Your baby's reflexes
Getting a grip-understanding the reflexes that come naturally.
Your baby already has a good grip, and many automatic reactions or reflexes.
His startle reaction to sudden noises is just one of these. Other reflexes include:
- The grasp reflex that lets your baby grip his rattle, only to immediately drop it because he can’t hold on
- The rooting reflex that helps your baby open his mouth and find the nipple for feeding
- Yawning to increase the air in his lungs
- Pulling back if he is hurt and sneezing to clear his nose
- Turning his head to one side if his breathing is blocked
Nurturing your baby's intellectual and social development
Together time: Interaction between you and your baby, even at this young age, will help determine his intellectual, social, and emotional development. How you respond to his cries, satisfy his needs, and show him love will determine how he sees the world later.
Sensory motor development
Sensory overload-from the dark womb to a world full of sights and sounds.
From the moment your baby enters this world he's learning.
Keep in mind that he has lived nine months in a dark, warm, and cozy womb and is now in the bright big world. His senses are being bombarded.
When your baby sees and hears he may:
- Stare at objects, but not reach for them, and see best within 12 inches of his face
- Like bold shapes and high-contrast objects, such as a black and white bull’s eye
- Love looking at faces, and your expressions, and may imitate them
- React negatively to loud voices or music
- Cry, stiffen his body and legs, or thrust his arms outward and pull them back to his chest when startled by a noise
- Like sounds that change, such as a voice or music
- “Keep time" to your voice with arm and hand motions (Babies seem to react more to normal, rhythmic speech than to nonsense vowel sounds, which may be the beginning of language and critical to development)
What your baby loves to touch, taste, and smell:
- Babies love the feel of different textures
- Some babies love the feeling of cuddling with you
- Most babies’ lips seem to be particularly sensitive to touch. They react to a touch on the lips by smacking their lips and sucking
- Babies can also taste and smell from the time of their birth and have turned their heads away from strong odors when tested
Dreaming of sleep
Coping with your 1-month-old's unpredictable sleep patterns can be a challenge.
Newborn babies often seem to have no real sleeping pattern.
Often sleeping 16 to 18 hours a day, your baby will probably sleep for two to three hours, wake up, eat, and go to sleep again.
At about 6 weeks old, his sleep and wake pattern will begin to become established, and by 16 weeks, he may have settled into a regular schedule. So there is a routine in the not-too-distant future.
Napping One Minute, In-Love the Next
You're head-over-heels in love in one moment, and ready to drop off to sleep the next. In between naps for both of you, you're learning the basics about understanding your baby.
Get a head start by learning more about:
- Your newborn's appearance
- Sensory motor development
- Your Baby's Reflexes
- Nurturing your baby's intellectual and social development
- Dreaming of Sleep