Do you worry about whether your child is getting enough food, getting enough sleep, and meeting all the developmental milestones on schedule? Look for these telltale indicators that your baby is content and healthy.After spending a few weeks with your own newborn, you’ll get to know them better than anyone else, despite your fear that you don’t know the first thing about them. You’ll learn to distinguish between their cries of exhaustion and hunger, as well as how they like to be burped and rocked.In short, every day you become more assured of your abilities as a parent. You might even think you have everything under control if it weren’t for the hormones and exhaustion.All it takes, though, is a tiny, worried notion: Is my child getting enough food? All of this crying—is that odd? Do they sleep too much at night?—and it’s simple to get caught up in a vicious cycle of nervous worry. “Do they look OK to you?” is a question you pose to potential pals. You can’t help but worry even if they say yes.
Your voice and touch soothe them
Babies cry. A great deal. And no, it’s unlikely that talking to your child will stop the tears. But your voice should be something they notice most of the time because it was the soundtrack to their life in the womb.”A newborn is accustomed to being in small spaces, and your voice played a significant role in that experience,” says pediatrician Jennifer Shu, M.D., co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn. “After they’re born, hearing your voice, being wrapped and carried, and feeling your body heat all mimic that peaceful time.”Your child is clearly growing emotionally when they are able to be calmed by you; this is the first step in them bonding with you.But keep in mind that colicky babies can be extremely difficult to calm at times; this has nothing to do with their emotional stability or level of attachment to you. If your child exhibits excessive fussiness during the newborn phase, know that you’re not doing anything wrong. This is normal behavior for some babies. See your baby’s doctor, though, if they are crying for prolonged periods of time. While there are often helpful techniques to try to help them stop crying, it’s important to rule out more serious issues as well.
They’re gaining weight and using eight to ten wet diapers every day.
What it shows: Despite fluctuations in their milk consumption, they are still getting enough of it. How can you make sure your infant is getting enough breast milk if you’re nursing? The damp diapers are the evidence.”My baby weighed only five pounds when she was born, five weeks ahead of her due date,” shares South Deerfield, Massachusetts resident Sara Porth. She would weigh in, and that worried me every time. It wasn’t until she began to gain weight, roughly ten days after birth, that I began to feel at ease about her diet.”Maintaining your well-baby appointments is crucial for the pediatrician to evaluate your child’s growth. Regularly wet diapers are the best indicator that they are feeding well in between doctor visits. Rather than becoming obsessed with how much they eat at each meal, trust these indicators. Infants don’t consume the same quantity of food each day or even during each feeding. Dr. Shu states, “There are growth spurts and slowdowns.” The fact that weight increases with time is what matters.
At least a few times a day, they are attentive and quiet.
Sleep (about 16 hours a day, but only a few hours in a row) and feedings (about every two hours) will define those first hazy weeks. There’s crying, pooping, and being held in between all of that, and not much else. You won’t realize what a tiny sponge you have on your hands until your baby starts to control their eye muscles and focus on a target (like your face).
Babies are observing everything around them and processing a ton of new information when they are quiet and alert. “Babies begin having more awake time when they’re about 1 month old,” says Dr. Shu. “That’s when they can briefly settle down and soak in more visual cues.”
They Look and Listen to New Sounds
What it demonstrates: Their brain is learning to distinguish sounds, and their hearing is growing.
Although babies can hear from birth, it takes them several weeks to learn to distinguish sounds from their everyday environment. Over time, the notion that some sounds are more fascinating and significant than others (for example, a big sister’s unexpected shrieks of laughter are more significant than the air conditioner’s dull roar) emerges. A baby will eventually pay attention to sound, especially music—whether it comes from your voice, a toy, or your stereo.You’ll know your baby’s ears are healthy and they’re becoming interested in what they’re hearing when you see them respond to sound by seeking out the source.
They Examine Movement, Colors, and Patterns
It may seem counterintuitive to consider being able to zone out while gazing at a ceiling fan as a sign of advancement, but it is. When a baby is born, their eyesight is about 20/100, meaning that they can see objects 8 to 12 inches away, or roughly the distance that is between your face and theirs when you are feeding them.They can see up to eighteen inches away by the month. By the time they are two months old, the majority of babies begin to follow patterns, vivid colors, and spinning objects like fans or mobiles. They tend to be drawn to contrasting colors because they lack good depth perception and perfect color vision. So, it’s encouraging if you see them observing their surroundings.
They Smiling and Maintain Eye Contact
What it shows: Your infant is developing into a content and gregarious beingIt’s common for a newborn to make genuine eye contact for the first time around one month of age. A few months later, the newborn will smile for the first time, coo at three months, and laugh at four months—all of which are very significant developmental milestones.The 2-month-old son of Sally Lee of New York City, “I’ve been craving any sort of interaction I can get with Zachary,” she says. “I can’t imagine that he’ll one day be sitting up and actually talking to me.”These exchanges demonstrate how your baby is forming relationships with you and growing more conscious of their environment. They know, deep down, that when they act in a way that engages others, that people will engage with them more. By the time a baby is five months old, it seems like a reflex for them to smile back at people.These actions are all significant markers of early language and social development. “Babies use body language, including eye contact and facial expressions, long before they can speak,” says Dr. Shu. “It’s a precursor to communicating with words.” Your child is experimenting with their vocal cords when they coo and babble. Your little one will start talking a lot soon.
They Sleep More Often and Cry A Little Less
Huh. Does your baby’s routine seem to be changing in a barely noticeable way? That is, is there a hint of a pattern? You have successfully escaped the newborn juggernaut!
Your baby’s nervous system is still getting used to it, which is why. Watch for the emergence of multiple naps throughout the day and intervals of four hours or longer between nighttime feedings. Some babies arrive quickly, while others won’t until they’re around four months old. Try scheduling your baby’s days more strictly if they are older than that and still feed and sleep at odd times. It’s then your turn to locate a new parent and comfort them, telling them that your baby is doing well and will soon be sleeping longer as well!
They Have the Able to Support Their Own Weight
Many babies raise their heads for the first time—so briefly!—by one month. Usually, by the time they’re three months old, they’re doing it more frequently and proficiently. Your baby is flexing their growing muscles if they can move around in your arms or hold their head up.Make sure they’re spending quality time outside of the car seat or carrier to aid in their progress. The majority of babies’ equivalent of an exercise class is tummy time on the floor, which can particularly aid in accelerating the development of various muscles, including those that enable them to roll over or sit up without assistance.”We see that babies who haven’t had a chance to exercise with tummy time tend to roll, sit, and crawl later than the norm,” says Dr. Shu. Give your child regular playtime to help them develop their muscles!
The Final Word
The experience of having a new baby is exhilarating, loving, and yes, stressful. It’s acceptable to experience rapid succession of emotions, such as happiness, relaxation, or worry, regarding your infant. Follow your gut and don’t hesitate to contact your baby’s doctor if you have any questions or concerns.However, when everything appears to be going well, search for indications that your child is doing well rather than dwelling on your worries. Probably, they’re doing fantastically. You can better enjoy this unique time by letting go of your worries; remember, every minute counts because it will pass quickly.