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Your New Born Baby (0 Months)

Congratulation! For your new born baby!

Despite how much you may know about newborns in general, you know almost nothing about your little tot. You would probably do a lot of guesswork until your baby gets accustomed to the world outside the womb, and you have somewhat understood a little about her behavior.

Behaviors that may puzzle You!

There are little, little things about your baby that's going to confuse first time parents or even seasoned parents. They are still adapting to the change and new surroundings. Something so natural and second nature to you like breathing is something totally novel to the little baby. Here are but some of those things:


With small lungs breathing may seem shallow, irregular with occasional snuffling sounds. Breathing in neonatal is through the nose. Their nasal passages are lined with mucus that causes them to cough and sneeze frequently but this does not mean they have a cold. Sneezing is also a reaction to bright lights caused by nerve stimulation found in the nose and eyes.


Irregular contractions of the diaphragm known, as hiccup is common. You don't need to do anything; they normally go away by themselves. Hiccups reduce significantly after a few weeks.


This is a common occurrence for babies to bring up some milk when being burped. The texture is lumpy rather than liquidy because it is curdled. Usually it happens due to overfeeding.


It may take weeks for baby to settle into a predictable routine. She may be hungry every 30mins, every 2hrs, every 3hrs; or after half an hour now, then again 2hrs later and then 4hrs after that. If she takes a while to build a feeding schedule, there is no need for concern. Everything takes time. It is normal for your tot to lose weight for the first few days after birth, only to gain it back. Any concerns on nutrition contact your baby's pediatrician.

Early Reflexes:

The sudden, unexpected little movements (reflexes) your baby makes may surprise you. Reflexes develop in the initial periods to help baby fend for himself. When a newborn is startled, which is often, he responds by arching his back, kicking his legs and flailing out his arms. This is known as the Moro Reflex. It resembles a baby attempting to grab something with both hands and legs. Rooting reflex is when your baby is searching for food. She will open her mouth and turn her head toward that side if you stroke her cheek. When your baby is drowsy or sleeping, you may notice her smiling. She is in a dreamy state; this is termed Reflexive smiling. Soon enough she will be smiling back in response to your smile.


It is difficult to keep baby awake and equally difficult to wake her up from her nap. In the initial weeks she won't be able to distinguish night and day and will spend most of the day sleeping, feeding, pooping. Her alert moments are just a few minutes at a time, often before eating or during baths. But all babies are different. They cannot be typecasted in any regard. Some sleep 15hrs out of 24 from the start and have several waking minutes in the day; others sleep almost 22hrs and are groggy when awake. There is little to do this month except to go along with their self-imposed behaviors. Sleep apnea is a condition fairly uncommon but it is good to be aware anyway. It is a temporary cessation of breathing that occurs during sleep. Babies hold their breath for 10-15 seconds; with gentle nudging they grunt or snort and breathing resumes. This problem is more prevalent in premature or low birth weight infants. They usually outgrow this condition. Make notes of the frequency and duration of apnea episodes and discuss with your doctor.

Newborn Senses & Your Sensibilities!

Brain growth:

A baby's brain grows most rapidly from the last trimester of pregnancy through the first 3 months of life. Stimulation from you helps make his nerves stronger. Interacting with his environment with your help develops connections in his brain. Avoid over-stimulation as it results in fussy, cranky babies.

Baby's hearing:

Although your baby's middle ear is still somewhat immature at birth, as are the sound processing centers of his brain, your newborn can hear you and will prefer human speech over any other sounds, especially if the voice is yours. Hearing sounds are very important to baby. They can recognize mum's voice over other female voices. Speak in low tones, hum and sing when baby is restless. Get baby accustomed to white sounds from the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher or washing machine, running water as these sounds can soothe babies too. Use baby's name often, in parentese or regular speech and he will soon recognize it. Introduce baby to the music world through CDs, radio, and musical toys.

Baby's vision:

At birth, a baby's vision is very poor — about 40 times worse than an adult with good vision. Even so, the baby can still see a lot. Although her eyes are capable of excellent vision, her brain is still too immature to distinguish between different shades of color. She'll prefer bright colors to duller ones and sharp contrasting images, and her favorite thing to look at will be a human face, especially one with expressions. She is near-sighted and will stare at objects placed in the 8-12 inches range of her vision. Very soon she will be able to see objects that are 18 inches away. She is able to recognize mum's face from the rest. To help build eye muscles, move your head from side to side which would encourage baby's eyes to follow you. Although they prefer black and white patterns, introduce baby to bold colored shapes.

