Here at YumYum Kids, we love being able to provide our readers with information on a range of different topics. This year, we are going to be publishing a series of articles on the milestones of your little ones. Keep tuned as there will be a new instalment to the series every few weeks. We will begin with newborn milestones.
While it might not seem like it, your newborn baby is hitting a huge amount of milestones in their first weeks. In the first few days of their life, they have a lot of adjustments to make. After being used to the warm, snug environment of the womb, the big wide world is very loud, cold and bright. They have so many new skills to master, just to be able to survive daily life.
Eating is a vital life skill, and one that your newborn will need to master pretty quickly. If you are breastfeeding, then they will need to learn to latch correctly so that your milk flows properly. And if you are formula feeding, they will need to learn how to suckle from a bottle. Most newborns will pick this up in the first couple of days. If you and your baby are having trouble, then there is plenty of advice available from lactation consultants, or your midwife.
Do not expect to get much sleep during the newborn phase. While your newborn can sleep up to 16-17 hours a day, their sleep schedule is irregular and unpredictable. They will not be able to distinguish between daytime and night, so will wake whenever they need a feed or a cuddle. That will probably be every 2-3 hours at least.
This age is far too young to try and establish a sleep routine. But you can begin to introduce the concept of day and night to your little one.
Their little brains are like a massive sponge, they will soak in everything around them. You will find that your newborn will stare at you intensely. They are taking note of your movements, your sounds and your actions.
The newborn phase is a time of learning for both baby and parents. Your life will be turned upside down by this little bundle, and you will all need to learn to read each other’s cues. This is such an important time to bond. Cuddle your newborn as much as they need, you cannot spoil them with love.
Sight: Did you know that your baby can only see in black and white at birth? And they can only focus on things that are about 8-12 inches away. Their recognition of colour will begin to develop in the first few months. One of the first sight milestones is recognising the faces of their parents. They will prefer your faces to any others. They will also begin to track movements with their eyes.
Hearing: Your baby’s hearing will be fully developed at birth. An important milestone to look out for is if they startle to loud noises, like a door slamming, or the vacuum cleaner starting. Being startled means that their hearing is functioning well. They should also be able to recognises when loud noises begin and end.
Movement: Newborns have very little control over their muscles, most of their movements are reactive. In the first few weeks of life they will discover their hands, and start to kick their legs in a jerky and uncoordinated way. They will also begin to wriggle, grasp things that are put in the palm of their hand, and turn their head when you touch their cheek. These are all precursors for the upcoming bigger movements of crawling, standing and walking.
It is important to remember that every child progresses at a different rate, you should not compare your child to another of the same age. However, if you do have any concerns with your child’s development then visit your doctor.
If you enjoyed this article on newborn milestones, then stay tuned for the next instalment of milestones for 0-3 month olds due in a few weeks.