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Newborn Babies

What Does a Newborn Baby Look Like?

Newborns have yet to develop the chubby, rosy cheeks and wide-eyed looks that are characteristic of babies. A newborn’s head may be slightly misshapen after birth, and it may seem large and out of proportion with their body. Newborns may appear thinner than parents expected, and their eyes may seem puffy, or slightly crossed. A newborn baby may have scratches on their face from long fingernails, and they may have a misshapen, floppy or folded down ears.

Within the first few weeks of life a newborn’s appearance will go through many changes. A misshapen or pointy head will usually take on a rounded appearance by two weeks of age. Eye puffiness generally fades within the first week, and proper eye coordination will strengthen in time. Weight will slowly fill out a newborn’s body, and ears will take on a normal shape during the first month of life.

What Is Healthy Newborn Behavior?

The brain of a newborn works at twice the level of an adult brain. From the moment of birth, a newborn is learning about himself or herself, and their environment. As newborns listen to voices and sounds, and focus on the facial expressions of their caregivers, they are learning much about themselves as pathways in the brain are being formed.

  • A newborn baby’s eyes can focus and track on faces and objects that are within eight inches of their face.
  • Newborns can turn their heads in the direction of voices and sounds. Newborns recognize the voices of their caregivers.
  • Newborns have the ability to taste and prefer sweets. They may grimace when their tongue comes in contact with something bitter, sour or salty.
  • A newborn’s sense of touch is normal. They can feel pain, and they respond to how they are being touched.
  • Sucking is a natural instinct in newborns. Many newborns need to have this instinct satisfied, even when not feeding. Many babies need to suck on their hands or a pacifier.
  • A newborn can yawn, sneeze, hiccup, and have a trembling chin or lower lip.
  • Newborns have a sleep cycle of approximately one-two hours, and will sleep between 16 and 20 hours per day.
  • Newborns can grasp things that are placed in their hands.
  • Newborns can startle to sounds and movements, even in their sleep.
  • Babies communicate through crying. Caregivers can quickly come to know what different cries mean as a baby expresses his or her needs.

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