Baby's taste:

In the womb, your baby gets a sampling of flavors as he swallows amniotic fluid. Studies have shown that fetal swallowing increases with sweet tastes and decreases with bitter or sour tastes. That explains the liking for milk, both breast and formula milk, since they are sweet.

Baby's touch:

Your newborn's skin is his largest and most highly developed sensory organ. At birth, your baby can respond to variations in temperature, texture, pressure, and pain. Your newborn's lips and hands have the largest number of touch receptors, which may account for why newborns enjoy sucking on their fingers. Touch your baby's skin often; massage baby, hold baby close to you. The more love and affection you display by touching, the more self-assured and happy your baby will be.

Top 5 soothers


Your baby's mouth muscles stimulates the release of endorphins during sucking - the body's natural feel-good chemicals. This helps her relax; as well as blocks the pain. Sucking also offers a distraction from the pain.


Cradling your baby helps control her limbs and the feeling of containment helps her feel less distressed. Cuddling is particularly effective when you hold your baby with her hands together on her chest and her fingers near her mouth. Try swaddling your baby by wrapping her up firmly in a blanket.


Rocking motion stimulates cells in your baby's inner ear, which have a calming effect. However this may backfire when baby is ill or in pain as any stimulation may distress her further. So if she does not respond to your rocking quite soon then stop.

Gentle massage:

Gently, but firmly rub your warm hands over her bare skin. The contact with you, as well as the gentle motion of deep touch, may be just the thing to get your baby completely calm and even ready for a sleep.

Warm bath:

Many babies love water as it reminds them of the cozy, watery world of the womb. Without too much fuss, run a lukewarm bath.
If you have tried everything you know to calm your baby, and nothing seems to be working, take a break before you become stressed and frantic. If possible, call in someone else to take over for a while. If that's not an option, then leave your baby safely in her cot, close the door and go to another room. If you are lucky, your baby may just cry herself to sleep.

Milestones-your newborn's achievements

Physical development:

His grasp reflex is developing. He may briefly hold onto something before letting it go
e.g. your finger. Play this game with your baby to strengthen hands and fingers:

• Hold your infant in your lap.

• Put your index finger in your baby's hand.

• She probably will grasp your finger, as this is a natural reflex with newborns.

• Each time she grasps your finger, say positive words or praise your baby.

• Just reaching for an object helps the brain develop hand-eye coordination.

Head movements:

Turns his head from side to side to follow object with his eyes, called tracking. May be able to hold up his head for brief seconds when placed on his stomach. According to research, developing strength and balance lays the groundwork for crawling. This is a game that strengthens the back and neck:

• Lie on your back and put your baby on your tummy.

• With your hands firmly around his chest, raise him in the air and up to your face.

• Say the following and do the actions:

Where's my baby?

There he is. (lift him up to your face)

Where's my baby? (bring him back down to your tummy)

There he is. (bring him back up to your face)

Where's my baby? (bring him back down to your tummy)

Up high, high, high. (bring your baby up high over your face)
Starting to move:

When your baby kicks legs in the air, he is starting to move. He will move more as he grows older. Leaving him unattended even for a minute on any high level surfaces such as the changing table is not advisable as he can risk a fall.

Toys and Play

Choosing appropriate toys:

Think about your baby's capabilities when choosing toys. The smart move is to select toys that he can play with in many different ways as he matures. However avoid toys that are too intricate for him to enjoy. If you have not bought her a hanging mobile yet, now is the right time for one. She will enjoy the music and the moving colorful figures. Music box or CDs of soft lullabies

Make funny faces:

Babies love to watch faces with expressions. You can play with him by holding your face about 12 inches away from his and making funny faces. Stick out your tongue. Blow gently on his neck. Hold his hands near your eyelashes so he feels the movement. Open and close your eyes and mouth in an exaggerated manner. Babies at four weeks are able to use their facial expressions to engage your attention. It becomes a duo game.

Put baby in the middle of things:

It is beneficial and fun for baby to be part of the everyday family interaction. Carry her in sling as you go about your daily chores. Seat her in her bassinet during family meals.

Talk to your baby:

When you play with baby, vary your tone of voice (switching pitches) between parentese and low tones. Talking in high-pitched, singsong tone of voice (parentese) causes her heart rate to increase, an indication of a cheerful and secure baby. Alternate this with regular speech, which will soothe and comfort baby. Babies not only enjoy this but also stand to gain as it helps them to recognize connections between objects and words. Babies will also start to understand that communication is a means of expression. Sing nursery rhymes and clap your hands while you sing. Read him books, a magazine, anything; baby is more interested in your voice than the material at this point.

