Using his reflexes
He may not be able to do much in the first week of life, but the one thing your baby can do in spades is use the eight reflexes he was born with. At birth your baby is equipped with 'primitive' reflexes that will help him survive the early months of life. The one you may notice first is the Rooting reflex - when you stroke your baby's cheek, he'll turn his head towards you usually looking for food. Handy for those early breastfeeding days.
More exotic is the Tonic Neck reflex. Also called the fencing reflex because of the position your baby assumes, on his back and with his head turned to one side he will extend his arm and leg on that side while the opposite arm and leg bend, assuming a 'fencing' position.
As he slowly gains control over his muscles and limbs, these newborn reflexes will disappear, until by his first birthday they'll be only a distant memory.
Read more on all the eight reflexes a baby is born with.
Heel prick tests
One of the very first things your baby will experience in the first hours or days of life is the neonatal screening test (also known as the 'Guthrie' heel prick test) that involves taking a small amount of blood from your baby's heel to test for over 30 different congenital health conditions. While the incidence of each of the 30 conditions is rare, each baby born in New Zealand has a one in 800 chance of having one of them.
While these tests themselves won't identify the exact problem, a positive result would indicate that further testing is needed and your doctor will contact you.
Everyone expects to instantly bond with their long-awaited bundle of joy but the reality is that for many mums and dads it can take a little while to be won over by the charms of their newborn. With all the emotional upheaval that comes with having a baby, try not to add an extra layer of pressure on yourself if you're not bubbling over with love from the very minute you set eyes on her - after all, not all great love stories start with a love-at-first-sight moment. Give you and your newborn the best chance to bond by being gentle on yourself and taking this time to just hang out together and get to know one another.
Find more about your baby’s week by week development
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz