Congrats, new mother. After a long nine-month wait, I hope the feeling of holding your tiny bundle of happiness in your arms brings you immense joy. You must be waiting for their smile, their laugh and their adorable sounds; just like you watched on some social media. But the truth is In the beginning, your newborn will only feed, sleep, cry, poop and repeat. Yes, that's true, that's what your first month of motherhood gonna look like.
But after the first month, there will be a noticeable increase in alertness and receptiveness. Over time, the baby will start demonstrating more fluid and well-coordinated bodily movements, particularly in terms of bringing their hand to their mouth, becomes more attentive, observe you.
During the first month of life, newborns undergo various movement milestones as they adapt to their new environment and develop basic motor skills.
- Strong reflex movements like When a baby's cheek is touched, they turn their head in the direction of the touch, if something touches their lips, they start sucking.
- More hand and foot movements: Keeps hands in tight fists and If an object is placed in a baby's palm or foot pad, they will grip it tightly. Brings hands within range of eyes and mouth when hungery or sleepy.
- Limited head control: During the first month, babies start gaining some control over their head movements but If a one-month-old's head is not supported, it will tend to flop backwards.
- Limited Arm and Leg Movements: While babies' arm and leg movements are still quite uncoordinated, you might notice them waving their arms and legs randomly. These movements are essential for muscle development.
Visual and Hearing Milestones
- Eye Contact: Babies begin to focus on faces and can maintain eye contact with caregivers for short periods.
- Tracking Objects: They might track moving objects with their eyes, but see distant objects as blurry because they are nearsighted.
- Preference for High Contrast: Newborns can detect light and dark but can't see all colors. This is why many baby books and infant toys have distinct black and white patterns.
- Respond to Light: Babies react to changes in light and shadow, becoming more attentive to changes in their visual environment.
- Turning Toward Sounds: Infants might turn their heads or show a change in facial expression in response to sounds or voices.
- Startling at Loud Noises: Hearing is fully developed in newborns. Babies are likely to startle in response to sudden loud noises.
- Interest in Sounds: Babies may exhibit interest in various sounds, especially those that are soft and rhythmic and gentle sushing or white noise.
Smell and Touch Milestones
- Strong sense of smell: Babies have a very strong sense of smell, Your baby is getting used to different smells but can still find strong aromas overpowering.
- Prefer smell of their mother: Newborns prefer the smell of their own mother, especially her breastmilk
- Babies prefer sweet tastes over sour or bitter tastes. Babies also show a strong preference for human milk and breastfeeding.
- Babies are comforted by touch. Placing a hand on your baby's belly or cuddling close can help him or her feel more secure.
- Calming Response to Gentle Massages: Massaging a baby's body with gentle pressure can help relax and soothe them, enhancing the bond between caregiver and baby.
- Exploratory Touch: Babies begin to explore objects and surfaces through touch, using their hands and fingers to feel different textures.
- Response to Different Temperatures: Babies are becoming more sensitive to changes in temperature and may react to warm or cold surfaces.
Things To Watch Out For Newborn Baby
If, during the second, third, or fourth weeks of your baby’s life, she shows any of the following signs of developmental delay, notify your paediatrician.
- Not able to latch and suck
- Doesn’t blink when shown a bright light
- Doesn’t focus and follow a nearby object moving side to side
- Rarely moves their arms and legs; seems stiff
- Seems excessively loose in the limbs, or floppy
- Lower jaw trembles constantly, even when not crying or excited
- Doesn’t respond to loud sounds
Developmental milestones can vary among babies. Some may reach these milestones earlier, while others might take a bit more time. If you're concerned about your baby's development, don't hesitate to discuss your observations with your pediatrician. Regular check-ups with a doctor are crucial to monitor your baby's growth and ensure they're meeting their developmental milestones.