Development of the newborn

Your new baby is almost totally developed. A baby has the rudiments of all the necessary and characteristic traits of adults. All five senses are intact although not fully developed.

Touch and hearing are the baby’s primary impressions of the world. The closeness of being held, as well as a soothing voice (male or female) are very enjoyable and necessary for the baby. It gives the baby stimulation and a sense of security. The warm attentive way in which you care for your baby is more important than the skill. By your patient response to a baby’s wants, you show the child love and make the baby feel safe and secure.

A baby can see at birth, but cannot recognize objects. A baby is naturally farsighted and may be cross-eyed at birth. A baby must learn to control and coordinate the movements of his eyes, which may take up to six months.

Taste and smell are not well developed at birth but will improve. By the time the baby is on baby food, your baby will make its tastes know to you.

You may notice a tremor or jerking movements, especially with crying. These are normal reflexes. Your baby has little muscular control. Movements are primarily related to reflexes such as startle, grasp, sneeze, blink, gag, yawn, and cry. These movements will gradually be replaced by voluntary, purposeful movements over the first year.