The Newborn Child

A special environment is required for a new baby. An environment which reflects the place they have come from and is a half-way house into the world. Newborns need to be in a warm, peaceful environment, which is consistent in its rhythms and routines.

Your new baby may surprise you with their strong urge to communicate. Even very young babies are able to reach their fingers out towards you. They will focus intently on your face and try to copy your mouth movements as you speak.

Their nervous system is still immature and so they will pass through very obvious behavioural states. Newborn babies sleep a lot and can become tired very easily, being barely able to stay away long enough to feed. They indicate their tiredness through jerky body movements or tensed muscles; increasingly loud vocalization and a change in interest in making eye contact. They will quickly move from quiet alertness into this more restless state which heralds their need to sleep. You can respond by providing loose wrapping and skin to skin contact.

During period of alertness your newborn will begin to take in their first impressions of the world and their senses. Newborn babies see in black and white only and enjoy looking at contrasting colours. They actually have a preference for circles. This helps them to find the nipple when its time to feed.

You might consider offering a black and white mobile for them to look at whilst they are on a movement mat on the floor.