D - Development
Today’s topic is all about Infant Development. You may be wondering how this ties into postpartum. One of the factors that influences postpartum recovery is how the infant is developing (Simkin). Which makes sense. If you, a new mother, have constant worries about how your newborn is developing, your mental health probably is not where it should be. Of course, we all worry to some extent that our children are developing on track but once it becomes an obsession, it needs to be addressed. Also, if the baby isn’t developing “normally”, this can lead to extra added stress on the parents which can be difficult during the postpartum period.
So what is “normal” development? Honestly, I think this term is arbitrary and differs baby to baby but in general, here is what is to be expected in the first few months.
Cuddling, sleeping, feeding. That’s about all that’s going on in that first month earth side. And pooping. Pooping, a lot!
Baby should be able to follow your face with their eyes and enjoy looking at contrasting colors on toys.
He or she will have noticeable periods of alertness.
Baby may startle when hearing a sound and will turn toward the sound. He or she should be soothed by a parent’s voice.
Crying is their main way of communicating and the crying stops when the need is met. The cries will become distinctive the older the baby gets.
They may lift their head while lying on their tummy or turn their head while lying on their back.
Hands are mostly kept in fists.
Rooting – turns toward breast or bottle and sucks
Moro – the startle reflex; throws out arms and legs then curls them back in
Fencer’s pose – when the head is turned to one side, they straighten the arm on that side while bending the other arm
Grasp reflex – holds a finger placed in their palm, toes curl when touched on soles of feet
Head can be lifted momentarily and then begins to bob forward when held in a sitting position as the baby ages
By three months of age, Baby should recognize familiar faces and smile when he or she sees them.
If you have concerns about your child’s development, reach out to your pediatrician or family doctor. These should also be addressed at his or her well-child visits.
This post was short but sweet and now you know what to expect the first three months of Baby’s life!
Gavin, Mary L. “Your Child’s Development: Newborn.” June 2016. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/development-newborn.html. Web. Retrieved 18 Sept 2018.
Raising Children Network. “0-1 month: newborn development.” November 2017. http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/baby_development_1_month.html. Web. Retrieved 18 Sept 2018.
“First Year Development: Infant Development.” August 2015. http://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/first-year-development/. Web. Retrieved 18 Sept 2018.
Allesanda received her Bachelors in Behavioral Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in December 2013. She now lives in North Texas with her husband and children. As a doula and educator of infant sleep and eco-friendly living, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.