Look What I Can Do (Aside From Feed, Cry, Pee & Poo!)

Here are just some of your newborn's amazing skills:

  • Your baby has a keen sense of smell, and will recognise you by your smell, rather than sight in these first days.
  • Your baby already has a keen sense of hearing and will probably move her head in response to noise.  She will love to hear you talk, and will especially like high-pitched voices – and that "goo goo ga ga" baby talk you swore you would never use. She can soon begin to distinguish her parents’ voices from others.  Babies seem to respond to music and sounds they heard while in the womb – and may even be calmed by music played while their mothers relaxed during pregnancy.  Try it and see.
  • He can see (in black and white), but may look as if he is squinting or cross-eyed because the muscles of the eyes are not strong enough yet. Within a few days he can focus on objects and faces about 8-inches/20 cm away (the distance from her face to yours during breastfeeding).
  • She will particularly like to look at faces and patterns. So put mobiles and toys with strong black and white patterns (remember she hasn’t yet got full colour vision yet) in her sight range. Don’t worry too much about expensive fal-de-las, you can always draw your own patterns with a thick black marker on white card and secure them using the side of the mattress in his cot or crib.
  • He can respond to your smiles and chat by nodding, sticking out his tongue, and moving his body.
  • She will firmly grasp anything that touches the palm of her hand. And if you stroke the sole of her foot, the foot will also curl around, as if trying to grasp on to something.
  • Babies have a very strong sucking reflex so that they can feed.  Just putting pressure on the palate with a finger will make him start sucking strongly.
  • If a baby feels like she is falling, or is startled by a loud noise she will throw out his arms and legs and arch her back. She will then curl back inwards. This is called the “Moro” or startle reflex.
  • After a few days if you hold your baby upright and touch his feet against a flat surface he will start to move his legs in a stepping motion.