Newborn Development ~ Helping Your Baby Along the Way
What are the stages of baby development? To get a good start on a new life, you will need to attend to some key activities, that will help with the physical development of newborn babies.
Baby's Basic Needs
Your baby will be learning new things every day, and the opportunities for development of a baby are endless. After your baby is born, it can be overwhelming to think about your role in newborn growth and development. However, tending to your baby’s basic needs is a good place to start. This means that you should respond to your child’s needs when they let you know that there is something wrong. Help your baby progress in this way.
When baby cries, it generally means that there is something wrong. Perhaps they are tired, hungry, or need a diaper change. Responding quickly to these needs will let baby know that they can rely on you.
An important part of newborn development is learning to interact with those around them. Your baby needs stimulation from the moment they are born without being over stimulated. You can help your baby with this by talking to them softly, mimic their “talking", and by holding them close to your face, and making faces. Stick out your tongue, or raise your eyebrows, and see if your baby begins to mimic your expressions. These are the important first baby stages of development.
Newborn baby development happens with or without your help, but you can give your infant some advantage. Your newborn’s eyesight is not fully developed. They recognize deep contrasts in colors. This is why the use of black and white toys, pictures etc. are helpful to your baby.
You can make a small poster for baby’s bassinet that has a black and white checkerboard pattern. It will give them something to look at and explore and will help to develop their eyesight. Watch as your child interacts with these items and you will see infant development in action.
Tummy time is imperative in the early stages of newborn development. Because of the risk of SIDS, babies should always be placed on their backs during sleeping times however, when they are awake, you should encourage some time on their tummies, this helps them to build their neck muscles and to start pushing themselves up after a while. Your baby may not like this position at first, but you should do it early as they will just become more resistant as time goes on.
Breastfeeding and Baby Milestones
Breastfeeding is important in an infant’s development. Your baby will be meeting many developmental milestones and will need the nutrition that only you can give to help them along the way. Breastfeeding has advantages in cognitive development and this will also increase the rate at which your child will meet these milestones for babies. Read the advantages of breastfeeding here, where we discuss the importance of breast milk in connection with your baby’s development.
Milestones for babies include… Interacting with others, sitting up, crawling, and many other skills. You can get your baby to understand that the world around him/her is a safe place for them to be in, you should be able to achieve this through touch and by meeting baby’s other needs. In this process, you will become important to them, and they will become important to you. The process happens rapidly, so don’t blink.