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Newborn Health




Many new parents do not know what is “normal” newborn behavior. Babies develop at different rates, but generally display much of the same behaviors. Therefore it is important for you to know what kind of behaviors is expected of your newborn so that you can identify if they have a problem.

You can learn a lot about your newborn’s mood by how he/she responds to sights, sounds and touch. You'll probably notice that his/her behaviour falls into one of six different states at any given time:

Deep sleep
Your baby's eyes will be closed and still. His/her breathing will be regular and he may make an occasional startle.

Light sleep
This is also known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Your baby's eyes will be closed, but they may open briefly. He/she may move, startle and make the occasional sucking motion.

This is your baby's semi-dozing state. He/she is not fully asleep, but is nearly there. His/her eyes open now and then, and movements made are smooth.

Your baby's eyes will be open. His/her attention will be focused and will be still.

Active and alert
Your baby will be bright-eyed. He/she will move around and may make brief, fussy cries and startles.

Your baby will cry hard in this state. He/she may squirm around and be difficult to pacify.

You'll soon recognise these patterns and be able to respond to your baby's behaviours. You may learn that you need to rouse your baby a little before a feed. Or that he/she needs to be in an alert state before he/she starts playing happily. As you begin to understand your baby's wants and needs, you'll quickly become an expert in understanding and reacting to his/her mood or behavioural patterns.

When will my baby take his first step or utter her first word? During their first year, babies start to develop skills they will use for the rest of their lives. The normal growth of babies can be broken down into these following areas:

Gross motor
Controlling the head, sitting, crawling, maybe even starting to walk.

Fine motor
Holding a spoon, picking up a piece of cereal between thumb and finger.

Seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling

Starting to make sounds, learning some words, understanding what people say.

The ability to play with family members and other children.

Babies do not develop at the same rate. There is a wide range of what is considered "normal." Your baby may be ahead in some areas and slightly behind in others. If you are worried about possible delays, talk to us at Clique® Clinic.