All curled up: Her legs will still be drawn up and her tiny little fists clenched, but she’ll start stretching out her joints in a couple of weeks.
My mummy! She loves your company and recognises your voice and smell, so staying close to her keeps her calm.
Reflex actions: Your baby is born with amazing reflexes. Her ‘grasp reflex’ means that if you place something in her fingers, she will cling onto it tightly. So take advantage of your first chance to hold hands with your little one! And her ‘startle reflex’ means she will throw out her legs, arms and fingers, as though she is trying to find something to hold onto, if she hears a loud noise like a door slamming. Don’t worry about making too much noise though. She will soon get used to the new sounds around her – and learn to sleep through them.
I’m here darling: She’s just come out of the warmth and safety of your womb into strange new surroundings, so help her adjust by talking gently and soothingly to her as much as you can. She already knows your voice from her time in the womb and feels comforted by it. Watch her go quiet to stop and listen to your soothing tones – but she may get distressed if you’re loud.
Stay close: Lots of skin-to-skin contact when you’re feeding your baby will keep her content. Research indicates that babies who receive skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth are more likely to latch on well to the breast.
Feed me: She’ll be napping for about 90% of the time, waking only for feeds every few hours.
Nappy change: Her first few nappies will be filled with a dark green, almost black sticky substance called meconium, which is in her bowels at birth. Gradually, her poo will change to a yellowish colour.
Talk to me: Your baby is born with a longing to communicate – so talk, sing songs and nursery rhymes to her from the moment she’s born. She just loves the attention and the sound of your very special voice.