All newborns are born knowing certain behaviors. They know how to
cry, sleep, startle, suck, yawn, hiccup, grasp, sneeze, root (turn
their head in the direction of something touching their cheek),
urinate and have bowel movements. They are naturally afraid of
sudden loud noises or falling. Strangely, they take steps as when
walking. The walking reflex will disappear within a few weeks.
• Newborns tend to breathe with an irregular pattern with some
pauses. This is normal.
• Breathing should be at a rate less than 60 breaths per minute,
pauses less than 6 seconds, and the skin should not turn any
• They can clearly see objects that are 8-10 inches away.
• They are able to look around.
• Visual acuity will increase dramatically within the next few
• They hear well and turn their head towards sounds.
• They respond to your voice (which they probably remember from
hearing it while in the womb), and are especially fond of soothing
• Loud and sudden sounds are frightening to them.
• Babies love to be touched and they respond positively to it.
• Many like being cuddled or wrapped snugly.
• This helps with the bonding process.
• They do a lot of this, up to 90% of the time during the first few
• When an object is placed in their hands, they will grasp it
• Often, a considerable amount of lint accumulates in their palms.
• They do this well.
• Crying is usually a sign of hunger, being soiled or wet, scared,
or wanting to be soothed.
• A crying baby is usually telling you something.
• Sometimes, babies just cry.
• Talk softly to your baby, face to face.
• Hold him snugly.
• Rock her, offer a pacifier, walk outdoors with a
baby-front-carrier or stroller to soothe her.
CALL 1061 OR SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL
ASSISTANCE If the respiratory rate is greater than 60
breaths per minute, pauses are longer than 6 seconds, the skin turns
color (bluish) with breathing, or you have any other concerns
regarding your newborn.