Congratulations! on your new baby! When your baby if first born, the doctors/nurses first perform the APGAR test to test the healthiness of the infant. This test is done at the 1st and 5th minutes after birth. The baby’s heart rate, respiratory rate, muscle tone, reflexes, and the skin color are checked. At the 1st minute the score should be “7” and at minute five, the score should be “8” or more. A score of “3” at the 1st minute and “5” or less at the 5th minute needs help very quickly to survive.
The growth process of the baby is broken down into developmental milestones.
- Neonate: birth-30 days
- Infancy: 30 days-2 years
- Pre-school: 2-5 years
- School age: 5-10 years
- Adolescence: 11-17 years
During the neonatal period, the weight of the baby will triple in weight. In the first year, the baby’s brain will grow up to 65% of its total size. Imprinting has the greatest effect in the first 24 hours of the baby’s birth. Imprinting is when the baby learns the characteristics and the “feel” of its parents and loved ones.
Necessity for Mother’s Milk
At the time of birth, the baby has no immune system. About the 4th week the baby begins to slowly make its own globulins, and has the ability to fight infections. But the 1st few weeks the baby is vulnerable and therefore breast milk from the mother is very important. The mother transfers her immuno-gamma-globulins to her baby and the baby has a somewhat functioning immune system until their system grows and functions. The breast milk is approximately 87% water and has 20 calories per each ounce. The baby needs 2.5 ounces/pound/day and 50 calories/pound/day.