Your baby's first check-up:

Most babies have their first medical checkup within the first few weeks after birth.


Most well baby checkups begin with measurements of your baby's length, weight and head circumference. Keep a blanket handy to undress your baby. The measurements will be produced on a growth chart. The doctor will use these measurements to make sure your baby's growth is on mark from one visit to the next.
Head-to-toe physical exam


The doctor will check the size and softness of the fontanels, the soft spots on your baby's head. These gaps between the skull's bones give your baby's brain plenty of room to grow. They're safe to touch and typically disappear within 12 to 18 months, when the skull bones combine together. Your doctor will also measure baby's head and make a record of it.


The doctor will check for fluid or infection in your baby's ears with an instrument called an otoscope. The doctor may check the shape of your baby's ears as well. If there is any wax buildup, your doctor will note it, as well as fluid behind the eardrum.


The doctor will look for blocked tear ducts and discharge, may examine the inside of your baby's eyes with an instrument called an ophthalmoscope. The doctor will look for crossing of the eyes (strabismus) and ask if you've ever noticed your baby's eyes crossing at home. Baby's eyes are examined to see how the pupils dilate; vision and eye movement will be assessed with a moving light in baby's visual field.


The doctor may check your baby's sucking reflex by placing a fingertip or pacifier in your baby's mouth. A look inside your baby's mouth may reveal signs of oral thrush, an easily treated yeast infection common in babies this age.


Doctor will examine the nostrils to check on infections. Nasal passages are checked for signs of abnormal development that could interfere with breathing.


The doctor will look for various skin conditions, including birthmarks, rashes and jaundice - a yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes. Mild jaundice that develops soon after birth often vanishes on its own within a week or two, but more severe cases may need simple therapy or other treatments. The doctor will also make sure the area around your baby's bellybutton is beginning to heal.

Heart and lungs:

The doctor will listen to your baby's heart and lungs with a stethoscope to detect any abnormal heart rhythms, sounds or breathing difficulties. Heart murmurs are common in infants and are rarely a concern.


By gently pressing your baby's abdomen, the doctor can detect softness, enlarged organs or an umbilical hernia. Feeding routine and bowel habits will be addressed and discussed.

Hips and legs:

The doctor will move your baby's legs to check the hip ligaments and joints and overall muscle tone as well. Legs and feet are examined for proper growth and development.


The doctor will inspect your baby's genitalia for tenderness, lumps or other signs of infection. He or she will also check for an inguinal hernia, which results from a weakness in the abdominal wall. For boys, the doctor will look for descended testicles and a hydrocele, a fluid-filled sac around the testes in the scrotum. If your son was circumcised, the doctor will make sure the area is beginning to heal.

General development:

Even with limited head, arm and leg movements the doctor is able to assess muscle strength and tone of baby. Your baby's reflexes and overall responsiveness will be checked during this visit.

Discuss with your Doctor during the appointment on any issues or doubts you have. Your doctor will ask a series of questions on your baby's well being, feeding and sleep patterns and on how well you are coping with your new baby as well as your well-being in general. Be ready to describe a typical day with your baby. Be sure to bring up whatever's on your mind. Nothing is too trivial when it comes to caring for your baby. Your well being is important, too. If you're feeling depressed, stressed out or exhausted, explain what's happening. Your baby's doctor can offer suggestions to help you get through this challenging time.


Many babies are given a hepatitis B vaccine in the hospital nursery shortly after birth. If your baby's had this vaccine, he or she is off the hook for this visit. If not, the hepatitis B vaccine may be given now.

Temperature readings and what they mean

Sometimes you will be required to take your baby's temperature and that can be quite a task, especially when the little one is unwell. You can take baby's temperature rectally, axillary or with an ear thermometer.
Axillary thermometer:

When you take temperature under his arm, use a rectal thermometer. Make sure your baby's underarm is clean and dry before placing thermometer in the armpit. Press baby's arm tightly against his side or hold it across his chest to keep the thermometer in position. After 4-5 minutes remove and read.
Ear thermometer:

This is fairly new in the market but the preferred choice over others for older babies. Lay baby on his back on a safe surface and turn his head away from you. Gently pull back on his ear to straighten the ear canal and point the thermometer into the ear canal. Activate the thermometer. Wait for the beep, and repeat the procedure in the other ear. Use the highest number. Because of the difficulty with correct placement in young babies accuracy might be affected.

A list of what a normal reading should read:

Axillary temperature: 95 to 99F (35 to 37.2C)

Ear temperature: 97.8 to 99.7F (36.6 to 37.7C)

Rectal temperature: 98.2 to 100.4F (36.8 to38C)

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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