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Psychological Behavior of a Newborn

by Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell, studioD

Don't let the fact that your newborn spends most of his time sleeping mislead you; all kinds of important changes are going on in your infant's brain. Your bundle of joy is on the cusp of making advances in many areas, not the least of which is cognitive, or mental, growth. Psychological development allows your baby to think, learn and recall past events. You're promoting your newborn's psychological progress each time the two of you have a positive interaction.


An endless cycle of sleeping, crying, eating, wetting and soiling diapers is the order of the day during the first several weeks of your newborn's life. During this period, your face and soothing voice become a recognizable source of comfort as your newborn comes to associate you with nourishment, warmth and a calming touch. Rocking, softly singing or talking to your newborn may ease any distress he's experiencing, whether it's gas, feeling ill or simply the desire for physical closeness.

Early Communication

Crying is your newborn's primary means of letting you know when she needs something or that she'd like you to fix something that's wrong, like changing her diaper or filling her tummy. She may be trying to tell you that she's too hot or too cold or needs to be burped. Newborns may also cry for no particular reason at all. Your newborn's communication skills aren't limited to crying, though. She is likely to have a repertoire of sounds that include sighs, squeaks and grunts. These noises are typically reactions to disturbances such as a high-pitched sound or a strong smell. Your baby may also squirm as a means of responding to you or to get your attention.


You can stimulate your newborn's brain growth by providing a loving, cheerful, calming and stimulating environment. Presenting your newborn with textured toys, rattles and mobiles with distinct colors and designs encourages the development of touch, hearing and sight, explains KidsHealth.org. Sounds are also very intriguing to newborns. Your baby should respond to interesting noises by looking attentive and slowing down his activity, even that means he simply stops moving his arms. He may turn his head to try to figure out the source of the sound.


Amazing changes begin to take place when your infant enters his second month. You'll notice that he's more responsive, alert and actually seems to be listening when you talk to him. Cooing and babbling sounds begin over the next several months as your infant delights and entertains you with his "baby talk." You have a lot to look forward to.

About the Author

Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.

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