What is baby up to?
Growth points: baby's reflexes
During the first 3 months of your baby's life, most of his behaviour is reflex rather than conscious.
Baby responds to gentle stimulation on the cheek such as brushing or tickling, turns towards stimulation looking to suckle. Read more and watch the video here: Rooting reflex
Baby sucks on anything that is put in his mouth.
Swallowing – follows sucking, gagging, yawning, sneezing, hiccup, and stretching.
When tilted backwards or startled by a sudden noise, a newborn baby will spread out its arms, as if in fright. Watch the video here.
The hand grasps in response to when you touch the palm of the hand. The toes curl when soles of foot are stimulated.
Pulls legs away from stimulation.
As newborn reflexes fade, more purposeful movements replace them.
Physical development can be split into:
Gross motor skills as moving arms and legs, sitting, crawling and walking;
Fine motor skills such as holding an object, eating with a spoon, drinking from a cup or grasping a toy.
Physical skills develop from head to toe and from the centre of the body outward, children learn gross motor skills before they learn fine motor skills.
Your child is an individual and each human being develops at its own pace and timetable, don’t feel anxious if your infant isn't sticking 100% to the programme. Take each new skill one step at a time. Use milestones as a guideline and consult your doctor if you are concerned.
Taking care of you
When it hurts to go
The colon, rectum and anus are traumatised during a natural delivery. This can cause pain while peeing or straining to have a bowel movement. Constipation can make that first toilet visit scary, especially if you have episiotomy stitches to cope with.
Press a warm, damp swab or sanitary towel against your stitches to keep them secure when you go to the toilet.
Avoid constipation by drinking lots of water and fresh vegetables, fruit and foods with high fibre.
A mild laxative may be given to you by your doctor if needed.
You might not feel a normal urge to pee because of trauma caused during the birth, but this should return to normal within 4 to 6 weeks after delivery. Pour warm water over the affected area as you pee to alleviate any burning. Increasing your water intake also tends to make your urine less acid.
Time your baby's bath when you are both relaxed and have time. Don't bath your baby straight after a feed as he may feel uncomfortable and vomit. Get everything you need ready and fill the bath or tub with water.
Test the temperature of the water with your elbow or a bath thermometer.
Wrap your baby in a towel and start by cleaning your baby's face with cotton wool and warm water (no soap). Wipe each eye from the inside corner to the outside, each with a clean piece of cotton wool.
Hold your baby supporting his body with your arm and take care not to let his head dangle. Apply a tiny amount of shampoo to wet hair and wash hair. Rinse well.
If you are using liquid soap, put the baby on a flat surface and apply soap to the whole body. Put your baby in the bath. Let his head rest on your arm and hold his arm with your hand to prevent him from slipping. With your free hand, rinse off the soap. It's okay for the umbilical cord stump to get wet.
Wrap your baby in a towel, lift him onto your shoulder or place him on a changing mat and gently dry him. Clean the base of the umbilical cord with cotton wool dipped in surgical spirits. If you want to use baby powder, shake a little powder into your hand and then apply to avoid baby inhaling the powder, which could be very damaging for his lungs.
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