Skip to main content

4 signs of a healthy baby that prove you’re doing something right

mother and newborn baby
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Have you found yourself wondering where your newborn baby’s user manual is? Every new noise or behavior can cause new parents to rush and search the internet for answers. It may seem like every time you figure this new baby out, she throws you a curveball.

Keeping your baby happy and healthy may seem daunting, but there are clear signs of a healthy baby.

What are the signs of a healthy baby?

1. Signs of bonding

Scientists are studying the importance of strong bonds between parents and their babies. These attachments are essential to newborn development. Mary Beth Steinfeld, M.D. asserts “When a caregiver consistently responds to an infant’s needs, a trusting relationship and lifelong attachment develops.”

Bonding with your baby doesn’t only deepen your relationship; it also helps her experience social and emotional growth. Steinfeld explains bonding “sets the stage for the growing child to enter healthy relationships with other people throughout life and to appropriately experience and express a full range of emotions.”

You may feel that strong pull towards your brand new baby while staring at her fingers and toes, but how do you know if your baby reciprocates those feelings? Alison Gopnik, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley and the author of The Philosophical Baby, explains “within a few weeks, babies can recognize their caregiver and they prefer her to other people.”

Babies show attachment to their caregivers in many ways. They may stare intently at loved ones, calm when they hear familiar voices or are picked up by their parents, and eventually will start smiling when she sees loved ones.

2. Attentive to sights and sounds

According to the American Optometric Association, babies aren’t born with 20/20 vision and your infant will need to learn to see. Much like learning to hold her head up for longer stretches, training the eyes can take time.

By two months, your baby’s eyes will begin focusing better and she may be able to recognize your face and facial expressions. At three months, your baby should be able to visually focus on objects and even track them while moving around.

Although your baby could hear your voice while in your womb, it takes some time for your newborn to adjust to how different the world sounds outside your belly. Around month two or three, your baby should start turning her head towards sudden, loud noises and to new or exciting sounds.

3. Frequent diaper changes

After your baby shower you may have stared at all those diapers thinking there was no possible way you would make it through that many. Now, you may be wondering if something is wrong with your newborn.

At your baby’s check-up, your pediatrician will ask how many wet and soiled diapers your baby has on the average day. Typically, newborns should have at least six wet diapers during their first month and at least one poopy diaper a day.

Although diaper amounts can fluctuate between formula-fed and breastfed babies, most pediatricians hope to see 8 to 10 dirty diapers a day. This usually means your baby is receiving enough milk to stay hydrated and to support infant development.

4. Settling into a routine

Your first month with baby can seem like an endless blur of feedings, diaper changes, and sporadic sleeping. As you and your baby get familiar with each other, you should fall into a good routine. In fact, developing and maintaining a routine means your baby is healthy.

Usually, by month four, your baby should be sleeping for more consistent stretches and eating at regular intervals. These schedules may get disrupted by teething and other developmental stages, but overall you should have more consistent days than not as your infant grows.

baby-growth-spurt
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How do I know if my baby is growing well?

At each pediatrician appointment, your baby’s doctor will measure her heat, height, and weight. These measurements will track her specific growth patterns and can be used to determine how your baby is growing.

Your pediatrician will discuss any concerns about your baby’s growth and provide suggestions. It’s important to remember every child develops in their own way and you may need to factor in how active your child is and family growth patterns.

How do I know if something is wrong with my baby?

Babies change so much in their first year. Just as you begin to feel like you have a handle on your baby’s cues, she may change. This can cause new parents to worry. If you ever have any concerns, you should contact your pediatrician.

If your baby experiences any of the following, consult her doctor:

  • A sharp decrease or lack of wet diapers
  • No bowel movements in over 48 hours
  • Decreased appetite
  • Symptoms of illness (fever, cough, diarrhea, congestion)
  • Yellowing skin
  • Increased irritability or crying that doesn’t get better when comforted

Editors' Recommendations

Whitney Sandoval
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Whitney Sandoval is a freelance writer and educator living in the Midwest. She writes about parenting, accessibility, and…
What age do babies crawl and when you should worry if they’re not
How to encourage babies to crawl
A baby crawling away from their parent.

Baby's first year is full of super exciting milestones. A monumental one is when your little one begins to be mobile by crawling. Crawling opens up a whole new world for your baby as well as you. Of course, with crawling comes a lot of concerns like what is your baby going to get into as well as worries if your guy or gal isn't. So, at what age do babies crawl? We've got everything you need to know about crawling including what to do if your baby hasn't hit that milestone yet.

At what age do babies crawl
Baby milestones are of course exciting and adorable. Proud parents can't wait to capture those special milestone moments for themselves, family, and friends. Milestones are important for other reasons though. Milestones like rolling over and crawling build upon one another and eventually lead to walking. According to the Mayo Clinic, most babies begin crawling between seven to nine months. Of course, this is only a range which means some little ones may begin crawling earlier or later. Some babies also skip the crawling stage and move right into cruising. There are different types of crawling too. So, let's take a look at common crawling questions parents may have about this monumental milestone.
Types of crawling
For the most part, there are five different types of crawling. Just the like age babies begin to crawl, there isn't a right or a wrong way to do it. The method babies use to crawl is the ideal way for them to do it. These are the basic methods for crawling.

Read more
When do babies start saying mama?
At what age does a baby say mama
Smiling parents talking to their baby

Baby milestones are so exciting, and parents love everything their little one does from day one. Of course, parents can't wait for baby to start talking. Those first words are memorable and proud parent can't wait for baby to say mama and dada. When should parents expect to hear their adorable baby utter their first words? According to the Mayo Clinic, by the end of baby's first year, you may head baby say mama. Most babies begin uttering simple words like mama and dada at around the 12-month mark. Every baby's speech and language development is different though. Some little ones may start talking sooner than others, which is what makes speech and language developmental milestones so important.

How does baby start talking
Even before your baby starts speaking, they’re communicating. Babies use crying as an early communicator. This quickly expand to gestures, signs, and pointing to help parents understand what they want. All these signals help prepare your baby for their talking debut. These interactions teach children the basics of communication and the concept of language. Parents are a baby's primary role model when it comes to speech and language development. Baby's first year is full of speech and language milestones which help little ones on their way to speaking their initial words.

Read more
Should you get an automatic rocking bassinet?
Automatic rocking bassinets may be the sleep solution you've been looking for
rocking bassinett

When you have a baby in the house you know how precious a few moments of uninterrupted sleep is and you'll do whatever works to get your little one to sleep. If you've been looking for efficient solutions to sleep-training, then it might be time to consider an automatic rocking bassinet.

An automatic rocking bassinet is like a gentle hammock or swing for your little one. With features like soft gliding motions, vibrations, songs, and more, they’re becoming more popular with parents and parents-to-be. If you've been wondering if it’s worth the investment, we've got all the information you need. We’ll go over some very persuasive reasons why they’re worth buying and important features you might look for.

Read more