There’s a lot going on inside your baby’s head. As soon as he’s out of the womb, he is trying to make sense of all the new stimuli bombarding him.
Judith Woodhead, child psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre in London, says, ‘Tiny babies put all their senses to good use immediately as they try to understand new smells and sounds. His little brain is developing at such a fast rate.’
From the moment he’s born, your baby’s main need is to be loved by you.
‘Just knowing that his mother is there for him, recognising her smell and touch and the way she holds him will help his sense of self to develop,’ says Judith.
‘Babies try to engage people in all sorts of ways. Get him to respond by looking at him so he can see you, and talk to him so he can hear you.
‘He’s also learning that he can trust you to be there for him, meet his needs and respond to his feelings.’
It’s important you recognise your baby as an individual right from day one. He is unique, a person like no other, so do not fall into the trap of drawing comparisons between your own little one and other people’s babies.
Pay attention, and you will learn something new about your baby every day.
- If this is your second or third baby, don’t presume your newborn will be like his siblings. You need to adjust to this new little person and his ways.
- Accept him for what he is today, but remember – he could be different in a week, a month or a year.
- If your baby never seems contented, do your best to make him look, listen and smile at you by lavishing attention on him.
- Do whatever your baby needs to make him happy now, but don’t assume that’s what he’ll always need from you. Give him the space he needs to settle and develop.