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Newborn Baby Development:
Tips, Practical Information and Shortcuts

Your baby from birth to 6 monthsNewborn baby development probably starts, for most babies at least, with the move from hospital to home. Your baby is usually fine about this, but, while you are glad to be home, during those first hours and days alone with your baby, even with the support of family and friends, you can feel quite wobbly, and not just physically.

You are responsible for this tiny, precious creature. Don't be scared. Despite things being a bit hectic, enjoy this time. Before you can imagine it will be over and you will be waiting at the school gates for your very independent child.

Here are a few resources for making those first few weeks easier:

Also have a look at these newborn baby checklists to find the things that you haven't considered!

Dry diapers for newborn babies This toy is particularly popular for providing newborns with soothing sounds A portable rocker for newborns is always a useful utility to have around
Dry diapers Soothing sounds Portable newborn rocker

The reality at birth

Ever since your baby was conceived all those months ago he has been developing, and right from the day of his birth this will continue apace. Not that they are all at exactly the same stage when they are born.

A very premature baby for instance may need help in breathing because of immature lungs and cannot always open his eyes.

Some of the first things that happen in a new baby are things you cannot see: the closing of openings in the heart now that blood needs to flow to the lungs, the transfer from infant haemoglobin to adult haemoglobin, and a few others.

First newborn baby development areas

Your baby's eyes are not fully mature at birth - s/he can only focus at quite short distances at first - but this includes the distance between the face of the person feeding him and his head when he is feeding. It will take 6 months before his eyesight is fully developed with full color vision and depth of field.

At first baby relies on reflexes, for instance he will turn his head towards something soft brushed across his cheek - a necessary reflex if he is to find food.

Baby has to learn to control his head. This is why he needs support when you pick him up. Nor has he realized where his body stops and the rest of the world begins. During the next few months as this idea develops you will see him exploring his body, looking at his hands and feet and so on.

Other development areas

His stomach is still quite tiny - holding about as much as an eggcup - so it is not surprising that babies need feeding little and often.

At first babies cannot differentiate between night and day. It can be quite a while, especially in a summer baby or one living in an area with bright street lights, but the process can be speeded up by the use of blackout curtains.

Although some immunity is passed over from mother to baby of himself his immune system is quite underdeveloped. This is why it is so important that breast feeding is continued as long as possible and that all feeding equipment is sterilized before using.

A tub for newborns is definitely a must-have. Make sure you can use if for your baby up to the toddler years. Take along tunes is one of the most popular educational toys your newborn can enjoy soon after birth. The newborn bottle starter kit is another essential must-have for first time parents
Newborn to toddler tub Take along tunes Newborn bottle starter set

How to boost newborn baby development

However small your baby he is learning all the time. This is why it is very important not to establish bad habits at times such as bed time. If you always rock your baby to sleep you will be doing this for many months to come, but if, on recognizing the signs of sleepiness, you quite quickly put your baby down in his cot and leave him to settle, then this is the pattern s/he adopts.

Newborn babies cannot control their tongues and co-ordinate this with swallowing. For this reason in almost every case weaning cannot begin before 5 months of age and even then he may spit food out - not because he doesn't like it, but because he cannot work out what else to do with it.

One of the very simple, yet highly effective things you can do to encourage and stimulate newborn baby development is by using the right educational toys described here in more detail.

Obviously there are lots more newborn baby development news. But rather than just rambling on about things we hope would interest you, why don't you tell us what you'd like to know?

The waterfall peek-a-boo soother is not an essential tool, but surely is very handy for first-time parents Infant video monitors have become very popular over the last few years for ensure infant safety Jacques the Peacock is a highly popular infant educational toy, especially for teaching different textures
Waterfall Peek-a-boo soother Infant video monitor Jacques the Peacock

Any questions about newborn baby development?

If so, you're more than welcome to post them on this page. It's a great way of getting great advice and experience from many moms and other experts.

Here are a few more things of interest about newborn babies you may find helpful:

Need any newborn baby development answers?

Have something that bothers you about your newborn baby's development? Let's hear it!

Read Other Newborn Baby Development Topics

Click on the links below to read other great Newborn Baby Development topics. They were all written and contributed to by other visitors to this page.

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Newborn Bowel Movement Concern 
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Newborn Developments 
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