One of the 1 month old baby milestones is having more sensory awareness and growing stronger each day – though he will still need plenty of support when raising his head even a little.
Development in all babies is different, and premature babies will probably be a little later in reaching key milestones than their peers. As you learn to adjust to your baby's needs here are some changes to look out for:
1 month old baby milestones: My baby is growing!
Babies often lose weight during the first few days of being born, and all babies typically lose around 10% of their birth weight before stabilising again – this is because they lose lots of extra body fluid, which is quite normal. By one month they will be gaining weight quickly, between a half-ounce and an ounce a day. Your health visitor or doctor will check your baby’s weight gain against a growth chart during your check-ups, to make sure he is growing at the right rate.
1 month old baby milestones: When will my baby be able to hold her toys?
Though a newborn's nervous system is still maturing, babies can do a lot, even in their first month. Babies are born with reflexes like sucking, and soon after birth, he will be able to (with a little help from you) latch on to your breast to feed. Put your finger into your baby’s hand, and he'll close his fist around it tightly. The Moro reflex also means that when babies are startled they will flare both arms and legs and pull them in. Although babies have lots of reflexes at one month old, they will still need to be given neck support whenever you lift them.
Easy exercises like moving your baby's legs in a bicycling motion for a couple of minutes will help tone the muscles and prepare her for crawling and walking – because your little one will be on the move before you know it!
1 month old baby milestones: What can my baby see?
Babies are born with very fuzzy eyesight, and can only see things close up. But he will love to focus on faces and will prefer colourful toys because they’re easier to see. By one month babies are becoming more aware of the world around them and he may coo and gurgle when he sees you. Sometimes you might notice your one month old’s eyes cross when trying to focus. This is normal, because the eyes are not yet fully developed by one month. If they remain crossed at three or four months, be sure to speak to your doctor or health visitor as it could be a sign of strabismus (cross-eye).
1 month old baby milestones: What can my baby hear?
Newborn's hearing isn’t yet fully developed at one-month, but babies can recognise sounds – especially their parents’ voices, as they could hear you in the womb. Encourage his newly developing communication skills by talking and chatting whenever you can. If your baby doesn’t seem to be responding at all to sound, be sure to mention this to your doctor or health advisor at your next visit.
Play music to your baby for sensory stimulation. He will love the new noises and sounds, the more varied the music the better!
1 month old baby milestones: How can I communicate with my baby?
Though you probably know this by now, crying is one-month-old babies main mode of communication. Don't worry, babies can cry for up to three hours a day and it will lessen with time. Crying is your baby’s way of saying lots of things: ''I’m hungry – feed me!'', ''I have a wet nappy,'' or, ''I’m really tired and want to be held.'' Eventually, you’ll start to understand each cry differently and discover the best ways to respond, by rocking or swaddling him, for example. Some babies might need further attention so be sure to speak to your doctor if you just can’t soothe your newborn.
1 month old baby milestones: How much should my baby be eating?
Make sure you allow your little one to feed whenever he seems hungry. About 8-12 times a day is normal for newborns. A good way to keep track of this is to check how many nappies your baby gets through every day. There should be several wet nappies and three soiled or pooey nappies for breastfed babies, normally only one poo per day if your baby is taking formula. Remember at around six weeks, babies who are breastfed may go several days without a bowel movement. Speak to your health visitor if you are concerned your baby isn't taking enough milk.
1 month old baby milestones: How much sleep does she need?
Birth is tiring for you and the baby! And for the first few weeks, your newborn will want to sleep a lot. In fact, newborns sleep 15 to 16 hours a day. Sometimes these hours are erratic because your baby hasn’t yet adjusted to the normal day and night cycle. Try to limit play and activity to daytime, and keep things quieter at night. This way, you can help him adjust to a routine. Try dimming the lights as a signal to your little one that it's time to sleep.
What else can I do to help my little one's development?
Five Top Tips:
- Soon after birth your baby will have to do tummy time – lie him on his front as a way to strengthen his back and shoulders, giving him a chance to move his arms and legs in a different way. Be ready to help if he gets tired or frustrated though.
- It's normal for infants to have fussy periods, but crying could be excessive for some: it could last several hours a day!
- Give your 1-month-old lots of contact, for example by holding him, or giving him a soft massage. Your newborn will feel comforted and loved as babies love to be touched.
- Remember – it's common for new parents to feel tired and overwhelmed at times, but if these feelings are intense or you feel sad, moody, or anxious, speak to your doctor or health visitor.
- Remember you can't spoil a newborn – holding your baby and being attentive to their needs is what being a parent is all about!
To sum up, pay attention to these 1 month old baby milestones to see if your baby has reached them – but don’t panic if that’s not the case! Remember that babies have their own pace, and babies at 1 month are still in a very early stage!