Normal Development: Newborn

Each child is unique. While some behavior and growth milestones tend to happen at certain ages, a wide range for each age is normal. It is okay if your child reaches some milestones earlier and others later than the average. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, check with your healthcare provider. Here’s what you might see your baby doing between the ages of 0 and 2 weeks old.


  • Smiles for no reason.
  • Makes tiny gurgling sounds when content.
  • Shows preference for the human face.
  • Cries and fusses off and on for about 1 to 4 hours per day.


  • Begins to turn in direction of sound.
  • Begins to distinguish the human voice from other sounds.
  • Is more sensitive to higher-pitched voices, especially mother’s voice.
  • Is best calmed by a soft, rhythmic voice.


  • Is alert and quiet about 2 to 3 hours per day.
  • Usually sleeps from 17 to 20 hours per day.
  • Cannot focus clearly. Sees best at 8 to 10 inches.
  • Jerky, mostly uncontrolled motions.
  • Waves arms, kicks legs, wiggles and squirms.
  • Cannot turn body or support head without assistance.
  • Cannot sit without support.
  • May turn head from side to side while lying on back.
  • Normal reflexes include crying, grasping, yawning, swallowing, sucking, blinking, coughing, gagging, sneezing.
  • Grasps whatever is placed in hand.
  • Sucks whatever is placed in mouth.
  • Discriminates between some smells.
  • Is startled by sudden noises and movements.
Written by Robert Brayden, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-09-25
Last reviewed: 2013-09-18
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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