The first six weeks of your baby’s life are an exciting time as you see your little one change in that time. In fact, your baby will undergo a series of changes in his/her first year which are amazing to see.

You could produce a video journal which shows all of these changes as they only happen the once. This is a nice way of recording all those changes in a similar way to producing a photo album but instead with the latest technologies.

This is also a scary time as you now have to learn to care for your little one. How do you bath your baby? Should you breastfeed or use formula milk? How long will it be before your baby sleeps during the night? What are the signs that your baby is not well?

As you might imagine questions such as this cause a great deal of anxiety but this is entirely normal. Every parent has experienced this so you are not alone in feeling anxious or uncertain.

What to expect in the first 6 weeks

Here is a list of the most common issues associated with the first six weeks following birth. They include:

  • Bathing your baby
  • Sleep
  • Nappy changing
  • Feeding
  • Crying
  • Illnesses and infections
  • Safety

Bathing your baby

Bathing your baby is one of the most enjoyable aspects of baby care but is also a source of anxiety for some parents. They are unsure about the right way of doing this and don’t want to harm their baby in any way.

If this applies to you then visit our how to bath a baby article. This article contains information and advice about the best way of cleaning your baby.


Sleep or rather lack of is another feature of the first 6 weeks. A new baby will sleep for many hours but this is short 3 hour naps which continue into the night. The outcome of this is broken sleep for you and your partner which accumulates over several days.

Try and encourage your baby to develop a good sleep pattern, i.e. awake in the day and asleep during the night. This is discussed further in our new baby and sleepless nights article.

Nappy changing

Nappy changing is one of the less pleasant aspects of baby care but nevertheless, it has to be done and on a regular basis. Nappies themselves have moved on from the old style Terry towelling affairs to the disposable nappies which make this task much easier.

It does get easier over time.


Feeding is another of those issues which concerns many parents. Is breastfeeding the best option or should you use milk formula? Breastfeeding is still considered the best way of feeding a baby as it ensures that they get all the essential nutrients they need but formula milk is a good alternative.

This is discussed in greater detail in our breastfeeding or milk powder article.


All babies cry, which is the only way that they can communicate with their parents. A new baby will cry between one to 3 hours a day which may seem a lot but there is a reason for this. Your little one will cry because he/she needs his/her nappy changing; is hungry; tired or needs a cuddle from mum or dad.

But a new baby will cry if they are not very well so it is a case of deciding whether he/she wants something or is unwell. If the crying is accompanied by symptoms such as a fever or sounds different from normal then contact your health visitor or GP.

Illnesses and infections

Babies are especially vulnerable to disease and infection as their immune systems are not fully developed. This means that they are less effective at fighting off an illness.

Common conditions include colds, upset tummy, and chickenpox and ear infections.

If you suspect that your baby has an illness or infection then ask your GP or health visitor for advice.


This means ensuring that your home is safe for your little one. Remove any objects which are likely to cause harm and make sure that he/she can explore (which he/she will do when crawling!) without coming to any harm.