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What to Expect From a 3-Day-Old Baby

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Welcoming a newborn into your life is a beautiful and transformative experience. The first few days of your baby's life are filled with wonder, adjustment, and discovery. This article aims to provide insights into what you can expect with a 3-day-old baby, offering guidance and support as you navigate this precious time together.

1. Sleep Patterns:

At three days old, your baby will spend a significant portion of their time sleeping. Newborns typically sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day, with sleep cycles lasting around two to four hours. These sleep patterns are essential for their growth and development. However, it's important to note that their sleep may be fragmented, and they may wake frequently for feeding, nappy changes, or comfort.

2. Feeding:

Breastfeeding or formula feeding will be the primary source of nutrition for your 3-day-old baby. During this stage, it's normal for newborns to have frequent feedings, typically eight to twelve times in a 24-hour period. Breastfed babies may nurse more often than formula-fed babies due to breast milk being digested more quickly. Pay attention to your baby's hunger cues, such as rooting, sucking motions, or hand-to-mouth movements.

3. Nappy Changes:

Newborns tend to have several wet and soiled diapers throughout the day. On average, you can expect around 8 to 12 wet nappies and 3 to 4 bowel movements per day. The stool of a breastfed baby is usually yellow and seedy, while formula-fed babies may have firmer and pale-colored stools. Keeping track of your baby's diaper changes can help ensure they are well-hydrated and their digestive system is functioning properly.

4. Reflexes and Motor Skills:

At three days old, your baby will still exhibit several reflexes, such as the Moro reflex (startle reflex), rooting reflex (turning towards touch on the cheek), and the grasp reflex (holding onto objects placed in their hand). While their motor skills are limited at this stage, you may observe subtle movements, such as stretching, kicking, and hand movements.

5. Sensory Development:

Your 3-day-old baby is beginning to explore the world through their senses. They may respond to sounds by startling or turning their head toward the source of the noise. They can also recognize familiar voices and may find comfort in the sound of your voice. Their vision is still developing, and they can see objects within a range of 8 to 15 inches. High contrast patterns, like black and white images, can capture their attention.

6. Bonding and Interaction:

During these early days, bonding with your baby is crucial. Engage in skin-to-skin contact, cuddling, and gentle touch to strengthen the parent-child bond. Talk to your baby, make eye contact, and respond to their cues. Although their responses may be limited, they can recognize familiar faces and voices, finding comfort in the presence of their caregivers.


The first few days with your 3-day-old baby are a time of wonder, adjustment, and immense love. Understanding what to expect during this stage can help you navigate the challenges and fully embrace the joy of parenthood. Remember that each baby develops at their own pace, so be patient and enjoy the precious moments with your little one. Cherish the journey as you watch your baby grow, learn, and discover the world around them.

By Katalin Kaszas

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