What are the 4 basic needs of a newborn baby

4 Basic Needs of a Newborn Baby

A newborn infant needs security, clothing, adequate sleep and nutritious food – along with sensory stimulation. He or she also requires routine medical care.

Newborns must be breastfed on demand, meaning they should receive breastmilk when they display pre-cry hunger cues (licking fingers or lips, looking directly at their mother’s face etc).

Breastfeeding is the optimal method of providing babies with all of the essential vitamins, calories, and fluids they require as newborns, while also strengthening immunity against serious illnesses and conditions.

1. Feeding

Newborns need frequent feedings. Breastfed newborns generally nurse 8 to 12 times each day during their first weeks of life; healthy infants can easily obtain all of the nutrition they require from breast milk or formula.

Newborn babies being bottle fed should receive formula every two to three hours; by their first birthday they should have transitioned away from bottles completely.

Newborns should receive pureed meats and vegetables in the early months, along with pasteurized 100% fruit juices (no added sugar) in small amounts.

Infants require sensory stimulation for healthy development. This may come in the form of toys with various shapes, textures and colors or through swaddling and rocking, swaddling blankets with different shapes, textures and colors or rocking motion. Infants also benefit from physical contact – such as being massaged, held skin-to-skin, picked up or cuddled regularly. Sleep is equally as essential – consistent sleep time routines should include wind down massages for babies as well as soothing music or lullabies to ease them off to sleep time!

2. Sleeping

Newborns require enough restful sleep so they can grow and develop properly. While sleeping, brain cells lay down essential connections known as synapses which enable them to explore their environment through sight, touch, taste and smell senses.

Newborns often wake between sleep cycles, yet eventually fall back asleep on their own – a process known as self-settling.

To help your baby get adequate rest, put them to bed when they are drowsy and reduce household noise levels as much as possible before bedtime – this helps reinforce that nighttime is for sleep rather than activities!

Your baby should sleep in a crib or other safe sleeping environment designed specifically for infants. Babies who sleep on sofas or adult beds increase their risks of SIDS, suffocation and overheating.

3. Development

Newborn babies must develop physically, cognitively and emotionally from birth – this includes reaching for things, using their senses, recognising people and objects around them and learning about the world around them.

At first, most newborn movement and activity is involuntary or reflexive – for instance when you stroke the corner of their mouth, they may root towards it (turn their head). Over time these unintentional responses will gradually develop into purposeful movements such as lifting their heads when lying on their tummies.

Newborns can see colors and patterns, yet their nervous systems lack an effective filter to process all the sensory stimulation they experience through eyes, ears and skin – which may overstimulate them leading to shut-down responses and responses such as preference for certain voices or soothing music. Newborns prefer hearing one person’s voice or relaxing music as comforters.

Spend ample tummy time with your infant to build neck strength and foster their brain development. Also try not to leave them sitting too long in baby seats, swings or strollers.

4. Safety

Newborns must be provided with a safe environment to thrive, free from things that could harm them such as choking and suffocation, chemicals or medicines that pose risks, and any harmful bacteria that could enter their system.

Baby should be kept in a crib or bassinet away from windows, heaters and lamps as well as climbing furniture as this may lead to falls that cause injury. Also avoid climbing onto any items above them such as pillows, blankets or toys as these could fall and cause harm; baby hats should only be used in warm climates.

Infants should avoid giving hard foods like hot dogs, whole grapes and raw carrots that could obstruct their airways, along with small objects like buttons, coins, balloons and safety pins which they could choke or strangle on. Blind cords also present a risk to infants so draperies or miniblinds with corded shades should be secured or switched for cordless ones as a safety measure.

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