The physical needs revolve around eating, sleeping, security and sustaining life.
Feeding options include breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Lactation specialists are typically associated with hospitals and birthing centers, and these specialists are trained to teach new moms how to breastfeed their baby successfully. Baby care books, and most prenatal classes offer information about how to safely bottle feed a baby.
- Burp cloths are essential no matter how you choose to feed your newborn. There will be spit up and it will occur frequently. Burp cloths should be soft and absorbent.
- To help your newborn sleep, limit wake times to 1 to 2 hours. Newborns have the moro reflex or startle reflex where they throw out arms and legs in response to noise or sudden movement. When they move in this manner, they can wake themselves up. Keep baby’s sleep area quiet and calming to avoid disruption. Swaddling your newborn before putting him or her down to sleep can also help to prevent the moro reflex.
Every human has the need for love and acceptance; your newborn is no different just because they are small. Emotional health shapes many aspects of our life experiences, and being capable of expressing, coping and dealing with emotions starts from the first day of life. Your newborn is counting on you to help her develop the ability to be a healthy emotional being.
- Respond to your newborn’s needs immediately. Soothe your baby when he is distressed and feed him as soon as he cries to be fed. Meeting your baby’s needs quickly will give him a sense of security and well being that forms healthy emotional attachments between you and your baby.
Your newborn baby has mental (cognitive) needs as well, and they can be easily met.
- Communicate with your baby by talking, holding and cuddling. This helps him or her to learn about you and his world. There is nothing wrong with a little baby talk.
- A baby learns about the world through sight, hearing and by touching. Give your baby safe ways of exploring his world expands his mental knowledge and helps him to grow cognitively.