too. When your baby gets excited, he probably waves his arms and legs. Babies at 6 weeks of age begin to have more control over their hands, too, so you might see your infant moving his hands to his face or showing preliminary reaching for toys.


No, you're not having a conversation with a 6-week-old baby -- at least not a traditional one. However, babies at this age are able to communicate in rudimentary ways. Your infant still cries when she's hungry, tired or has a soiled diaper, but she may also coo at you when you talk to her and make eye contact with you for several seconds when you interact with each other. If your baby needs a break from the toys or your voice, she might turn her head away from you.


You might have noticed that your 6-week-old baby seems drawn to toys and objects that are black and white. Babies at this age haven't fully developed their vision yet, so they like to look at objects with a lot of contrast. This helps their brains learn definition and borders, while also helping build their eyesight. Your baby also recognizes your face, which you'll notice when you look at him. He will show signs that he knows who you are, including holding eye contact and perhaps even smiling. He knows that you care for him and will meet his needs.


At 6 weeks old, your baby is living on breast milk or formula. Most doctors don't recommend anything else at this age. Different from her newborn behavior, though, your infant is probably developing an eating pattern that you can begin to rely on. She probably displays hunger at similar times during the day and eats similar amounts during each feeding. Some babies are still setting a routine, so don't be too worried if you aren't there yet.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

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