Newborn Development At 0
Cuddling, sleeping, feeding. Thats what its all about in the first few months.
Your baby is also learning a lot as you spend time together every day. Your babys brain is growing and developing as they see, hear and touch the world around them.
Around this age faces are the most interesting thing to your baby, and your baby might be able to follow your face with their eyes. Your baby will also like looking at toys with contrasting colours like red, black and white, as well as toys with faces or patterns like swirls or checks.
Your one-month-old can hear you and knows your voice, but your baby might sometimes startle when they hear you or another sound.
Although eye contact is one way your baby tells you they want your attention, your baby communicates with you mostly through crying. For example, your baby will cry or make throaty noises if they need you.
Your baby might lift their head briefly when theyre lying on their tummy or turn it to the side when theyre lying on their back. This helps your baby see where you are and whats around them.
Sometimes your baby will hold your finger, but most of the time theyll keep their hands in a tight fist.
Helping Newborn Development At 1
Here are a few simple things you can do to help your newborns development:
- Spend time with your baby: try reading and telling stories, talking and singing. Doing these things every day also helps your baby get familiar with sounds and words. In turn, this develops language and communication skills your baby will need when theyre older.
- Smile at your baby: when your baby sees you smile, it releases natural chemicals in their body. This makes your baby feel good, safe and secure. It also helps your babys brain develop and builds attachment to you.
- Play with your newborn: this helps your babys brain to grow and helps your baby learn about the world. It also strengthens the bond between the two of you.
- Give your baby tummy time: 1-5 minutes of tummy play each day builds your babys head, neck and upper body strength. Your baby needs these muscles to lift their head, crawl and pull themselves up to stand when theyre older. Always watch your baby during tummy time and put your baby on their back to sleep.
- Try baby massage: baby massage is a great way to bond with your baby. It can also be relaxing and soothing if your baby is cranky.
Sometimes your baby wont want to do some of these things for example, they might be too tired or hungry. Your baby will use special baby cues to let you know when theyve had enough and what they need.
What Factors Determine My Newborns Physical Growth
Different things can affect a babys size at birth. The length of the pregnancy is important. Babies born around their due date or later tend to be larger than those born earlier. Other factors include:
- Size of parents. Big and tall parents may have larger-than-average newborns short and petite parents may have smaller-than-average newborns.
- Multiple births. With twins, triplets or other multiples, parents can assume their babies may be a bit small. Multiples have to share their growing space in the uterus, and theyre often born early, which leads to smaller size at birth.
- Birth order. First babies are sometimes smaller than brothers or sisters born later.
- Gender. Girls tend to be smaller, and boys larger, but the differences are slight at birth.
- Moms health during pregnancy. Babies may have a lower birth weight if the mother has high blood pressure or heart problems or has used cigarettes, alcohol or illegal drugs during the pregnancy. If the mother has diabetes or is obese, the baby may have a higher birth weight.
- Nutrition during pregnancy. Good nutrition is vital for a babys growth before and after birth. A poor diet during pregnancy can affect how much a newborn weighs and how the infant grows. Gaining a lot of weight can make a baby more likely to be born bigger than average.
- Babys health. Medical problems, including some birth defects and some infections during the pregnancy, can affect a newborns birth weight and later growth.
Read Also: How Do You Wash A Newborn Baby
What Can My Baby Do At This Age
Although a newborn spends about 16 hours a day sleeping, the time a baby is awake can be busy. Much of a newborns movements and activity are reflexes or involuntary the baby does not purposefully make these movements. As the nervous system begins to mature, these reflexes give way to purposeful behaviors.
Reflexes in newborns include the following:
Newborn babies not only have unique reflexes, but also have a number of physical characteristics and behaviors that include the following:
- Their head sags when lifted up and must be supported at all times
- They turn their head from side to side when lying on their stomach
- Their eyes are sometimes uncoordinated and may look cross-eyed
- They initially fix their eyes on a face or light, then begin to follow a moving object
- They begin to lift their head when lying on their stomach
- Their movements are jerky and erratic
- They move their hands to their mouth
Advice For Every Parent
Did you know that up to 75% of each meal goes to build your baby’s brain? Or that over 80% of your babys brain is formed by the age of 3?*
With every hug and every kiss, with every nutritious meal and game you play, youre helping to build your babys brain.
Here are some tips to help give your child the best start in life:
Read Also: How To Become A Newborn Hearing Screener
Low Lights When Awake
After 9 months in the dim light of the womb, a newborns eyes take a few weeks to adjust to more intense light. In low light and when awake, newborns will open their eyes and look around the room for a few moments. This early looking helps them practice working both eyes together and also exercises their pupillary reflex, where the pupil gets bigger or smaller based on different amounts of light. You can help develop your babys brain-eye connection by gradually varying the intensity of the light . You can use a dimmer switch, a low lamp, or curtains when your baby is alert.
