Coming into the world is a big and scary adventure for babies. Right after birth, they start communicating and giving little signals when they are tired, hungry or confused. It’s the job of a parent to comprehend these signs and make the world a welcoming place for their little ones.
Infants go through many changes in life to get used to the outside world after spending nine comfortable months in a protected womb! This adjustment almost always goes well, but there are certain warning signs you should watch out for.
When it comes to newborn development, what all should a parent be concerned about?
Seeing, Hearing and Communicating
Isn’t responding to bright lights or can’t focus their eyes on something. Babies start to get attracted to shiny lights, primary colours, stripes, dots and patterns that really captivate their attention.
Isn’t watching your face or looking you in the eye. Since the human face is the first object they recognize, babies begin to remember particular faces and other objects during the first three months.
Isn’t hearing things – like startling sounds. Newborns can hear, and have been hearing noises from well before they were born. So, it can be worrying if they suddenly stop responding to it.
Behaviour and Movement
- Isn’t feeding well. Some warning signs related to feeding and digestion are harder to identify than behavioral changes or physical warning signs. The signs can range from having a poor appetite to sucking, spitting or vomiting problems.
- Isn’t sleeping well. Healthy sleep is vital, especially in babies. Inadequate or low-quality naps will threaten healthy development and seriously hamper growth.
- Isn’t moving their arms or legs. Infants in their first eight weeks have no control over their movements, they don’t know how to make each part of their body move voluntarily. They only start to work out how to lift their heads when lying on the tummy, and kick their legs by about eight weeks.
Children grow and develop at different speeds. If you’re worried that your child’s development isn’t ‘normal’, it might help you to know that the definition of ‘normal’ varies a lot. However, if you still feel that something’s not right, see your family health doctor to be sure.
Newborn Care Week is celebrated every year in India from 15-21 November, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of newborn care for child survival and development. Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan actively participates in promoting infant health development and ensuring that children with special needs are taken care of professionally. Our hope is to better the state of infant and child mortality in India.