Most parents think all the newborn baby does in the beginning few months is eat, sleep, cry and repeat. However, have you ever given it a thought is that all? If the baby is just doing the above listed things, how is it possible that within a few months the same baby starts cooing, recognizing faces, grabbing toys etc. There are many more complex things going on in the background with those three main activities going on in the foreground. According to a few researchers there are a lot of things going on in an infant mind. These are complex states for your baby (though it may seem simple to you). In other words, what’s actually going on in your newborn’s mind?
Consciousness or Newborn state of mind can be classified into 6 states.
“I am done! Please pick me up NOW!” – Crying – The Most Understood Infant State Of Mind
How do we know there’s a newborn baby in the house? Obviously. We will hear a lot of crying. Crying is the most recognized state of the infant mind. All the parents will agree with this. A newborn baby will cry when he or she is hungry, needs to be held and comforted, needs to be burped, gas troubles, is sleepy. Crying is the means of a newborn baby to catch the attention of the parents. It’s a form of communication. It means the baby has reached her limit and needs to be attended to. A crying baby will be flailing arms and legs vigorously, face becomes red, hands tightly fisted and eyes tightly closed as if to shut away everything.
What’s the best you can do when your newborn baby is in this crying state of mind? Lift the baby and try to console, Sing to the baby, Gently sway the baby. Fulfill immediate requirements like hunger or sleep.
“I am ready to go to sleep or just out of sleep!” – Drowsiness
Your newborn baby is either sleepy or just out of sleep. You can see signs of drowsiness like droopy eyelids, dull and unfocused eyes. In the newborn mind nothing seems interesting. Your baby may not respond immediately in this state. In this state you can either let your baby sleep again or awaken her for feeding. To awaken gives her something to play with.
Quiet Sleep – Most Pleasant Infant Mind State For Parents
Here your baby is in deep sleep, with minimum movements or rare movements. In this newborn state of mind, it is generally difficult to awaken the baby. The baby mostly doesn’t even awaken for any feeding session. Mostly you can see only slight sucking movements of the baby’s lips in between. This is the best time to trim your baby’s nails.
This is the time for parents to get most of the things on the to do list done. Moms can catch up on their sleep or shows or me time whatever helps you relax.
“I am building my brain in my sleep!” – Active Sleep
When your baby sleeps, the sleep cycle alternates between quiet sleep and active sleep. In this infant mind state you will see lots of movements in your baby. Arms and legs will be moving, lips trying to suck, you might catch your baby smiling. Sometimes you may even find his eyes moving from under the eyelids and occasional open and shut eye activities. In this state your baby may easily awaken to any noise or external disturbances. There is a lot of brain development going on during this active sleep time. There are chances of the brain working on the stimulation it received and observation seen when the baby is awake. Some researchers say there is work on neural pathways going on during this time and nerve proteins being produced.
“I am watching everything” – Quiet Alert State of Newborn Mind
This is the most influenceable newborn state of mind. This is so because the baby will be focused on observing, keen on learning. Your baby will have minimal movements and most of energy will be spent on looking intently at what’s going on around. This is an awesome time to have a good interaction with your baby. Baby has complete attention to you if you choose to have it. In the initial few months this quiet alert infant mind state will be increasing. This is the best learning state for your child. You can feed during this time, most importantly, introducing good stimulation in the form of play and talks.
Sometimes a few babies have long hours of this quiet alert state. My little one was awake for quite a long time after he was born and then followed by a long hour of sleep. He was looking at everything around him. Eyes wide and bright, he has such awesome calmness. I will never forget the bright shiny look on his face.
“I am in need for a little attention now!” – Active Alert
In this stage your baby is more alert and has a lot of activity going on like moving arms and legs. In this state your child is still observing. However, now the focus is on the objects around him. This is a good time to feed your baby or swing him a little in your arms. You can easily stimulate the baby. Your baby is interested less in talking to you at this stage. You need to check if your baby is hungry, needs a change or is he sleepy. If you don’t feed at the right time, your baby can swiftly go into a crying state. Fussiness can be a characteristic of this infant mind.
This is a generic guide that may apply to most babies. Most importantly, you can carefully observe your little one and try to recognize what’s going on in your newborn’s mind and act accordingly. Therefore, this recognition will help you boost your baby’s overall development in the most amazing ways. For if we have a gist of what’s going on in the infant mind it is really easy to prepare ourselves and our mind to be in sync with our babies.