As part of The Happiest Baby program we discuss with parents the contrast between the newborn we imagine and a REAL newborn. Many people, not having experienced much hands on care with a baby, have the image of a newborn that's more like a four month old. That "fourth trimester" (the first three months of life) makes an enormous difference in development! It can be startling for a parent to receive a small, rather floppy, unsmiling & swollen faced baby lump:
Versus a baby that's chubby, can hold their own head upright and even sit with assistance, who smiles at everyone, and is a roly poly darling at four months of age:
(I think this one's plotting!)
For those of us that are parents already, we've gone through this adjustment of expectations vs. reality. We may forget that for many new parents, the newborn can be quite a shock when we discover how helpless they arrive. It's interesting to see that contrast in photos, and to remember what a startling and rapid development they experience in their fourth trimester of development!