Your baby is two weeks old today, the first week is tough for new parents, so good job for making it through! When you think about your baby’s gross motor skills, your first thought may be of her crawling. However, head control is a big part of your baby’s gross motor skills. By this time, you have noticed that your baby still does not have much head control and it looks a bit floppy when you have her upright, so be sure to gently support the head whenever you are holding her.
If you have other children, and if you haven’t already prepared them for your new baby, take the time to explain to them how fragile their younger sibling is. You may also want to teach them how to safely interact with her – rough touching vs. gentle touching, loud voice vs. soft voice and etc. It is very common for the older sibling(s) to want to hold and help care for the newborn baby so always show them how to support your baby’s neck while holding her.
It can’t be said enough: Tummy time! Tummy time! Tummy time! For safety reasons, always have your baby do tummy time on the ground and never leave her unattended on the sofa, bed, changing table and etc. As you have learned in the first week, tummy time is so important for your baby’s development because it strengthens her neck, upper back and trunk muscles. So while she is engaging in tummy time, she is motivated to lift her head and all of this contributes to later gross motor skills.
You may also notice that your baby’s hands have been tightly fisted with her fingers covering her thumb. Do not to be alarmed, this is totally normal! Tightly fisted hands will continue as fine motor skills continue to develop. At this time, however, if you opened your newborn’s hand and placed a small rattle in it, her hands will automatically close around it to hold it tightly.
Communication between you and your baby is still a work in progress right now since other than her crying you may hear grunting sounds. But when cries, try to figure out what she wants as she is learning to trust that when she cries her needs will be met.