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Newborn: Parenting

The first few weeks of your baby's life are an exciting time for both of you as you learn about each other, and your baby learns about the world.

The best way to learn about your own baby is simply to spend lots of time with her. That way you'll get to know how sensitive she is to touch, sounds, sights and what is going on in the world. You'll see how often your baby cries and gets upset, whether your baby tolerates change easily or finds it difficult and so on.

These characteristics make up your baby's temperament and temperament affects how your baby responds to you, to other people and to new situations. You'll soon discover just how much stimulation he can handle without getting upset.

Right after a baby is born is a hectic, tiring time for parents. The good news is that by doing the things that come most naturally in caring for your baby - feeding, bathing, changing, soothing, cuddling and talking - you are giving your baby what he needs most. You are letting your baby know you'll be there when you're needed, and this gives him a good start in life.

It's important to realize that newborn babies are not capable of intentional behaviour. Newborns don't try to please you or to upset you. They just let you know when they need something, are upset or happy. Some people hear a baby cry and mistakenly say, "Oh, she just wants attention". They feel the baby is just being manipulative, and that giving too much attention is wrong. But attention and cuddling are a real need, just like food and sleep. You can not spoil a baby by meeting her needs in the first six months of life.

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