Some moms wonder why babies cry a lot that first day they are born, but it is largely because they have quite a lot to adjust to in the new environment. They also miss the warmth of the enclosed space that they were in, not to mention the closeness to mom, her heartbeat, and her muffled voice. For starters, the temperature of the air outside the womb is lower than the warmth of the amniotic fluid, and there are noises, wind, and other external factors to get used to in their new environment.
Babies might like some things in their new environment to the extent that they cannot get enough of them, disliking others that irritate them and force them to cry. It is therefore important for moms to moderate what they show their babies to, especially in that first month so that they are not overstimulated. Everything about them is sensitive and moms need to take extra care in the way they handle their newborn babies.
Newborns also have a way of telling a mom that they have had enough of something even if it is of great benefit to them, so moms should always be on the lookout for cues to this effect. However, these small human beings often enjoy subtle things that some mamas may overlook. After all, what's normal for a mom is brand new (and kind of exciting) for a newborn. Here are 20 things newborns often don’t get enough of in the first month.
A majority of babies will grow significantly during their first month of life, though it is also normal for some newborns to lose a few during this period. According to raisingchildren, this can be greatly attributed to the change of environment and their new ways of receiving food and nutrients.
While in utero, babies get food through the umbilical cord but after birth, they have to breastfeed or bottlefeed. Some babies get off to a slow start with breastfeeding and therefore take longer to start putting on some meat. After a few weeks, most babies regain and surpass their expected sizes.
19 A Good Latch
Newborns are born with a rooting reflex. This means they can suck milk from mom’s breast or from a bottle without being taught how to do it. As much as they are born with this reflex, they may be unable to get a good latch so that they can begin sucking. New moms especially, might not know how to guide their baby to a good latch. Mastitis, low milk production, and inversions with the mom's breast can also make latching impossible.
Lactation experts, doctors, and nurses are able to help moms and their babies through this process. It might take up to six weeks for a newborn to establish a good latch. Once she does, she will not get enough of it and will look forward to feeding time. Soon they are able to latch even without mom’s help.
18 Practicing Head Control
When babies are born, they don’t get enough head movements because they cannot lift or support their heads just yet, but this never prevents them from trying. In their first month of life, newborns have to rely on their moms to move and support their heads. According to babycenter, this is also because their neck muscles are weak and are not be able to support their heads.
However, babies have reflexes that help them with things like feeding and any other minimal movements. Moms can help their babies get head control by making them stay 15 to 20 minutes on their tummies every day under supervision. After some time, they will be able to hold their heads up.
17 Making Body Movements
Newborns are not able to control most of their body movements during the first month of life. All their physical activities are involuntary and are caused by reflexes according to betterhealth. After some time, their muscles normally take over. Therefore, during that first month, they will not have enough of body movements.
When they are awake, they have minimal body movements. Moms will often catch their babies staring or gazing at their little fingers and toes in amusement but before the first month is over, they will discover they have fingers and most likely put them right into her mouth.
16 Practicing Speech And Language
Newborns wish they could speak that first one month so that they could communicate exactly what they want to mom. Most of the time, crying is their only means of communication they have. They will cry when they want to tell mom that they are hungry, tired, need a diaper change, or want to be held.
Babies normally start voicing sounds between the seventh and eighth week of life as stated by betterhealth. They start by making cooing noises and vowel sounds using the back of their throats. When they do so, moms should respond in order to encourage their speech development. In the meantime, babies should enjoy listening to other people’s voices as they wait for their speech to develop.
Newborns seem to never get enough sunshine in their first month of life. They require sunshine especially to treat a condition referred to as jaundice; but because their skin is quite sensitive, they can only be vulnerable to the early morning and late evening sun.
Jaundice is a yellowish tinge that appears on a baby’s skin and the whites of their eyes due to an excess of bilirubin, a substance that is usually formed when the red cells break down, according to mayoclinic. Since newborns are born with immature livers, they are not able to get rid of that excess bilirubin, but a few minutes in the sun will help a lot with this!
14 Music And Lullabies
Newborns don’t get enough of calming music and lullabies in their first month since they want to hear them all the time. Everyone knows that babies respond positively to music especially lullabies, and for this reason, people use them to soothe babies when they are fussy. Most babies remember songs mom used to play for them while they were in the womb.
As reported by babycenter, babies develop hearing between weeks 23 and 27, which means they can hear sounds, especially around mom’s environment. As they get older, babies can quickly pick up on nursery rhymes. Their ability to perceive music precedes their ability to perceive and understand language.
13 Black And White Objects
Newborns do not get enough of black and white objects during their first month of life. Babies love to explore things around them but they do not have a good vision during their first month. They are born with immature eye muscles and while they can see things close to them, they cannot organize their visual images into meaningful shapes says betterhealth. They also only see as far as 8 to 12 inches.
Babies cannot see color; they can only see black and white. This is why they are attracted to mostly black and white objects, shapes and patterns. Their eyesight will continue to improve over time in the next few months of life.
12 New Family Members And Friends
Babies don’t get enough of meeting family members and making friends with mom’s friends. When moms give birth, many friends and family members want to come to see them to congratulate them and meet the newborn baby. Therefore, moms will entertain many visitors during those first weeks who will always want to get a glimpse of the baby and hold him or her if possible.
Babies may not mind meeting all their new family members and friends but they can get distressed or overstimulated when surrounded by many people as reported by babycenter. Moms can request visitors to come one at a time to avoid overwhelming her and the baby or request them to come after month one when they have settled and regained some normalcy in their lives.
11 Bath Time
Babies don’t get enough bath time during their first month of life, even though most moms opt to sponge them more than dipping them in water. This is because they want to give the umbilical cord some time to heal, which can take about one to three weeks after birth, according to mayoclinic.
During this time, most moms will result to sponge bathing and continue doing so until the baby is a few days older. A warm bath is refreshing to a baby, but take it slow until your baby gets used to it. Parents can even make it part of their sleep routine in the evening. The only thing they need to do is to make sure the umbilical cord stump remains completely dry, otherwise, it will take time to heal.
When babies are born, they don’t get enough sleep during that first month of life as compared to when they were in utero. While they were in the womb, they could sleep throughout the day, uninterrupted, and no one would wake them up to feed or bath them.
According to raisingchildren, newborns have to feed after every three- to four-hour intervals. They cannot drink a lot of milk at once because they have tiny stomachs. They have to wake up to feed when hungry, or in some cases, moms have to wake them up. Moms can also interrupt their sleep in order to change their diapers or give them a bath.
9 Their Mother’s Voice
Newborns don’t get enough of their mother’s voice during their first month after birth, perhaps because it was the most audible one while they were in the uterus. Babies are able to distinguish between their mother’s voice and that of a stranger. According to parenting, babies can calm down and slow down their heart rate when they hear their mother’s voice.
Babies can pick sounds while in the uterus, after all, the uterus is not as quiet as we think. Babies can hear their mom’s heartbeat, voice, stomach growlings, and even outside noises. They may be muffled but babies can recall the sounds they could hear while they were in the womb.
8 Being Swaddled
Newborns don’t get enough of swaddling especially during month one. They enjoy being swaddled because it reminds them of the time they were in the womb. Swaddling confines them and provides them with warmth, which they associate with the womb.
According to babycenter, swaddling keeps the baby from being disturbed by his or her own startle reflex. It also keeps babies calm down and warm up because they are not able to regulate their own body temperature. When babies are overestimated, swaddling can be used to calm them down. Once moms meet the needs of their little ones, they can swaddle them especially if they were fussy.
Newborns don’t get enough warmth during their first month. Babies have to adjust from a 98.6-degree environment to a 70-degree delivery room, which takes time. On top of that, newborns cannot regulate their own temperature very well as claimed by babycentre.
Newborns have an immature circulatory system that cannot get blood to the cool or warm parts of the body quickly. Moms can help them adjust by swaddling them with a blanket, which apparently reminds them of their time in utero. They can also practice skin-to-skin contact to help the baby absorb their mother’s warmth.
Babies were used to having their mother do everything for them while in the womb. Now that they have made their way to the outside world, they need to learn to use their body systems and this includes their digestive system. As stated by babycentre, babies are born with immature digestive systems, which can cause them to spit up the milk they drink.
When babies feed, they also swallow air, which goes to their stomachs and can be uncomfortable for the little one. Moms can help them by burping them after they feed and massaging their tummies; when they do this, they relieve them of the gas. Therefore, babies cannot get enough of burping in their first month of life.
5 Tummy Time
The safest position for a baby to sleep in is on their back. This position prevents them from suffocating especially during those first months when they are not in control of their head movements. Therefore, during their first month of life, newborns barely get enough of tummy time.
Moms rarely place their little ones on their bellies while sleeping. However, as they grow, tummy time is very crucial. It helps the baby develop strong neck and shoulder muscles as well as promote motor skills, according to mayoclinic. Placing a baby on his or her tummy for some time during the day prevents a flat spot from developing on the back of the baby’s head. Nevertheless, tummy time should always be in the presence of an adult supervisor.
4 Cuddle Time
Newborns don’t get enough cuddle time during their first month of life. This is because they spend most of their time sleeping. Cuddling is also optional for some moms, it only happens when they have a lot of time in their hands. What new moms do not know is that babies crave the feeling of being held.
Moms should hold their babies as much as possible as opposed to leaving them in their cribs. It is beneficial to their development. As stated by time.com, babies who are cuddled tend to sleep better, manage stress more easily, and exhibit better autonomic functions, especially their heart rate.
3 Their Routine
When babies are born, they take time to adjust to the new world. While in the womb, babies cannot tell the difference between day and night or feeding and sleeping at specific times. They wake up and sleep whenever they please. Therefore, newborns do not have enough of their routine in their first month.
According to babycenter, the majority of newborns will not have a consistent and predictable sleeping and feeding pattern until they are three months old. However, some may fall into a predictable pattern long before this. If this happens, moms can gently encourage their babies emerging routine
2 Noises And Sounds
Newborns don’t get enough of all the noises and sound in their environment especially during that first month from the hospital. Babies are usually okay with sounds they could hear while in mom’s tummy, like the dog barking or mom vacuuming. They can tolerate them because they are already used to them. It is also interesting for them to hear new sounds that they may have not heard before.
Although babies can perceive sound from the time they were in the uterus, their ears are still developing and should not be revealed to extra loud noises, as claimed by madeformums. Too much loud noise can injure their ears. However, moms should not shush people when the baby falls asleep during the day because their life in the womb was also not that quiet. Babies can tolerate a bit of noise while they sleep.
1 Their New Environment
Newborns don’t get enough of their new environment after birth. There is a lot to take in and it will definitely take them some time to get used to their new habitat. Everything is new to them and they can only wait to explore their surroundings bit by bit as their bodies—and its different senses—continue to develop.
However, babies can get stressed trying to make sense of their environment according to babycenter. They also do not have enough brain development to process everything around them. Moms should look for signs of overstimulation and settle their babies to sleep. Once they get plenty of rest, they can continue to explore the world around them.
Sources: mayoclinic.org, babycenter.com, babycentre.co.uk, betterhealth.vic.gov.au, whattoexpect.com, raisingchildren.net.au, time.com,madeformums.com, parenting.com