Your 2-Week-Old Baby’s Milestones & Development

By the second week of your baby’s life, you might be starting to get into a groove with understanding what they need and establishing some routines around feeding and baby care. But it’s also possible that things still feel a little chaotic and uncertain. All of that is common—after all, your baby is still really young, and you are still getting to know each other.

In terms of development, there aren’t many huge changes that happen with your baby between their first and second week of life. Still, your baby is coming out of their shell a little more, and there are some exciting changes on the horizon that you may start to see glimmers of this week.

Let’s take a look at what to expect when it comes to your 2-week-old’s development, feeding and sleep patterns, and what you need to know about baby care and safety during this stage.

At This Age

  • Development: Your baby may have their first growth spurt at this age, and will be able to give more clear signs of when they are hungry.
  • Sleep: Your baby will still sleep a lot at this age, but there may be more times of alertness.
  • Food: You may be able to start to establish feeding routines at this age, but you should still expect frequent feedings, including at night.
2 week old baby development and milestones

Josh Seong / Verywell

2-Week-Old Baby Development

Can anyone say “growth spurt”? At two weeks, many babies have their first major growth spurt, says Amy Verlsteffen, APRN, Senior Director of Clinical Transformation at TytoCare. This growth spurt can take parents by surprise and may make feeding more difficult for some time.

Verlsteffen explains that breastfeeding parents, in particular, may find their baby’s growth spurt challenging. “[They] may feel overwhelmed at the increased frequency of wanting to eat,” she says. “My advice here is to make sure mom is drinking plenty of water and eating well also to keep up with the baby’s nutrition demands.”

At two weeks, your baby still has many of their newborn reflexes intact. These include the rooting reflex, where they will look for the breast or bottle when their cheek or mouth is stroked, and the startle reflex, where they will involuntarily startle if they hear a sudden sound.

Although your baby will still be sleeping much of the day, they will also have more periods of alertness, says Natasha Burgert, MD, pediatrician and Philips Avent spokesperson. With that, they may also have more periods of fussiness, she adds.

One of the most difficult aspects of parenting a baby of this age is when they cry, and you are not sure what the cries mean. Often, babies fuss and cry when they are hungry, but sometimes they cry for other reasons, such as when they are uncomfortable, tired, or overstimulated.

In time, and through trial and error, you will understand better what your baby’s cries mean, but keep in mind that your baby’s cries are their way of communicating. After investigating all the potential physical causes (hunger, needing a diaper change, or even having a strand of hair caught on a finger or toe), your best bet is to hold and console your baby. Rocking, shushing, singing, walking, swaddling, or wearing your baby in a baby carrier, all work great at this age.

Your baby will likely not do a lot of significant growth this week. Instead, they should be working their way back up to their birth weight. After losing weight after birth, most babies should be back to their birth weight by about two weeks, and then start to gain about one ounce per day.

However, with their two week growth spurt coming up, you should start seeing some weight gain very soon. Starting at about 1 month until about 3 months, your baby will gain 1 to 2 pounds a month and grow about 1 inch taller. Your baby’s head will grow about ½ inch each month as well.

2-Week-Old Baby Milestones

Your baby will still have poor eyesight at this age. They can mostly only see black and white colors and can’t focus on anything farther than about 8 to 20 inches. But what you might start to notice this week is that your baby far prefers looking at human faces than anything else, including your own!

As Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, MD pediatrician and consultant for Mom Loves Best, describes it, your baby may be responsive to your face, and the more animated you can be, the better. She suggests holding your baby about 8-10 inches from your face and then sticking your tongue out.

“You might notice that they will stick their tongue out in response,” Dr. Poinsett says. They may also track with their eyes for a few seconds at a time.”

In addition to being able to interact with you a little more and tracking your face when you hold your baby, Dr. Poinsett says that you may notice your baby being able to lift their head a little more during tummy time.

Yes, even at this age, you can start “tummy time,” which is basically placing your baby on their tummy on a soft, safe surface for a few minutes (3-5 minutes is fine at this age). You should only do this when your baby is awake. Tummy time helps your baby exercise and strengthen their muscles.

Additional Behaviors

Other baby behaviors and milestones you might notice at two weeks include:

  • Your baby should be responding to loud noises and the sound of your voice.
  • Any scrapes or bruising from birth should be diminishing at this age.
  • If your baby has any birthmarks, you may notice them now; a strawberry hemangioma is a type of birthmark that may appear a few weeks after birth.

