Sleeping, Feeding, and Crying: A Thorough Look at Newborns' Behavior
You've bought the books, read the articles, and soaked up as much advice and information as possible from friends and family, but nothing can truly prepare you for a newborn other than the first-hand experience. Although you can expect the same general behavior from all newborns, it's also important to keep in mind that all babies are individuals and will have their own unique personalities.
Some of the common behaviors you can expect from your newborn are as follows: newborn sleeping, newborn feeding, and newborn crying. All newborns, no matter what their unique needs and personalities are, will sleep, eat, and cry. These are normal behaviors to be expected, but how can you prepare for them?
Understanding all of these behaviors and the actions behind each one can help you better prepare for the newborn stages. In the guide below, you'll find information about the different stages of a newborn and newborn behavior. Continue reading to find out more!
Stages of a Newborn
Bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital is the start of a new and exciting chapter in life, filled with lots of love and maybe a bit of stress as well. For new parents, sometimes the best way to learn about newborn behavior is to experience it for themselves. There are many normal newborn behaviors to expect and some that you might not expect as well.
The First Three Months
In the first three months, you should expect to see many smiles from your little one. You may even begin to notice them raising their head while on the tummy. They'll begin to open and close their little hands and bring them to their mouths as well.
During these first three months, your baby will also begin to follow objects with their eyes and reach for objects close to them.
Four to Six Months
During this stage, your baby might learn how to roll over from tummy to their back and from their back to their tummy! You'll be excited to hear all their new babbles, sounds, coos, and even their cute little laughs. These are the months when your baby will most likely start to grab or pull objects so be careful what you leave in their reach, they're quite curious now and want to start exploring the world around them.
You might also notice your baby learning how to sit up and support their own head.
Sleeping and Newborns
During the first week of your newborn's life, you'll notice them sleeping quite a bit. This is normal newborn behavior. They'll sleep throughout the day and will sleep throughout the night waking up every so often to eat.
During this first week, don't worry too much about trying to keep them up during the day so help them sleep better at night. They're still too little to sleep through the night (since their tummies are small, they need to eat more frequently), so if they sleep a lot during the day, this is nothing to get upset about.
Because your newborn might sleep between 16-18 hours a day, it's important for you to get rest during these times as well (don't forget to take care of yourself too). Sleeping your baby in a lounger will give you peace of mind knowing they're safe and comfortable while you rest as well.
Your baby might not develop a newborn sleeping schedule until they're a bit older.
Feeding and Newborns
In general, newborns eat every 2-4 hours. However, keep in mind that all newborns are individuals and may have different newborn feeding needs. Newborns who breastfeed might feed for up to an hour at a time while on the breast.
Babies who eat breastmilk might also want to eat more often because breastmilk is easier to digest than formula. During this stage, it's okay to feed your baby on demand, which might be even more often than 2-4 hours. Most babies will wake up from their sleep (during the day or night) to eat.
However, if you notice your baby sleeping through eating times, don't hesitate to wake them up to feed them.
Crying and Newborns
Your newborn baby will cry. This is their only way of communication at this time. If they need something (bottle, change of diaper, to be burped), or if they're in pain, they will cry.
They might even cry when they simply want attention or to be held. Although a newborn in the early (first 5 weeks) stages might not cry too often or loud, it can be expected to get louder and more often once they hit 6 weeks. Once your baby gets a bit older, the crying will decrease.
Understand this is your little one's only way of telling you what they need, so don't panic if your baby cries, it's normal behavior. You might even begin to notice the difference in their tired cries, in-pain cries, and hungry cries. If your baby has slept, has eaten, and has your attention, and is still crying, then you might want to consider checking for pains.
You can use a baby thermometer to check their temperature to ensure there's no fever. You might also try placing your baby on top of your chest on their tummy to see if it's gas pain. Bellyaches are also common in newborns as they adjust to eating breastmilk or formula.
Learning Your Newborn's Behavior Is a Gentle Process
As a new parent, it's important to remember that learning about newborn behavior is a gentle process. Even experienced parents find that not all newborn babies are the same. How their first baby was might be completely different from their last.
Learning is a never-ending experience, and one must make adjustments as they go depending on their baby's specific needs.
Keeping newborns happy, healthy, and safe is always the main goal. For safe and comfortable baby loungers and crib bedding, be sure to browse our collection today.
- Tags: Parenting
- Anastasia Starchevskiy