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Newborn babies can hear – your baby has been hearing noises from well before they were born.They can see, but only see close things clearly.

  • In the first 3 months your baby will be attracted by faces, bright lights and colours, stripes, dots and patterns, but not understand what they’re seeing.
  • They’ll first recognise that eyes, nose and mouth make a face.
  • Then your baby will begin to recognise particular faces and other things like their teddy. Hang pictures of faces and simple toys above the cot to give your baby practice at looking and learning.

The world can be a big and scary place for a new baby. They don’t know you’re there to comfort, feed and care for them.Your baby can’t understand that they’re comfortable because they're full and safe, or uncomfortable because they’re afraid or hungry.From your smell and voice, your baby will quickly learn to recognise you’re the person who comforts and feeds them most, but not that you’re their parent.However, even from birth, your baby will start to communicate with signals when they’re tired and hungry, or awake and alert.Your baby is learning all the time. Your job is to help them know that the world is a friendly place, where their needs will be met, so they can learn to feel safe and loved.Social and emotionalPhysical developmentHearing and seeingSpeech and language

  • Babies show how they feel through their face, voice and body movements.
  • Crying is the main way your newborn baby can let you know something is wrong, and soon they may start having different cries for different things – hunger, pain, wet, cold, fear and loneliness.
  • You will begin to recognise these different cries in the first few weeks. Babies have no understanding about time so, for them; all their needs are immediate and urgent.
  • Try to respond to your baby as quickly as you can so they begin to understand you’ll be there when they call out for you. This develops the feeling of security, which is very important.
  • By 7 or 8 weeks, your baby will be making cooing and simple sounds. They’ll also listen to what you say, then make noises back as they ‘talk’ to you.
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