Parents Influence May Be Key
When trying to encourage your little ones development, consider that researchers who examined Einstein and other high achievers believe certain parenting behaviors may lead to more successful adults.
Harvard Universitys Ronald F. Ferguson, PhD, and Tatsha Robertson, the authors of The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children found those influential parenting behaviors include:
- encouraging a childs independence, but intervening when necessary
- introducing new ideas and possibilities to a child
- making very strategic parenting choices based on your childs unique needs
Recommended Reading: How To Keep My Newborn Awake During The Day
Teach Language And Numbers
32. Echo Sesame Street. Dedicate each week to a letter of the alphabet. For instance, read books that start with A, eat A foods, cut snacks into an A shape, and write A on the sidewalk with chalk.
33. Count everything. Count how many blocks your toddler can stack. Or the number of steps in your house. Or their fingers and toes. Make a habit of counting out loud, and soon they’ll join in.
34. Read books. Again and again! Babies as young as 8 months can learn to recognize the sequence of words in a simple story when it’s read two or three times in a row, a skill that is believed to help them learn language.
35. Tell tall tales. Choose your child’s favorite story and swap in their name for that of the main character.
36. Go to the library. Take advantage of story time, puppet shows, and other educational activities, and walk with your baby down the rows and rows of books.
Take Care Of Yourself During Pregnancy
Your babys brain development starts while they are still in the womb. Proper nutrition and avoiding things like smoking and drug or alcohol use can help your child to reach their full potential.
Regular healthcare during pregnancy can help to prevent complications and premature or preterm deliveries that can impact a babys brain.
Recommended Reading: How Much Sleep Is Too Much For A Newborn
Exploration Of New Sounds
Around 4 weeks, your baby will likely start to show more interest in a variety of sounds and patterns. Help them build more lasting neural networks by exposing them to sounds from real life, rather than the pre-recorded sounds made by electronic toys. Experiment with sounds that are high-pitched, low-pitched, slow-paced, lively, soft, etc, introducing just one sound at a time.
When your baby is alert and the room is quiet, make simple sounds in their field of vision: tap on the glass, rattle your keys, snap your fingers. These everyday noises are routine for you, but theyre brand new to your baby. Try to involve your baby as much as possible, talking about what youre doing and what theyre seeing, even though they wont understand what youre saying quite yet.
Some sound-exploring ideas to get started:
- Tear or crumple up paper in front of your baby.
- Pour dry pasta into a pan, tap a spoon against a bowl, or make other common cooking noises.
- Turn a doorknob, ring a doorbell, and open or close the blinds or windows.
- Play and dance along to music.
As with other forms of stimulation, be sensitive to your babys reactions. If theyre unhappy, its time to take a break.
What Can Your Baby Do
At 1 month, most of what babies do is still caused by reflexes. They arent thinking about their actions. They will be sucking, swallowing, searching for milk and grasping an object if you put it in the palm of their hand . They will also step one foot in front of the other if you put their feet on a flat surface.
They will start to focus with both eyes at 1 month and should be able to follow a moving object from side to side. They will probably prefer looking at a human face to looking at an object and will gaze deeply into your eyes if you hold them about 45 cm away. Most babies can recognise their parents by this age.
1-month-old babies love the sound of your voice, but they will get startled if they hear a loud noise. They might fall backward and throw their arms and legs out, blink their eyes and breathe faster.
By the end of the first month, most babies can raise their head when you lay them on their stomach, and they will turn their head to one side. As their neck muscles get stronger, they will be able to turn their head and lift it up when theyre in a car seat or carrier.
Your baby will cry loudly when they are hungry or uncomfortable. When they are happy and content, they usually make little gurgling noises. Respond to your babys sounds by gurgling and cooing back.
At 1 month, some babies will be learning how to soothe themselves, with a or even by sucking their fingers or thumbs. Helping your baby to suck is a good way to calm them down.
Recommended Reading: How Much Breastmilk Does A Newborn Need
Why Sleep Matters For Motor Skills
Changing baby’s sleep direction can help strengthen baby’s neck muscles and head control
Changing head direction can help prevent positional plagiocephaly and positional torticollis, by encouraging baby to move their head and strengthen both sides of their neck. When baby faces different directions as they lay, they also vary the direction they turn their head in response to a noise . This strengthens neck muscles more evenly on both sides, and changes the places where baby puts pressure on their head as they lay.
How To Raise A Smart Baby
Confused by the sheer number of smart baby toys, books, and videos? Relax. All your baby really needs to boost brainpower is you.
Academic achievement. College scholarship. Presidential aspirations.
These used to be phrases parents tossed around at their kid’s high school graduation.
“Parents have always wanted the best for their babies, but now it seems there really is a much more focused attempt, and more worry and concern about doing the right thing to encourage baby’s growth and development, particularly brain development,” says Nina Sazer O’Donnell, director of National Strategies for Success By 6, a United Way of America learning initiative.
