Growth and Development, Newborn - Topic Overview
How can you help your newborn grow and develop?
The most important way to help your baby grow and develop is to
communicate with him or her. Use a high-pitched voice, gentle touch, hugs, and
kisses. An environment that is rich in stimulation, comfort, and loving
attention enhances many areas of a baby's development. Research shows that
babies who are talked to throughout their first few years usually learn
language skills more easily than those who are not. Newborns are more
interested in their caregivers than they are in toys or other objects.
How do you know if you are caring for your newborn correctly?
You may feel overwhelmed during your baby's first
month and wonder "Am I doing this right?" No previous life experiences prepare
first-time parents for this new role. It is completely normal to be confused
and frustrated by your newborn.
You will become familiar with
your newborn's needs by paying attention to his or her behavior. For example, a
fussy cry and turning away usually means "Change what we are doing." And an
alert, bright-eyed look means "I am interested in what's going on." Trusting
your instincts—to cuddle and rock a crying baby or to talk to your baby in a
high-pitched "baby talk" voice—is usually the "right" thing to do. You will
begin to develop a rhythm with your baby, where you will be able to read each
other's needs and moods.
What kinds of checkups should your newborn have?
Your baby's doctor will likely recommend a specific schedule of routine
newborn visits. These visits are important to check for problems and to make sure that your child is growing and developing as expected.
Do not be
afraid to call your baby's doctor any time you have concerns about your
newborn's health or general care. It is normal and expected for parents of
newborns to have questions and to make frequent visits and calls to the
Frequently Asked Questions