The well baby

Newborn babies development health and growth explained plus information on what you can expect when your baby is well.
When you are at home alone with your baby for the first time you will probably feel a little anxious about the responsibility you have taken on. This is very normal. Even parents who have had a lot of experience in caring for other people's children feel different about their own.

You will almost definitely spend a great deal of time looking at your newborn infant. This is a good time for you to get to know each other. Over the days and weeks you will learn to recognise different behaviour patterns in your baby. This will help you respond to your baby's needs and also to know if your baby is OK.

The well baby tends to behave in a certain way.
  • he or she will be settled and comfortable while asleep and will initially sleep a lot
  • wake, ask for food, feed and be contented
  • lie awake for a time, often after feeding
  • cry periodically because of hunger, loneliness, discomfort or for less obvious reasons
  • gain weight and fill out so that his or her body and limbs become covered in a layer of firm fat
  • feel warm to the touch
  • breath easily and look pink
  • have a soft prominent tummy
  • pass urine frequently and stools without discomfort
If you are unsure, at any time, of whether your newborn baby is looking or behaving normally please ask either a midwife, GP, health visitor or ring NHS direct.

Sometimes you cannot put your finger and what is wrong, but if in doubt it is best check. Your intuition might be right and if it is not it is good to get your fears allayed.

For minor problems, perhaps your baby has vomited once, but is otherwise well, it might be worth waiting a little while to see what happens. If the sickness continues or any other symptoms occur then seek advice.

New parents often get to know their GP pretty well in the first few months. Do not worry about this, they are there to help you.

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