Your Baby's First Week
Congratulations on the birth of your little one! Your heart probably skipped a beat or two at the first sight of your baby. As you pondered the miracle that was in front of you, you probably also pondered her appearance. Most newborns weigh between 5.5 and 9 pounds and are somewhere between 18 and 21.5 inches long.*
Your little one may have appeared red and a bit swollen, especially if you had a vaginal birth or a long labor. Expect the redness to subside during the coming days, swelling to reduce, and her facial features to realign quickly. You'll also notice how she keeps her hands clenched and arms and legs curled in. This is a familiar, comforting position to your little one who has never known anything but this closeness. She'll relax her muscles during the next several weeks.
Though your little helpless bundle will need special loving care for the next several years, she's entered the world ready to meet the challenges of growing up. Her first few days are guided primarily by instinct. Already at birth she's able to recognize her mother's voice and, you'll likely notice her turn her head toward that single sound even when visitors crowd the room. Soon she'll identify other familiar voices she's heard from the womb.