Bringing Out the Best in Your Baby Part One
This is going to be a three-part series on what to expect from your baby’s development up until the age of 3 months. The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney created a booklet to give to NSW mothers discussing these developmental milestones, however I think every mother no matter where they live would benefit from it’s information and this is how this blog has come about.
It is important to enjoy your baby’s developmental milestones and I think the best way of doing this is to know what you would be expecting to find for your baby at certain ages. It is however important to know that every baby is different. If your baby was born prematurely then you wouldn’t be expecting your baby to be meeting the exact developmental milestones as a baby that was born at term. Keep everything in perspective and do not get stressed if your baby isn’t meeting the exact things that have been discussed in this blog. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with your baby, but rather that we are all different and unique; and this includes developmental pace.
BIRTH TO ONE WEEK
SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL – ACTIVITIES TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BABY’S DEVELOPMENT
- Hold and cuddle your baby often, especially when the baby seems troubled
- Cradle your baby when feeding (whether breast or bottle). Maintain eye contact with baby during feeds as this helps with bonding
- Spend time with your baby during the short periods of time that baby is awake. This helps in getting to know your baby
- Softly massage your baby after bath and before night’s sleep
SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL – DEVELOPMENT STAGES TO ENJOY
- When a face moves across line of vision, baby may briefly focus and follow
- When asleep, baby is generally not aware of any surrounding noise
LANGUAGE & UNDERSTANDING – ACTIVITIES TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BABY’S DEVELOPMENT
- Smile and talk to your baby, keeping your face close to your baby’s
- When talking to your baby, make eye contact and keep your face close to your baby’s
- Sing to your baby. This helps language development
LANGUAGE & UNDERSTANDING – DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES TO ENJOY
- Baby uses crying to communicate hunger, feeling cold or hot, needing a nappy change etc
- Baby prefers human faces to all other patterns or colours
- Baby is startled by any loud sound
- Stroke your baby’s hands allowing baby to clasp your fingers
HAND MOVEMENTS – DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES YOU CAN ENJOY
- Baby’s hands are usually closed, but not in a tight fist
- Baby’s hands close around objects placed in the hand, as a reflex
BODY MOVEMENTS – ACTIVITIES TO ENCOURAGE YOUR BABY’S DEVELOPMENT
- Encourage head control by holding your baby upright facing you with one hand, supporting baby’s head and back. Smile and talk to your baby
BODY MOVEMENTS – DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES TO ENJOY
- Baby lies on tummy with knees drawn up underneath
- When held providing support under the arms, baby may make stepping movements (these will disappear by 2 months of age)
You will be so in love with your baby that any noise or action that your baby will make will be so exciting. Enjoy this time with your baby. The first week is full of long days and nights but enjoy every minute as they grow so quickly.
This is a great American YouTube Video on “Newborn Development – Week One”. It has some great information in it and I thought it would be beneficial for our readers.
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. (2011). Bringing Out the Best in Your Baby. Sydney, NSW.
(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).