If your baby doesn’t seem to respond to loud noises, you can contact your pediatrician, as your baby may have a hearing issue. You should also contact your pediatrician if your baby isn’t waking for feedings at this age, or is crying inconsolably.

2-Week-Old Baby Food

Feeding your baby is still a pretty all-consuming experience, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by this at times. At two weeks, your baby should still be feeding frequently. Siz to 8 feedings per day are common for formula fed babies. Breastfed babies will nurse 8 to 12 times in 24 hours, which may amount to every 1 to 3 hours.

Right now, it’s best to go with the flow when it comes to a feeding schedule, and continue to feed your baby when they show signs of hunger. By two weeks, you will start to become more attuned to your baby’s hunger cues and can start to feed them before they become too upset. If you wait too long to feed your baby, they may end up crying, which will make it more difficult for them to feed.

The Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP) recommends practicing “responsive feeding” at this age, which is where you learn to recognize your baby’s hunger cues and feed them on demand. Some of the hunger cues you may be able to recognize at two weeks include your baby putting their fingers in their mouth, moving their head from side to side, or making suckling motions with their mouth. These are perfect opportunities to offer your baby the breast or bottle.

Another defining characteristic of feeding at this age is that your baby begins to do some cluster feeding, which is when they tend to nurse very frequently, usually during the evening hours. Cluster feeding usually times during growth spurts, and two weeks is a prime time for this.

According to Dr. Poinsett, signs that your baby is having a growth spurt and doing some cluster feeding is that they may be more wakeful, sleeping only an hour or two at a time. They will also seem to want to feed all the time. Cluster feeding can be stressful for parents, not to mention totally exhausting. But it’s all for a good cause: helping your baby grow and stay healthy.

“Cluster feeds in breast-fed babies help to increase their mother's milk supply,” Dr. Poinsett explains, adding, “Cluster feeds in formula-fed babies are a cue to their parents to raise their feeding volume.”

2-Week-Old Baby Sleep

At two weeks, you should still be expecting your baby to be sleeping an awful lot, says Dr. Burgert. “Babies are still sleeping quite a bit—up to 20 hours per day is still normal," she says.

Your baby is still sorting out night from day, and it may not be possible for your baby to sleep longer stretches at night yet, Dr. Burgert describes. “Expecting any more than an hour or two of consecutive sleep may be unreasonable, especially if the baby is going through a growth spurt or if day-night confusion is still present,” she explains.

But all babies are different, and some babies will start to sleep longer stretches at night. The big question many parents have at this stage is whether they need to wake their baby to feed if they end up sleeping more than a few hours in a row at night.

Verlsteffen advises that it’s only important to wake your baby to feed if they haven’t surpassed their birth weight yet, to ensure that they are getting enough nutrition, and so that their growth and development is on track.

If your baby is growing well and sleeping longer stretches, you can go ahead and just enjoy it, she says. “Some babies will go longer stretches (2 to 3 hours) while sleeping and some will sleep only 30 minutes to an hour,” says Verlsteffen. “Each baby is unique and it’s important to learn their cues and cries to see how you can help meet their basic needs.”

However long your baby sleeps, it’s important that you put them to sleep safely. This means placing them in a crib or bassinet, without any extra blankets or pillows, and on their back. The AAP notes that you should never let your baby sleep in a car seat, swing, or baby seat.

2-Week-Old Baby Schedule

A day in the life with a two week old involves a lot of sleeping (well, the baby at least!), feeding, diaper changes, and some precious moments when your baby is awake and alert and you can look right into their eyes.

Besides holding your baby on your lap and gazing at them, spending a lot of time skin-to-skin with them is a great idea at this age. Skin-to-skin time helps promote weight gain, can help make breastfeeding more successful, and helps regulate your baby’s temperature. Wearing your baby in a baby carrier or sling is also a wonderful way to bond and allows you to get some things done around the house.

2-Week-Old Baby Health and Safety

You should have had your first pediatrician visit within a few days after your baby was born. You won’t likely have another visit until your baby is one month old. That being said, there may still be lots of questions you may have about your baby’s health and safety, and you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician between visits with questions.

Your baby’s Hepatitis B vaccine is the only vaccination they have at this point, and because your baby isn’t protected against viruses and infections at this point, pediatricians suggest that you be extra careful at this age not to expose your baby to common viruses that could be harmful to them.

Pediatricians usually recommend you ask anyone who will visit with your baby if they are ill, and also whether they have been vaccinated against whooping cough, the flu, and other circulating viruses. If you are uncomfortable with too many visitors at this time, it’s really okay to turn them away. You are not being rude: you are protecting your baby.

