One of your baby’s jobs for the first 3 months of their life is to learn to calm and regulate themselves (1)
Body–your baby’s body may appear to shudder when they are surprised. This is their Moro or startle reflex. You will see this until their nervous system is more developed. Your baby enjoys cuddling and motion. (2)
Hand–You will notice that when you put your finger into your baby’s hand they will grasp it. This is called their Palmar grasp (3)
Mouth–your baby’s mouth area is very sensitive to touch. Touching baby’s cheek or mouth area can start them turning towards where they were touched and opening their mouth. Your baby’s sucking reflex may start up at the same time or when their lip or tongue is touched.
Eyes–your baby will stare at a face or light when it is in front of them, but they are not able to follow it very far yet. (2)
Crying–you may start to notice different rhythms and intensities in your baby’s crying that mean: anger, pain, or hunger. (2) Try to hold or carry your baby when they cry. It has been shown that increased holding/carrying reduces infant crying and colicky behavior. Thus, the more you hold and carry your baby the less crying and colicky behavior is seen. (4)
- Satter, E, Child of Mine: Feeding with Love & Good Sense, Palo Alto, CA, Bull Publishing, 2000, pp 118-129.
- Wambach, K, Riordan, J, Breastfeeding & Human Lactation, 5th edition, Burlington, MA, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2016, pp 681-82, 791, 805. Note: publishing date does say 2016.
- Wilson, WH, Lowdermilk, P, Maternal Child Nursing Care, 3rd edition, St. Louis, MO, Mosby, 2006, p 703.
- Lawrence, RA, Lawrence, RM, Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Professional, 7th edition, Maryland Heights, MO, Elsevier Mosby, 2011, p 272.