The concerns are not without merit. While a portion of a baby’s 100 billion brain cells are prewired at birth — mostly the ones connected to breathing, heartbeat, and other physiological survival functions — it is during the first five years of life that much of the essential wiring linked to learning is laid down.
While experts say baby brain development is still largely a mystery, what we do know is just how great a role natural parenting instincts can play in putting your baby on the fast track to success.
You May Like: When Will My Newborn Sleep Longer
Provide A Sense Of Security
Starting in the first weeks of baby development, infants need reassurance that their needs will be met â so when your baby cries, respond.
It’s particularly important that parents respond to needs reliably to encourage baby’s development. “You build attachment and trust by providing predictable routines and consistent caregiving,” Miller says. A regular schedule of baby activities, such as feedings and naps, provides a sense of control. “Within this environment, babies develop into secure and independent children,” she says.
Baby Growth Chart Calculator
Keep an eye on your babyâs height, weight, and head circumference to average growth with our simple tool.
*Input details of your babyâs last measurements**Source: World Health Organization
Tracking Wet and Dirty Diapers
Itâs natural to wonder whether your baby is getting enough to eat. One way to check is to keep track of diaper changes â how many you change, and how they look. In the first few days, donât be surprised if your babyâs poops are thick and dark green or black â these are your babyâs normal first bowel movements, made up of meconium. After this meconium has passed, his stools will switch to a yellow-green color, and become softer and runnier. Each baby is different, but you can probably expect at least six wet diapers and at least three or four poopy diapers a day.
Other signs your baby is eating enough include if you can hear your baby swallow, and if he seems content for a few hours after nursing. Over a longer period of time, your babyâs healthcare provider will help check your baby is getting enough nourishment by monitoring his growth.
Although those first few diaper changes can be challenging, youâll soon be a pro! In fact, youâll be changing so many diapers youâll may feel you deserve a prize. Well, you do! Download the Pampers Rewards app and turn diapers and wipes into fun toys for your baby, lovely treats for you, or useful coupons to put toward your next Pampers purchase.
Recommended Reading: How To Fix Newborn Sleep Schedule
Motor Skills: Know The Basics
Why does my child need motor skills?
- To be able to move and complete tasks independently
- To be able to explore the world around them, which promotes cognitive, speech, and sensory development
- To give them confidence and independence, which promotes skills such as executive function
- To meet developmental milestones
- To possibly help prevent early motor delays and conditions that can interrupt development
When should my baby start developing motor skills?
As a newborn! They will begin developing core motor skills as soon as they start moving. or visit our Baby Games page to learn more about the physical activities that are age-appropriate for your little one, to help them make progress on their motor skills every week.
How often should my child work on their motor skills?
The short answer: every day!
As they get older, your little one will be working their motor skills every day just by going about their daily routine and getting more involved in activities! However, for infants and toddlers, they may need extra stimulation to work their motor skills. Make sure you are encouraging physical movement and development of these skills on a daily basis.
What are some important motor milestones?
All motor milestones are important! Which means its crucial to ensure your baby is meeting their milestones. You can find all motor milestones or learn more from the Assure the Best brochure.
Learn more about encouraging your baby to crawl!
Enhance Baby Activities With Toys
Around 6 months, when a baby has the motor skills necessary to sit up and grasp or retrieve objects, introduce interactive toys that facilitate baby development. “Toys that roll will stimulate a baby to go after them and encourage her to move,” Wible says. “This is also a good time for colorful toys, pop-up toys, and things that surprise.”
Recommended Reading: How To Put A Newborn On A Schedule
Smart Babies: Trust Your Instincts
As society gave birth to a brave new high-tech world, parents everywhere began assuming that high-tech learning was essential if baby was to grow up and prosper.
Turns out, nothing could be further from the truth.
Indeed, one popular form of smart baby technology — learning videos such as Baby Einstein — received low marks in a study designed to evaluate their effectiveness in helping baby brain development. The research, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, showed that not only were these so-called baby brain tools not helpful, they may actually slow word learning.
But experts outside the study say it may not be the videos themselves that lead to these dismal results, but more a matter of what the videos replace: Good old-fashioned one-on-one parent-to-baby contact.
“It may be as simple as the fact that for every minute a baby is in front of a screen, they are not engaged with a loving, familiar caregiver … and infants learn from loving adults,” says Jill Stamm, PhD, author of Bright From The Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind From Birth to Age 3.
O’Donnell agrees: “What mattered to babies a thousand years ago is still what matters today: You, the parent, are your baby’s best learning tool.”
Moreover, O’Donnell says that educational TV — shows like Sesame Street or even videos like Baby Einstein — are not necessarily a bad thing, as long as they are in addition to, and not a replacement for, one-on-one contact.