The newborn baby

  • Sees
  • Hears
  • Roots & sucks
  • Sleeps
  • Cries

 

Vision 

The newborn baby

  • ´┐╝Can focus on an object, with preference for the human face
  • Can follow incompletely to both sides with the eyes
  • Is short-sighted
  • May occasionally cross his/her eyes
  • Can distinguish colours
  • May occasionally open the eyes widely and look downward with bright light or sudden noise

 

Hearing

The newborn baby reacts to sound by

  • Cessation of activity
  • Change in facial expression
  • Turning the head in the general direction of a sound

 

Rooting and Sucking

Rooting is a reflex response to stimulation of the middle portion of the face where baby turns his/her head to the point of stimulation and takes the stimulating object into the mouth.

The sucking reflex consists of four phases

  1. Latch on to the breast. At least two-thirds of the areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple) should be in the baby’s mouth.
  2. Forward thrust of the tongue
  3. Compression of the areola
  4. Swallowing

 

Sleep

The newborn baby sleeps 18-20 hours per day and the periods of sleep and wakefulness are evenly distributed through the day.

 

Crying

The newborn baby may cry because of

  • Hunger
  • Discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Desire to be held

 

Growth

The newborn baby will lose up to 10% of birth weight in the first week of life.
Birth weight should be regained or exceeded by age two weeks. 
Baby should thereafter gain about 1 ounce per day in the first month.