Finally your baby is born.You are so happy to meet such a so long-expected main event of your life. Finally you are meeting your baby. How does it look? Who does it resemble the most? Is it healthy? You are looking at your baby bating your breath. And you can’t believe that this pure miracle was born thanks to you.
In the first five minutes of its postnatal life the health of your baby is digested according to the scale of Apgar. What is the scale of Apgar? It is the way to identify the conditions of a baby using ten-point scale. While identifying, heart rate, breath, irritant reflexes, muscular tonus, skin pigmentation of a baby are taken into account. A baby gets 2 points for each criterion. If the result is from 8 to 10, a baby is healthy. From 4 to 7 means that baby needs medical aid. If it is 3 or lower, a baby needs to be sent to resuscitation as fast as possible. Except the results of the Apgar’s scale, parents are also told about sex, weight, height and time of birth of their baby.
Physical development of a newborn
A baby becomes stronger each day of its life. Baby’s motion activity may vary. It depends on the inborn temperament of a child. Some children are quite inactive so they rarely move and keep silence for a long time. Other children are always moving and can even crawl for short distances. And the most active babies can turn from their back to belly. However, a baby is still unable to hold its head up.
Muscular tonus of a newborn is determined by the state of the nervous system of a baby. There can be tense muscular tonus. Toddlers with tense muscular activity have their hands tightly pressed to their bodies, their fists clenched, and their knees bent. Other newborns can have more relaxed muscular tonus.
Newborn can detect the irritants by means of sensory perception. Sometimes infants, especially preemie, shudder and start moving their limbs chaotically when hearing a loud sound. Other children “try to calm themselves down” putting a hand into their mouth or somewhere next to it.
Reflexes of a newborn
The nature granted a newborn with a whole set of unconditional reflexes, which serve as the base of his safety at the beginning of life.
Search reflex. If you stroke a baby near its mouth or a cheek, it will turn the head and prepare to suck. This reflex remains for 3 months.
Lip reflex. If you will gently beat an upper lip of your baby, it will stretch its lips like a trunk.
Sucking reflex. If you touch the lips or tongue of a baby, or put your finger into its mouth, a baby will start to suck.
Babkin’s reflex. A baby opens its mouth if you press its palms. This reflex remains for 3 months.
Grasp reflex. A baby automatically grasps everything that comes to its hands. Also if you press a front part of a sole, baby will try to grasp you by toes.
Robinsons’ reflex. A newborn can hold its own weight.
Moro’s reflex. If the legs of a bay are stretched and you press its hip, a baby will quickly throw its hand up with fingers spread apart, and then will press its hand to the body again. This reflex remains for 2 months .
Support reflex. If you place a baby on a table, it will rest against the surface of the table by whole surface of its foot. The reflex remains for 3 months.
Step reflex. If you put a newborn baby on a flat surface and bow it a little, it will try to make a step. The reflex remains for 2 months.
Crawling Bauer’s response. If you turn a baby to the belly and provide a support for its legs, a baby will crawl. The reflex remains for 3-4 months.
Defense reflex. Put a baby on the belly and it will turn its hand trying to lift it.
Water reflex. If you dive a baby into the water, it will stop breathing for a few moments.
If any of the reflexes listed is not detected, a newborn has problems with its nervous system.
Sleep and wakefulness of a newborn baby
At the very beginning a baby only eats and sleeps. Then between sleep and feeding a baby starts to be awake. These periods are very short and last for 5-10 minutes. By the end of the first month sleep occupies 20 hours a day.
You can also find useful advice for parents of a newborn.