Newborns can cry so they can be fed, comforted, kept warm or get a clean diaper. Newborns are equipped with the instinct to nurse and seek the heat of a warm body. They sense and feel energy and emotion and can react to it. It is important to give your baby the best chance of a healthy life by preparing to bring them into the world in the most natural way. If babies are born via c/section they can still be afforded the same natural bacteria” that helps set up the immune system in a newborn. Breastfeeding is also imperative and there are many pitfalls that can happen to a breastfeeding mom, whether new or experienced. It is important to follow your gut and seek answers if breastfeeding is initially difficult or challenging.
Your newborn’s brain is only approximately 25% of adult size. So most brain development takes place outside the womb. The way the brain connects and develops is influenced by the baby’s experiences and interactions with people and their environment. Babies will react to their environment at moments old. Be sure to keep your baby near your beating heart and minimize outside stimulation. Even though baby’s brains have been studied for centuries, the outcome of the research is always the same, that babies need love, attentive care and affection to flourish.
Newborns are born with instinctive reflexes. Many are about survival. Some disappear abruptly, usually between three and six months of age, while others are gradually replaced by more intentional behavior.
Some Observable reflexes are:
- The grasp reflex – a newborn’s palm will grasp any object with a vice like grip.
- Mouthing reflex – stroke a newborn’s cheek and they will turn with mouth open ready to feed. They also have a gag reflex to help with choking.
- Moro reflex/ startle reflex – startling at a loud noise is thought to be a protective reflex.
- Stepping reflex – hold a newborn baby up with their feet on a firm surface and they amazingly lift each leg in a stepping motion.
Newborn vision- is not very developed by birth, newborns see stark contrast and the human face, but can only see about 1 foot in front of them.
Newborn hearing- Babies can already hear in the womb. Newborns can recognize their mother’s voice and their own language. Newborns have an innate interest in language and sounds and turn their head or eyes towards sound in the first eight weeks.
Newborn touch- In the womb the sense of touch is the first to develop. Newborns are extremely sensitive to touch and texture and will feel the lightest of touch on their skin. They can be particularly sensitive to change in temperature. Research shows us keeping newborns close keeps them calm and enhances their brain development. Be careful not to overstimulate them and enjoy watching them change each day.
Colic/fussiness- this may be caused by an upset stomach or injury from birth. Some babies have neck discomfort which can cause nursing difficulty, gas and fussiness. Visit your local provider or chiropractor to have this evaluated. These small issues in newborns may cause larger issues in older babies and children.
Jaundice- Jaundice, a common condition in newborns, refers to the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes that happens when there is too much bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice happens when bilirubin builds up faster than a newborn’s liver can break it down and pass it from the body. Severe jaundice (levels of bilirubin above 25 mg) that is not treated can cause deafness, cerebral palsy, or other forms of brain damage. However, most “neonatal jaundice” can be treated at home, with the proper guidance from your provider.
Dyschezia- excessive straining with stools, specifically referring to a very common problem of newborns, and perhaps more subtle difficulties with toddlers being toilet trained. Babies often seem to make quite a production out of a bowel movement, and sometimes even seem to be in pain as they strain and push. Dyschesia is not diagnosed by a hard, pellet stool (this is another concern, discussed later) but by the straining that occurs to move the bowels. Dyschesia can occur when a baby’s neurologic system is not quite developed or is not “communicating” properly with the Bowels. In many cases your local chiropractor and further neurologic development can eliminate this problem.
Newborns are fascinating they are the perfect combination of primal reflexes and the hope for the future! be sure to cherish each moment