My newborn baby: a whole new world
Congratulations, and welcome to motherhood. You might feel elated and anxious or be experiencing any range of emotions, but one thing is certain: You have a year of incredible firsts ahead for both you and your newborn. Here is some useful information as you begin your first month of motherhood:
Newborn baby sleep patterns and tips
- Your baby will likely sleep for two to three hours at a time, 16 to 18 hours a day.
- Try to feed your baby on a consistent schedule to establish a sleep routine.
- Share unusual sleeping changes or concerns with your pediatrician
Have questions about SIDS?Learn about SIDS at the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Feeding your newborn baby
If you are breastfeeding, learn tips to help your baby latch on, plus common feeding positions and more in Breastfeeding Basics. And if your baby is fussy at feeding time (whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding), try to ease his discomfort by using our Tummy Trouble Tool.
Here are a few tips for getting into this new ritual:
- Feed him frequently, in small amounts. A newborn is not very hungry the first two or three days.
- Learn to recognize "ready to feed" signals, including lip smacking, tongue movement, and eye fluttering. Crying is a late signal for hunger.
- Talk softly to your baby during feedings to help him recognize your voice and associate it with nourishment.
Your baby's sensorimotor development in Month 1
How your baby sees in the first month
- He stares at objects, and sees best within 12 inches of his face.
- He likes bold shapes and high-contrast objects, such as a black and white bull's-eye.
- He loves looking at faces, especially your expressions, and might imitate them right away.
How your baby hears in the first month
- He generally likes sounds that change, such as your voice or music, but might react negatively to loud sounds.
- His hearing is well developed, but he will not look for the source of the sound.
- When startled by a noise, he might cry, stiffen his body and legs, or thrust his arms outward and pull them back to his chest.
Your baby's early reflexes
- Grasping lets your baby reach for rattles or your fingers, but not hold on to them.
- Yawning increases the volume of air in the lungs.
- Rooting helps him open his mouth and find the nipple for feeding.
- Pulling back signals pain or injury.
- Sneezing clears the nasal passages.
- Turning his head to one side helps open his airway if his breathing is blocked.