five weeks of age, when the corners of your baby’s mouth curl up, you can safely attribute it to an actual social smile(unless, of course, you happen to detect that telltale odor that means it’s time for another diaper change). And who better to practice those first smiles on than Mom and Dad? (Yes, you!) So keep up those loving interactions with your baby (the little things that mean a lot — like talking, singing, and cooing to your baby) and all three of you will have plenty to smile about.
Something else your 5-week-old baby will smile about around now: music — whether it’s you singing your way through a diaper change or the radio humming in the background. Your baby’s acutely aware of other sounds too, like bells, barking dogs, vacuum cleaners, and whistles. He or she may kick with pleasure at these sounds, cry out, or quiet down to get a better listen (a lot depends on whether they’re sounds that became familiar in utero). Just be sure to note which sounds calm down your baby best so you can recreate them when you need it most!
Your five-week-old is becoming increasingly alert, and may be awake up to 10 hours out of every 24 (but not all at once, and not necessarily in the daytime, unfortunately). Before long, that sleep-awake pattern will become more and more predictable (with baby taking two to three naps of two to three hours each a day). Which leaves a lot of waking hours for your bouncing baby to learn new skills (like bouncing), take in the world — and interact with Mom and Dad. And here’s the best news of all: When it comes to stimulating your baby, no special toys or tapes or DVDs are necessary. Nobody does it better (or more lovingly) than you. Every time you cuddle, read, sing, hug, touch, and respond, you’re giving your baby what he or she needs most to thrive.