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Newborn Health Surprises: What you should know about your newborn

1. Safe Sleeping Is Important

According to SIDS and Kids Australia, over 3,500 families experience the sudden death of a baby or child each year, either through stillbirth or during the first month of life, from sudden unexpected death in infancy (SIDS or fatal sleeping accidents), SUDC (sudden unexpected death in childhood) or accident. Sadly, there is no known cause of SIDS. To keep your baby safe, SIDS and Kids Australia recommend you:

1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side

2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after

4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day

5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months

6. Breastfeed baby where possible


2. There Are Five Must-Have Vaccination Points

When you have a baby to take care of, there are many doctors’ visits, health checks and vaccinations. In fact, there are five check-points (birth, two months, four months, six months and 12 months) for vaccinations within the first year. Many vaccines will protect your baby for years to come, so will play an important role throughout their lifetime.

Immunisation is an effective way to protect your baby from vaccine preventable viruses, disease or bacteria. Your General Practitioner or Paediatrician is the best source of information to discuss your baby’s immunisation options. Other good resources include the National Immunisation Program Schedule.


3. They Hear You, But Can’t See You

Newborns can hear but have immature eye muscles. They can see (at close range), but they can't organise the visual images into meaningful shapes. Watch out for the following milestones:

  • In the first two months, they are attracted by bright light, colours and patterns
  • Eyes move in unison, most of the time, by six weeks
  • The human face is the first 'object' they recognise, which is exciting for mums and dads

Over the first three months, they begin to see other things in their world.