Wouldn't it be great if you were handed an instruction manual that told you what to expect in life, especially with a new baby! Although you’ve had many weeks to prepare, it’s tough knowing what is supposed to happen when it's all a brand new experience. Here are a few things to expect:
Checkup: Your baby will be thoroughly checked by your doctor or midwife and given an injection of Vitamin K (if you agree) to prevent any excess bleeding.
Temperature: Your baby will be particularly sensitive to temperature. It’s important that they’re kept warm and dry.
Breastfeeding: Your baby will most likely be put to the breast straight away. Babies can feed virtually any time after birth, but don’t worry if they take a while to get the hang of it.
Touch: Your baby will most likely enjoy being picked up and gently rocked. They are used to movement during the pregnancy, so recreating that sensation may be comforting.
Smell and taste: New babies haven’t fully developed either of these yet. They’ll be able to distinguish your smell, and turn away from things they don’t like – that’s about it. They are born with a preference for the sweetish taste of your breast milk.
Hearing: Soft rhythmic noises are good. These sounds might remind your baby of being safe in your womb and will seem comforting. Not surprisingly, loud sudden noises aren’t popular.
Sight: New babies don’t have fully developed vision yet. You might notice them shutting their eyes tightly against bright light to begin with – this is their blinking reflex. They can’t focus their eyes the way adults do yet, they’ll be able to see things around 18-30 centimetres from the best. That’s usually about how far away your face is from theirs when you’re holding them.
Here are some milestones you can look forward to as baby grows and develops. Remember every baby is different, so don't be concerned if their progress is a little different to this.
Six week milestones: It’s about time for your baby’s first smile. Have your camera charged and ready to go. Keep smiling at them, as it’ll encourage them to smile back. Your baby should also be able to focus on your face at this time.
Two month milestones: Hopefully you’re getting plenty of smiles by now. Your baby will also be trying to lift his or her head up, and they’re likely to react to loud noises.
Three month milestones: Recognises your face and follows moving objects with eyes. They’ll also be more alert and getting stronger.
Four month milestones: Starting to laugh. Your baby’s head and neck muscles will be starting to get stronger. You might find they can roll from side to side too. They might be starting to reach out and grasp toys.
The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.
Have your say...