The first week: bringing baby home

It’s a whole new world for Baby – even if she can only see the parts of it that are about 8 to 12 inches (about 20-30 cm) in front of her face so far. This limited sight range is the perfect distance for letting her  get started on her first big job in life, though – bonding with you, your partner, and any other important caregivers in her life. Feeding time and snuggle-time are both perfect opportunities for you and Baby to lock eyes as you get the chance to breathe in that newborn smell.

Other than staring deeply into your eyes, Baby’s hobbies for the next few weeks are probably going to be mostly limited to eating, pooping, and – if you’re lucky – sleeping, but this limited schedule should give you the chance to get used to having a newborn in the house. Getting used to having a new baby around can be a little bit of an adjustment, whether Baby is your first, or your twenty-first.

As you get to know Baby and she gets to know you, her reflexes, like the startle reflex, rooting reflex, and plantar reflex, are helping her navigate the whole bigger, wider world outside of the womb.

Some parents spend every waking hour during pregnancy planning and preparing and baby-proofing for their babies’ arrivals, while others take a more “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there” approach. She is probably only exploring with her eyes and ears so far, but as she gets older, she will grow more and more active and curious, so it never hurts to get a head-start on thinking about baby-proofing. For now, though, the biggest danger will probably come from how much Baby isn’t moving – making sure there isn’t anything, including fabric, that could fall into the crib with Baby, and that she doesn’t spend any unsupervised time with pets are great places to start.

Milestone – Moves head from side to side

One of the first things anyone learns about newborns is that it’s important to support their heads, since they don’t have the neck strength to do it for themselves. You’ll still need to support Baby’s head for her for a while, but moving her head from side to side is a sign that she is already working on building up her neck strength.

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