The new born babies are born with innate communication and behavioral skills. New born babies are ready for communication by their body movements, cries and visual response and they use this as their language. The behavioral state of a new born baby arises from one of the six state of consciousness. The state consists of two sleep state, three awake state, and one transitional state. These are quiet sleep, active sleep, quiet alert, active alert, active crying and drowsiness (Medline Plus, 2011). The new babies face expressions and the movements of the body varies in every state. The new born with healthy nervous system gradually and smoothly transits from one state to other state.
The new born normal development occurs gradually. The major developments are explained below:
1. Physical development:In this the gain in weight and height. In the first week the baby sheds some weight and then gain regain it by the end of the next week (Seidel, Henry M., Rosenstein, et al, 2001).
In a new born it is seen that the most dominant state is active sleep. The new born sleeps for 15 to a8 hours daily and that is the reason it is known as the dominant state. Inside the womb for nine months the baby is sitting in the womb closing his eyes so in the initial months the baby used to those patterns of sleep only but with time gradually and slowly he develops alternate patterns of sleeping and waking. This stage is the one which is prevailing in first few months regularly. In this stage only the babies motor skills also develop (Stettler N, Bhatia J, Parish A, Stallings VA, 2006). First his head movement starts than the movement of trunk, hands and legs takes place. It’s a top to down process starting from head to legs. Initially turning of head, throwing legs and hands in generally seen in the first three months. The movements up till the eight week are not under the control of the baby. They are involuntary movements with out any intention. The baby does not push away during feeding periods or he tries to grab a toy all these activities are involuntary. After three months only the baby gazes his/her hands and understands that the fist and fingers are a part of their body. The motor skills are not well developed during the first three months but they have started developing at their own pace.
The baby has some in born neonatal reflexes or primitive reflexes. These are called the inborn behvioural pattern that is developed during the uterine life. The development is completed at the time of birth and are fully developed. These reflexes are gradually inhibited by the higher centers present in the brain in the period of 0 to 12 months. The reflex includes sucking, swallowing, blinking of eyes, passing urine, hiccupping, and defecating (Bein-Wierzbinski, 2011). These reflexes are natural and are not taught to the baby. These are involuntary, unintentional movements that are important for the survival of the baby. They are named as moro reflex, asymmetrical tonic neck reflex, symmetrical tonic neck reflex, grasping reflex, sucking reflex, rooting reflex, planting reflex, blinking reflex, pupillary reflex, gallant reflex and stepping reflex.
The five things that can calm a new born baby are explained below:
1. Swaddling: wrapping the baby makes the baby feel that he is returned to the womb and it keeps the baby from flailing arms.
The interactive patterns of a baby are more with the individual with which he spends a lot of time, it can be the mother or any other person. The baby interacts by making slow voices or crying. The interaction in the first few months is very less as the baby sleeps for about 16 hours in a day. The baby interaction can be seen by finding ways to calm him, by getting known to his sleeping, waking and feed patterns. If the things the baby wants is done on time and accordingly than the interaction is improved and is more perfect.
Summing up, a new born baby is born with unintentional movements and inborn reflexes. He/she with time develops all the things that start from movements, turning, eating, running and walking.
Bein-Wierzbinski, W. "Persistent Primitive Reflexes in Elementary School Children." Presented at the 13th European Conference of Neuro-Developmental Delay in Children with Specific Learning Difficulties Chester, UK (2001).
Seidel, Henry M., Rosenstein, et al. Primary Care of the Newborn, 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 2001.
Stettler N, Bhatia J, Parish A, Stallings VA, 2006 Feeding healthy infants, children, and adolescents.
Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 42.
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