Normal Development

Newborns

Here’s what you might see your baby doing between the ages of 0 and 2 weeks old.

Reflexes
•    Reflexive actions: crying, grasping, yawning, swallowing, sucking, blinking, coughing, gagging, sneezing
•    Grasps whatever is placed in hand
•    Sucks whatever is placed in mouth
•    Is startled by sudden noises and movements

Movement
•    Jerky, mostly uncontrolled motions
•    Waves arms, kicks legs, wiggles and squirms
•    Cannot turn body or support head without assistance
•    Cannot sit without support
•    May turn head from side to side while lying on back

Sleep/Wakefulness
•    Usually sleeps from 17 to 20 hours per day
•    Cries and fusses about 1 to 4 hours per day
•    Is alert and quiet about 2 to 3 hours per day

Vision
•    Cannot focus clearly
•    Sees best at 8 to 10 inches

Interactive Behaviors and Senses
•    Smiles spontaneously and unselectively
•    Discriminates between some smells
•    Begins to turn in direction of sound
•    Begins to distinguish the human voice from other sounds
•    Is more sensitive to high-pitched voices, especially mother’s voice
•    Is best calmes by a soft, rhythmic voice
•    Cries a lot
•    Makes tiny gurgling sounds when content
•    Shows preference for the human face

2 Weeks Old

Here’s what you might see your baby doing between the ages of 2 weeks and 2 months.

Movement
•    Movements gradually become smoother and more controlled
•    Lifts chin for a few seconds when lying on tummy
•    Cannot support head without assistance
•    Grasps whatever is placed in hand

Vision and Hearing
•    May follow some moving objects with eyes
•    Explores surroundings with eyes
•    Turns in direction of some sounds

Interactive Behaviors
•    Gives more precise meaning to crying (hunger, discomfort, excitement)
•    Cries when left alone; usually stops when picked up
•    Makes variety of gurgling and cooing sounds when happy and content
•    Makes eye contact
•    May quiet down in response to human face
•    Responds positively to being held and comforted
•    May smile socially at familiar faces and voices, especially mother’s voice


Remember:

Each child is unique.  It is therefore difficult to describe exactly what should be expected at each stage of a child’s development.  While certain behaviors and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide spectrum of growth and behavior for each age is normal.

These guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general progression through the developmental stages rather than as fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages.  It is perfectly natural for a child to attain some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

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