Your baby is more than just asleep or awake. Your baby has six states or levels of being awake or asleep. You can recognize these states by your baby's behavior.
You may be surprised by how noisy your baby can be. Your baby will:
Temperament describes how a person responds to the world. You will see some aspects of your baby's temperament right from birth. Others will unfold as your baby grows.
Some babies have a sunny temperament and move smoothly between states. Other babies are more easily overwhelmed and find it hard to settle.
As you learn how your baby responds to situations, you will adjust how you provide care. You will soon discover how your baby likes to be carried and what kind of rocking is soothing.
If you already have a child, you may be amazed by how different your new baby's temperament is. This baby may feed more eagerly or need more holding before falling asleep. You will spend time in the first weeks after birth learning how to best take care of this baby.
It is common for babies to sleep a lot the first two or three days after they are born. They take this time to recover from the stresses of birth. This sleepiness can hide some aspects of temperament.
Attachment is the process where the baby has learned to trust the parent(s) through consistent, predictable, nurturing care. Most parents say that taking care of their baby helps them feel closer to their baby. You can't spoil your baby with love and attention.
Talk with your baby's health care provider about any questions or concerns you have about responding to your baby.
Skin-to-skin contact the first hour of birth has several benefits for your baby.
The first hour with your baby is a special time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the first hour of a baby's life is spent with uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with mom. Skin-to-skin can be done after a vaginal or Cesarean birth.
Cuddling skin-to-skin has many benefits:
Routine medical care can be done while your baby cuddles with you. Some care can wait and be done at a later time.
Your support person can hold and bond with your baby skin-to-skin too. It is a wonderful way to be a special part of your new baby's life.
You are encouraged to hold your baby skin to skin as often as you can in the first hours and weeks to come.
Your baby will give you cues when she is hungry:
Having your baby stay in your room will make it easier to watch for the following feeding cues.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic