Baby Development: At One Week Old

As a new mom, baby development is one of the things looked forward to. Having been in the mother's womb for nearly 280 days, the baby is born into a strange, new world. Let's find out what is the baby development within the first week.

Baby Development On the Day of Birth

·Putting on name tag

The name of the mother or father will be written on a pretty name card and attached to the newborn's hand or leg. Baby girls get a pink name card while baby boys get a blue one.

·Obtain a footprint

To prevent mixing up the newborns, it's necessary to obtain a print of the newborn's foot. The newborn's parents can even bring home the little footprint as a memento, provided it hasn't messed up while it was being printed.

After Two Days

·Meconium (the newborn's earliest stools)

After two days, the newborn will have its first defecation which is a greenish, gooey mess.

·Umbilical cord turns transparent

Initially, the umbilical cord is wet and sticks onto the belly button. After two days, it'll turn white and transparent. It'll gradually blacken, dry up and then fall off.

After Three Days

·Vernix flakes off

The skin of the newborn is a rosy-red color. Upon birth, its whole body is covered with a slippery, oil-like substance called vernix. Generally, the vernix will flake off bit by bit after three or four days. This protective layer prevents the newborn's body temperature from falling, so it's not necessary to peel it off intentionally.

·Having its first milk

The first breast milk which flows from the mother on the second till the fourth day after childbirth contains lots of antibodies that can protect the newborn from many diseases. So it's obligatory for the baby to have the first milk. When it's suckling, the mother's body will produce a hormone known as oxytocin which will help her uterus return to a normal size.

After Four Days

·Yellow, watery stools

This appears after the newborn has completely excreted its first stools, and it's of a yellowish-green color. After suckling, it's normal for stools to turn yellow with little lumps. If the newborn is on a formula milk diet, its stools are yellowish-brown and watery.

·Take extra care if the baby is having jaundice

The newborn's liver function isn't fully developed yet, so it's still unable to process bilirubin (produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells) which will accumulate in the body. Subsequently, the newborn's skin and eyes will turn yellow. Jaundice usually appears two to three days after birth and will be at its most severe on the fourth or fifth day.

After Five Days

·Mongolian spots on the body

Mongolian spots are bluish spots which appear on the newborn's body. Generally, they appear on the buttocks, sometimes also on the shoulders, back or arms. The spots usually disappear during early childhood.

·Must let the baby burp

The newborn's stomach is not yet fully developed, so it's best to let it burp immediately after drinking milk. After sucking, don't let the baby lie down at once – let it burp first to expel air from its stomach. When lying down, if the head is placed too straight, the newborn may choke should it vomit. So try to place the baby's head on its side.

After Six Days

·Must screen for congenital metabolic diseases

This is an examination which must be done within seven days of birth. It can be done in the pediatric or health departments in the hospital. Blood will be extracted from the baby's heel and its metabolic enzyme will be examined for congenital abnormalities. Blood tests should only be administered after 48 hours of childbirth.

·Blurred vision

The dull eyes of the newborn are now bright and shiny by the sixth day after its birth. As its vision is not yet fully developed, it couldn't see its mother's face clearly. Shining red light into its pupils will cause the newborn's eyes to rotate. The baby will be in the same position as in the mother's tummy - fists tightly clenched and both legs bent into an M shape.

After Seven Days

·Umbilical cord drops off

Three or four days after birth, the newborn's umbilical cord will dry up, turn black and then harden. When thoroughly dried up, the umbilical cord will drop off completely from the belly button. Generally, it'll drop off seven or 10 days after birth.

·Jaundice disappears

Jaundice will disappear about one week after birth. If the condition persists after 10 days, the doctors must examine the newborn immediately.

That’s it for the baby development within one week. Next topic would be in detail when it comes to the baby’s one month.


Editor in Babiology, mother of two, highly passionate about sharing the pregnancy care and post delivery care learning with the readers.

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