- 3 His vision may be blurry (but he still loves your face)
6 Amazing Newborn Secrets
Your newborn is cleverer than you might think. We reveal the skills he already has and what you can do to help them develop
As your babys brain develops, the areas that control his head and neck will strengthen first, followed by his upper body, and his legs last ndash; which is why your baby will push up and crawl before he can walk. lsquo;However, he will have a stepping reflex when hes first born, says Professor Alan Slater of the University of Exeter. lsquo;If you hold your baby in an upright position, hell lift his legs up and down as if hes walking. This reflex disappears at around four months.
Try it Letting your baby kick and make a bicycle movement when hes in the bath or at the pool will help to strengthen his leg muscles.
‘Give him tummy time and it will help strengthen his arm and neck muscles’
He may not have the mischievous temperament yet, but your baby already resembles a little monkey. lsquo;If you press on the palm of your newborns hand, his fingers will wrap round you and start gripping, says Professor Slater. lsquo;Its called the palmar grasp reflex and its a remnant from when our ancestors were apes, and babies had to hang on to the mother while she carried them around.
Try it Give him tummy time and it will help strengthen his arm and neck muscles. If hes not a fan of this, try laying him along your body while youre lying on the bed so he can look down into your face.
3 His vision may be blurry (but he still loves your face)
lsquo;Your babys ability to see detail will be developing for the first few months of his life, says Dr Andrew Bremner from the Infant Lab at the University of Goldsmiths, although, he cant yet differentiate between pale colours. lsquo;His eyes may flash back and forth when trying to follow an object, says Dr Bremner. lsquo;Thats because for the first three months, he cant track things smoothly with his eyes.
Try it Have face time to help improve his tracking skills. Your newborn is automatically drawn to faces. Hold your babys gaze, then move your head from side-to-side so his eyes follow you.
Your baby started hearing sounds while he was in the womb, so the sound of your voice will soothe him now hes in the outside world. lsquo;If you repeatedly read the same book to your baby before your birth, hell recognise and prefer your voice reading it when hes born, says Dr Bremner. lsquo;If a stranger read it, your baby would sense the different intonation and wouldnt feel as calm and happy. Your babys hearing will be fully developed by the time hes a month old.
Try it You can capture his attention by talking to your newborn in a high-pitched voice and elongating your vowels (hellooo, baaaby!). Hell tune into this even more than a consistent tone.
‘Your baby smiling shows that hes trying to please you’
When your little one grins for the first time, its all part of his in-built survival technique to make you love him, but it also shows that hes trying to please you. The smiles it provokes in you encourages him to repeat it. lsquo;It also makes him more attractive to you ndash; and any other adult nearby ndash; so that you care for him, says Dr Bob Welch from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Try it To encourage smiles, look for times when he is calm, yet alert. Talk to him or play peekaboo so you have his attention, then smile yourself. Your baby will start copying you.
Your newborns brain contains all the cells hell ever need ndash; and more. lsquo;His brain contains twice as many neurons than hell actually use, but only the best connections and cells will survive, says Dr Welch. Your baby already has an understanding of numbers, too. When newborns are played sequences of four sounds and 12 sounds, followed by images with the same number of objects, they will look longer at the images that match the number of sounds.
Try it Copy his actions and sounds, even if its just gurgles ndash; and it will help develop brain connections.
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