At this age, you will also want to be aware of hazards in your house that your baby may be vulnerable to. In particular, parents might not realize that babies at this age can easily fall or roll off a surface where you place them. Be particularly mindful about keeping a hand on your baby at all times when you are changing their diapers, even when you need to turn away for a second to reach for an extra diaper or some diaper cream.

2-Week-Old Baby Care Basics

Bathtime

Two weeks or so marks a very exciting moment for your baby: their first bath. You know your baby is ready for their first bath when their umbilical cord stump falls off; before this, they should only get sponge baths. But even if your baby is technically “ready,” they may be hesitant to go into the water. Don’t worry if this is the case. Just keep trying, and little by little, your baby will likely learn to enjoy bath time.

Umbilical Cord Care

Most babies' umbilical cord stumps will have dried and fallen off by 2 weeks of age. If this isn’t the case for you, you can contact your baby's pediatrician. You should never try to force it off. What can help is making sure that you aren’t getting it wet, and allowing it time to air out and dry off. It should fall off in due time.

Diaper Changes

By now, your baby should be passing more normal looking stool, no more of that black, tarry stool (called meconium) that is common in the first few days of life. Your baby’s poops will likely be yellowish and seedy (if breastfeeding) or more tan or brownish (if formula feeding).

You’re still going to be changing a lot of diapers at this age! Six wet diapers a day is common, and babies this age tend to poop multiple times a day as well. It’s good to have 6-8 diapers available each day, plus tons of wipes. Setting up multiple diaper “stations” in the house is convenient, because you never know when you’ll need to change another diaper.

What Else to Know About Your 2-Week-Old Baby

Even at two weeks, breastfeeding may still be challenging for both you and your baby. Some babies continue to have trouble latching, and other babies aren’t gaining weight as fast as they should be. If your baby’s latching is causing cracked, sore, or bleeding nipples, or if your baby is not gaining weight despite frequent breastfeeding, you should consider reaching out to a lactation consultant.

Although giving up breastfeeding is a valid choice for any parent, continuing to have breastfeeding challenges at two weeks is actually quite common, and most of these issues can be successfully addressed with help, and with patience.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does a baby develop at 2 weeks?

    At this age, your baby will start to have more “quiet alert” times, they may become more attuned to the sound of your voice, and may begin to start articulating their needs to you through fussing or crying.

  • What can a 2-week-old baby see?

    Two-week-old babies can still only see about 8 to 20 inches in front of them, but by now, they are better able to focus on your face.

  • What can I do with my 2-week-old baby?

    Your baby will still spend a lot of time sleeping, but they love to be held as much as possible (you can’t spoil a young baby!), and enjoy skin-to-skin time, rocking, and being carried in a baby carrier.

  • How long should my 2-week-old sleep at night?

    Babies this age still sleep a lot, up to 16 to 20 hours a day. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily sleep many hours in a row; they wake frequently for feeding and to be soothed.

  • Why is my baby so fussy all of a sudden at 2 weeks?

    Your baby starts to “wake up” a little at 2 weeks, and may start to express themselves through crying and fussing more often. Your baby also has a growth spurt at this age, which can make them fussier.

  • How much milk does a 2-week-old drink?

    It’s normal for a 2-week-old to drink about 2 to 3 ounces per feeding, and to feed every few hours around the clock.

  • How often should a 2-week-old poop?

    Your baby should have about 3 to 4 poops per day, though it’s normal for some babies to poop a little more or a little less than that.

A Word From Verywell

Two weeks is an exciting time for your baby, as they begin to show you a little bit more of their personality, and as you begin to see the beginnings of some new skills develop. But 2 weeks is also an important transitionary time for you, especially if you are recovering from giving birth. Your body still won’t be quite “normal,” but should be progressing toward a new normal.

Importantly, two weeks post-partum is when your hormones begin to even out. During the first two weeks of your baby’s life, it’s common to experience “the baby blues” as you move through sleep deprivation and hormonal changes. But soon after that, your mood should be more balanced. If, after two weeks, you are still struggling with your mental health, you might be experiencing a postpartum mood disorder, like postpartum depression.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your baby’s pediatrician if you have any questions about their growth or development at this age, and if you are struggling in any way with your postpartum recovery, please reach out to your OBGYN or midwife.

24 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.

Originally written by
Chaunie Brusie, RN
Chaunie Brusie, RN
Chaunie Brusie is a registered nurse with experience in long-term, critical care, and obstetrical and pediatric nursing.
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