Newborn Development

Newborn Development

When a newborn open eyes in this world, the baby is not aware of your presence that you are here to feed them, to take care of them and to nourish them. The babies can feel when they are safe, unsafe, hungry and afraid. Your baby starts communicating with you from very start. Your baby always gives you signals when hungry, awake, in pain and alert. Your baby is continuously learning things and parents should help them know that the world is a welcoming place for them where their needs will be fulfilled and they will be kept safe and will be loved. Remember everything is new and scary for a baby and it’s your job to give as much time as you can to the newly born.

Social And Emotional Development

A newborn baby understands nothing and does not know what’s happening around. They do not know who is feeding them and taking care of them when they cry. When they are given feed, they feel good and happy. When a baby is hungry and is crying, someone is always taking care of the baby but the baby is not aware of that they are being cared for. Remember that every baby is different and shows different natural ways of responding you that you will recognize in early months. Show them your face and talk to them. Give as much time as you can as a big section of human brain is devoted to understand and remember faces. They often begin to smile when they look at a familiar face and will start recognizing you.

Physical development

Your baby’s physical development is orderly which means that it follows a sequence. We can take example of motor sequence in infants (order of new movements) which involves the following sequence for infants:
• Head and trunk control (when an infant lifts head and watches a moving object from side to side and this happens in first few months after birth).
• At the age of four or five months, infant rolls over turning from stomach to back first and then from back to stomach.
• An infant starts sitting upright in a high chair at age of about four to six months and this requires development of strength in neck and back muscles.
• Gradually becomes able to pull self into sitting positions.
• Infants begin to crawl.
• Infant begins to sit without any support.
• Infant starts creeping as arms and legs gain more strength and infant supports weight on hands and knees.
• Now infant stands with the help of a support e.g. furniture.
• Walk with better leg strength now.
• Stand alone without any support.
• Walk alone without any support or help.


The infant’s vision is blurry at time of birth. Near vision is developed better than their far vision. They focus on objects held 8 to 15 inches in front of them. Studies show that infants show preference for bold colors to soft pastel colors. Infants also show preference for faces than objects and look at smiling faces more than a face without expression at two months age. As they continue to grow, they become interested in certain parts of face like eyes of a face and facial expressions of an individual interests them more.


Hearing develops even before birth. From the very start, an infant moves his or her head towards a direction from where sound is coming but they are frightened by loud noises. They start crying when they hear any loud sound. They also show reaction to human voice. When a baby is three weeks old, the baby can distinguish between mother and father sounds and also voice of a stranger.


In first eight weeks, infants have no control over their movements and their physical activity is involuntary. In 3rd month, they will watch their hands and feet wave in air and also begin to wave or move fists towards your face or some other desired object. They have now this idea that they can move and have some influence over what it does.

Object permanence

Between ages of six to nine months, the concept of object permanence develops. This is infant’s understanding that an object continues to exist even if it is out of the infant’s sight. Earlier baby’s understanding is like, “out of sight, out of mind”. For example, when a child plays with a toy and you hide it with a blanket, the baby will not search for it but once object permanence is developed then if you will don the same, the child would know this time that the toy is under the blanket. The growth and development of infants is rapid and includes changes in size, senses and organs. Each change brings new abilities. Caregivers can provide activities and opportunities for infants that encourage curiosity to enhance children’s development.