The objective of this work is to specify, by reference to the normal newborn, the current contribution of the electroencephalogram in the hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy of the full-term newborn. Both digitized traditional EEG and cerebral function monitoring (CFM) will be considered. We first describe the main features of normal and pathological EEGs. A good knowledge of the organization of the sleep-wakefulness cycles, in relationship with the EEG, is essential. Very early recordings (before 6 hours of life) are needed to put the indications of neuroprotective treatments (hypothermia). Between the normal or near-normal tracings, which are associated with a good prognosis, and the very pathological tracings (inactive, paroxysmal), which are associated with a poor vital or functional prognosis, the interpretation of "intermediate" tracings - mainly represented by other types of discontinuous tracings - must take into account characteristics of bursts and discontinuities, postnatal age, the evolution of successive tracings, and pharmacological treatments. A flowchart is used to illustrate our strategy of EEG watching over a full-term newborn after an acute fetal distress.