He Found His Voice
Your baby is 5 weeks old today and boy, is he getting stronger – not only physically, but vocally too! If you put one of your fingers into his palm he’ll hold it firmly because his hands are still quite fisted. Try putting a rattle, small maraca or even a shaker toy in his hand and he should be able to hold it for a little longer. The sound makes it even more interesting for him. I remember when my son was this age, I put a small square shaker in his hand and his arms jerked so much he hit himself in the head with it! I don’t know if it was the sound it made that distracted him or maybe he just has a really hard head, but he did not make a peep and kept shaking it until it fell out of his hand a few seconds later.
You may have also observed that your baby’s once soft cries have started to become louder and appear impatient. When he is hungry, especially, his cries translate to a feeding being imperative. He is still vocalizing “ah” and “eh” and maybe even “uh” now. Don’t forget to say these sounds back to him (or make up a song and sing it back to him) as this is a foundation for your baby’s language and communication. When my daughter was a little over a month old, my husband decided one day to sing the song “We are the champions” by Queen to her while carrying her and dancing at the same time. For some reason, she loved it and whenever she was irritable, he would sing and dance with her while singing that song and she would stop fussing immediately!
Right about this time your baby starts to eat fairly regularly — every two to three hours during the day. If you’re baby is taking formula, he should be able to stretch his feedings to every three hours during the day and if you’re lucky, he may spread the feedings out to every four to five hours at night. That means more regular sleep for you! If you’re breastfeeding, however, you still may feed him every two hours as breast milk does not stay in his tummy as long. If you want to stretch his feedings to three hours, you can try offering your baby a dummy. But remember this about the dummy: if your baby is able to put himself to sleep, just use the dummy to satiate his sucking need to stretch him out to three hours between feedings and don’t let him fall asleep while sucking on the dummy. Otherwise, he may start to rely on sucking on the dummy to fall asleep.