What it is Like to Take Care of Your Newborn
You will soon be a parent to your baby that is nearing its full term in your womb. And when your baby is born, they are ready to communicate with you. The movements that your baby make may seem random to you, but every action they do, they are doing so for a reason. They will tell you what they need and even reveal what their dislikes and likes are through the behaviors they are showing.
While getting to know your newborn may feel like it can be such an overwhelming task to do at first, you will start to read the signals that your baby is giving you without you noticing at all. It will even be very exciting for you to read every reaction they make when you undress them, talk, held and even fed to. You will soon begin to understand the kind of experiences that he or she enjoys and the ones that he or she doesn’t like.
Expect your baby to turn away at times, fuss or squirm to show you what he or she doesn’t like. But the way that your baby will show on what they like will be a joy to you. They may show it by looking at what they are pleased about intently, especially when they are being quiet and still in their position.
Never forget that your baby is also learning about you as well! They are watching every movement that you make, the kind of facial expressions you make and even picking up the tone of your voice that you use to communicate with them. Not only are you learning from your baby, but he or she is also learning from you, too.
The benefits of understanding your newborn
When you learn the cues of your newborn, you are not only helping yourself, but you are also helping your baby learn more about you. Here are the reasons how it will help the both of you:
- It will help your baby relax. If you respond to the signals your baby gives you quickly; they will feel assured and that they feel they are cared for. It will also soothe him.
- It will help you learn the kind of responses that your baby prefers. As you watch your baby grow, you will get to know the pacing that he shows you and whether he prefers the slow and gentle handling or the brisker approach.
- It will help build up the trust you have with your baby, and it will also help their trust with other people that are looking at him. Your baby will find the predictability of their daily routine comforting and reassuring.
- It teaches your baby about emotions. When you observe your baby, you will learn how they show their emotions. Encourage your baby by matching up your feelings with your facial expressions. This way, your baby will also learn to do the same.
- It will also help you feel more confident for being a parent.
How to tell your newborn’s mood
You get to learn a lot about your newborn’s mood by how he or she responds to touch, sounds and sights. You will also notice that his or behavior is associated in one of the different states of the following:
- Light sleep - this is also known as the REM or rapid eye movement sleep. The eyes of your baby are closed. However they may open from time to time. Your baby may startle, move and make the occasional motion of sucking.
- Deep sleep - their eyes are closed and kept still. Their breathing is regular, and he makes the occasional startle.
- Alert - their eyes are open. Their attention is focused most of the time, and he or she will be still.
- Drowsy - they are in the semi-dozing state. He or she is not totally asleep, but they are nearly in that state. His or her eyes can occasionally be open then and there, and the movements they make are smooth.
- Alert and active - they have the brightest eyes you will see in this state. He or she will move around and may make the occasional startles and fussy cries.
- Crying - the most normal phenomena that your baby makes most of the time. They will cry hard when they are in this state. He or she may squirm and can be at times a challenge to soothe them.
You will also notice that your baby cannot do some things while they are in a particular state. For instance, he or she may not feed that well when they in a light sleep state. Or that he or she might not want to play when they are crying.
You also get to recognize the patterns stated above and will be able to respond to the behaviors displayed by your baby. You will also learn that you need to wake your baby a little before they are to be fed. There are also times when he or she needs to be in the alert state before he or she can start playing happily. As you start understanding the needs and wants of your baby, you will be amazed on how fast you can catch up in reacting and understanding to your baby’s mood.
How do you know what your newborn wants?
If they want to be fed, they will make a certain cry or sound when they are hungry. You will also learn how to identify that. He or she may also suck their fists, fingers or hands. You will also notice that your baby is going to turn their head strongly to one side while they open their mouth. Experts call this rooting.
When your baby needs the sleep he or she wants, they will cry or fuss over it. They may stare at you with glazed eyes before they drift off or they might even look a bit pale. Other signs that you should look out for is when they don’t have any mood for playing or when they are not responding to you or with whatever is happening around them.