What can you expect when your baby is 11 weeks old?
Your baby is almost three months old – where has that time gone? By now you must have a lot of questions about what milestones your baby should have reached, or what you should expect during this eleventh week. Here’s the most common questions most new parents are asking this week, and all the answers you’ve been searching for…
How should an 11-week-old baby be physically developing?
By now your baby will have grown almost three inches since birth. They should have also gained about 2-3 pounds if not more. They’re probably outgrowing all of their newborn clothes by now and are on their way to sleeping in a cot as opposed to a Moses basket.
Their legs and arms should be straightening out a bit as they grow, and they’ll be filling out too, with fat pads developing in their cheeks.
As they start kicking and punching more, you’ll notice they’re gaining more control over their muscles and improving coordination. They may even have enough control to push up now when they lie on their tummy.
How should an 11-week-old baby be cognitively developing?
While their co-ordination won’t be fully developed for months, they should be improving their movements so as to be less jagged and a tad more controlled. You’ll notice this when they reach out to hit something dangling above them. This early playtime is an important part of their cognitive development and helps them understand cause and effect – when they hit something, it moves.
Early play is a great time to test to hand-eye co-ordination, so keep them stimulated with hanging toys. Try hanging them over your baby’s chest, not eye-level, as this will be easier for them to reach for as they play. It’s also beneficial to use noisy toys, as they help your baby understand where sounds come from. You may notice they’re much more engaged with different types of music.
While they won’t be talking for a while, by 11 weeks, you may notice they respond to your chatter in their own little way, cooing when you leave them time to reply. It’s a great start to developing language, as well as chatting to them when they’re happy and excitable, as your voice is by far their favourite to hear.
What jabs should an 11-week-old baby have?
You're one week away from your second immunisation appointment, as they should have had their first at eight weeks old. If that didn’t go so smoothly, check out our advice on how to keep your baby calm during their second round of vaccinations.
At their first appointment, they received their first dose of the 5-in-1 injection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Hib (haemophilus influenza type B). The 12-week immunisation will call for a second dose of this plus a second dose of the Rotavirus vaccine.
Don’t worry, you still have a week to wait before you have to worry about this one, but it may be best to start preparing yourself now.
How much should an 11-week-old baby be sleeping?
You’ll notice your baby is sleeping a lot less than they did ten weeks ago, usually around 15 hours over 24 hours. By now, you'll hopefully be having more restful nights, with your baby sleeping ten hours (fingers crossed), the remaining five will be spread out over three or four naps throughout the day.
Don’t worry if your baby is not fitting into one particular sleep routine, every baby is different and they’ll still be waking up to feed during the day and night. If you’re worried their daytime naps aren’t frequent enough or long enough, follow this advice from baby sleep expert Jo Tantum: 'Watch for his tired signs – rubbing eyes and ears, staring into space, getting grumpy, yawning, then take him into his room. Total blackout, sleeping bag and cuddles, try wave sounds to help calm him, too. Try giving him a comforter to hold – I suggest a muslin square knotted in the middle as this helps as his motor reflexes are wanting to grab things so this can really help comfort him.'
If your baby is waking you up in the night when their dummy falls out, it may be time to stop using it at bed time. Although they find it comforting, you want to try and avoid your baby becoming dummy dependant. You’ll have a few sleepless nights at first, but it will be worth in in the long run.
How much should an 11-week-old baby be eating?
By 11 weeks, your baby will be taking more at each feed and therefore feeding less frequently. About 5-6 feeds over 24 hours is average at this age, but if they’re feeding more or less than this do not worry - as long as your baby is at a healthy weight, everything is fine! If you need a good guideline for feeding if you’re using formula or if you’re expressing, try 150-200ml per kilo of their weight.
11-week-old baby crying: Dealing with colic
Good news, if you’ve been dealing with colic, it should be starting settle down. If you need more advice on how to settle your crying baby, this guide might help.
How much should an 11-week-old baby be pooing?
Worried about what you’re finding in your baby’s nappy? Our baby poo colour chart should ease your mind.
As your baby is feeding less, you may notice they’re not pooing as often. Some babies can go days without pooing – it might sound worrying, but is completely normal as long as the stool they pass is soft and painless. The only time to worry is if your baby seems constipated, or in pain while pooing. Check out these signs of baby constipation if you’re concerned, and head to the doctor for some medical advice.
Milestones of an 11-week-old baby
- Reaching and grabbing: As your baby is getting used to reaching and grabbing, try helping their development at playtime by placing toys within their reach when they lie on their stomach. This will help them practice reaching from a more complex position, and is great if they’re already pushing themselves up. Try this when they are sitting in their chair too, although don’t make it too difficult or your baby will soon lose interest.
- Start to baby proof your home: Your baby is likely starting to chew almost everything it finds, which means it’s time to clear away all those tiny or unsanitary objects that could be choking hazards. Don’t be alarmed by this new-found habit, at this age, your baby will discover new objects with their mouths and will probably keep it up until they’re around two years old. There’s also a positive to this new trait – it can actually help your baby develop chewing muscles for when they move onto solid food in a few months’ time.
- Sleep routines: Finally, those sleep routines you started a few weeks ago should start to pay off. Your baby is starting to understand the difference between nighttime sleep and daytime sleep. Don’t worry if they still wake at night for feeding, but take advantage of these nights of restful sleep if you’re lucky enough to be getting them. If you’re not, do not panic – you’ll get there eventually.
- Your baby’s personality: As your baby starts to make regular faces and sounds, you’ll notice them developing a little personality. This is an adorable, special time when you’ll start to see your baby’s characteristics coming to life. Allow them to watch your facial expressions and respond to theirs, it will help them understand social interaction better.
What problems should parents of an 11-week-old baby be aware of?
- Flat Head Syndrome: If your baby doesn’t like spending time on their tummy (which is very normal – a lot of babies don’t), you may notice the constant time on their back is causing a flat spot to appear on their head. This is Flat Head Syndrome and can be managed by reducing the amount of time your baby spends on their back.
- Crying with purpose: Your baby’s crying may be louder now and more purposeful now. They’re starting to understand they can get what they want, be it soothing or something else, by crying. You’ll start to tell the difference between what each cry means with time. Don’t worrying if you’re finding this difficult, babies usually settle down with their crying around three months.
- Postnatal Depression: Postnatal Depression can occur at any time in the first year of your baby’s life. Are you overwhelmed by guilt or feelings of failure? Do you feel like everything could go wrong and it’s all your fault? You may want to visit your doctor and talk about the possibility of postnatal depression. With one in ten women dealing with it, you’re definitely not alone.