They are amazing little miracles! Here he is, this brand new, completely unique little human being. The newborn has been curled up in the womb for months and the space seems to have gotten smaller and smaller as he has gotten larger and larger. It is natural for the newborn to remain in a very curled-up position for a while and to prefer being wrapped securely. He’ll straighten those arms and legs out soon enough.
Newborns have reflexes. One of the first reflexes that you’ll see is the “Moro,” or startle reflex. In response to a loud noise, he will arch his back, extend and stiffen his arms and legs, and cry. He can have this startle reaction even when he’s asleep, but it goes away within a few months.
You newborn has other natural reflexes. The Babinski reflex is when the baby’s big toe bends back and the other toes fan out when the sole of his foot is firmly stroked. The step reflex is another newborn reflex. When the baby is held in an upright position and his feet touch the floor, he will have a reflexive stepping motion. The tongue-thrust reflex is when he pushes his tongue out when something is placed on it.
Newborns and those who care for them are ruled by the baby’s needs for nourishment and sleep. While he was in the womb, the baby was constantly nourished. He was never hungry. After birth, the constant food source has been eliminated, and the baby is hungry. A newborn needs to be fed every two or three hours around the clock. The good news is that in about a month, the baby will need to be fed less often; and by the time the baby has been in this world for about three months, he will likely have developed an eating and sleeping routine that those who care for him will really appreciate.