During the first month, you may feel tense as you are still learning to look after your baby. However, it is vital to enjoy motherhood and worry less about the subject.
There are lots of things to be done for a baby apart from feeding and keeping him or her warm, and you can rely on your instincts for many things. Your newborn is also overwhelmed by all the information, learning about new smells, light, feelings of love, and touch. Thus, start building a relationship with your baby by talking to him or her more often.
Babies often cry, as it is the only language they can speak during their early days. It is their way of saying that they need attention. They cry when they feel hungry, tired, overwhelmed, cold, lonely, bored, or anything else. So, whenever your baby cries, make sure that baby is not wet and is not feeling hungry. Help your baby to settle down by patting, or carrying them in your hands and make shh noises.
It is also important to understand that some babies are colic. They will seem to cry all the time, and for no obvious reason. A crying baby is one of the biggest reasons for a visit to the specialist in the first few months. It helps parents by alleviating fears. Statistics show that in more than 90% of cases there is nothing wrong with the baby. That is why this specific term colic is used.
Babies sleep a lot during the first few months. All they seem to do during the first month is sleep, cry, eat, and sleep again. A growing organism needs lots of rest. Babies may sleep as much as 18 hours a day during the first month.
How much will baby grow?
Your baby will become stronger and more expressive with each passing day. The baby will try to hold up its neck but will need support. During the first month, the baby is still learning to react to environmental changes, and with each passing day vision and hearing are improving.
During the first month, neck muscles are still too weak. Hence, the baby cannot lift its head without support. You can start tummy time from the first month; it helps to strengthen the neck muscles. When on its tummy, your baby may be able to lift its head for few moments and may also turn the head.
During the first month, the baby has the grasping reflex, so they will get a hold of anything that is close. But they still lack major strength. During the first month, the baby is still discovering its limbs and learning to use them. Playing with your baby will help to accelerate the process.
Similarly, the hearing sensation is developing in a baby, and singing nursery rhymes is a great way to improve hearing.
How fast your baby grows will depend on the weight at birth. Babies born prematurely grow at different paces. Your doctor will provide you with the norms of growth. The growth of a premature baby must be measured according to the corrected age.
About the author:
Dr. Preet Bhinder (M.D.)
Dr. Preet is a family physician. He has been practicing medicine for the last 15 years and has a particular interest in maternal and child health. He understands the importance of a healthy pregnancy and its long-term effects on a child’s health. He is also a passionate writer.