Congratulations! Your long wait is over, at last. The little one you have been eagerly waiting for, for nine months, has finally arrived. Life during the 1 month old baby development milestones phase of your child can be a huge adjustment not only for you, but your child as well.
You may think that all a one month old can do is just cry, eat and sleep; which is true and is what you should expect most part of on any given day. But one month old baby development can be so fast and fascinating when you see the skills developing in front of your eyes – right from day one!
In this article:
- Physical Development Milestones
- Hearing & Visual Milestones
- Touch & Smell Milestones
- Emerging Skills
- Advanced Skills
- Baby Care for Your One Month Old
- What You Can Do As Parents?
- When to Be Concerned?
- Health Precautions for Your One Month Old
Physical Development Milestones
- Your baby jerks and quivers her arms and legs simultaneously. She will also turn her head from one side to the other, especially while lying down on tummy.
- Will often bring hands close to her eye, face and mouth, which is the first indication of her wanting to put her hand/thumb into her mouth for self soothing.
- Her head would tilt backwards in the absence of support.
- Will form a tight fist by clenching her hands.
- She will be ready to sit on her tummy and try to lift her head, though very briefly.
- Best of all, she will begin to smile.
Hearing & Visual Milestones
- She begins to recognise familiar faces.
- Recognises your movements, voices and tones and turns towards them.
- A one month old baby vision develops to an extent that it can focus objects up to about a foot away (12 inches). You will therefore often find her busy looking at things close to her.
- She would blink, often with excitement, when you clap.
- Will turn her head towards the direction of the sound.
- Develops a preference for black, white or contrasting colours including, especially stripes.
- Reacts to songs and nursery rhymes by paying attention.
Touch & Smell Milestones
- Can recognise the scent of mother’s breast milk.
- Likes sensations that are soft and coarse.
- Will avoid even mildly rough handling and will prefer soft and gentle handling.
- She develops a liking for pleasant smells.
- Will dislike odours that are acidic and bitter.
- She will be able to focus on objects that are close to her as her eyesight is developing fast.
- Starts developing motor reflex, viz. pulling her arms and kicking her legs, especially when startled.
- She will still start preferring things that are sweet and have discerning taste.
- Will start to gaze keenly at human faces with her eyes opened wide.
Baby Care for Your One Month Old
- Establishing a feeding routine is the first important care for your one month old.
- Make sure you feed your baby as per your doctor’s advice (generally 6 times a day if she is formula fed or 12 times a day if you are breastfeeding her).
- Take measures to control your baby’s sleep patterns, as good quality sleep is imperative for her healthy overall growth.
- Take adequate precautions before placing her in the crib.
- Ensure the crib is kept away from windows and remove any hard items which could harm her.
What You Can Do As Parents?
- There are a range of things you can do for and along with your one month old toddler all day:
- Actively interact with her while playing, even while changing diapers.
- Take her out for brief walks or just be under open sky, especially around dusk.
- Make her meet up and socialise with other kids.
- Get soft toys and rattles to keep her entertained or engaged.
- Play games like peek-a-boo or mimic a variety of sounds that you can.
- Try and make her follow your voice or notice your movements from a short distance.
- Talk to her by modulating your voice, sing or dance for her (just try it and see for yourself how much fun you will have), as it is a great way to develop her communication skills early on.
- Read out loud. This simple activity can be the first important steps towards develop her attention and listening skills.
- Since she likes looking at high-contrast pictures, you can make her look at books like “Hello Baby Animals” and “Hello Ocean Friends” or “Baby Einstein” series of books.
- Closely observe and understand whether she is hungry, sleepy, moody or tired; as crying is the only thing she will do for all of them as a toddler.
- Make her grab your finger. This will help her develop a strong clasp and improve motor skills.
- Move her legs gently in a cycling motion to build her motor skills. Over time, this will help her build stronger muscles for walking and crawling.
- Provide her with ample skin to skin contact. This is critical for your little one as it not only makes her feel warm but secure.
- Since her neck muscles are not strong enough to hold up on her own, make sure you provide her soft head support, especially during sleep.
- Allow enough time to be on her tummy. It will make her hold her head up and develop neck muscles.
When to Be Concerned?
- If she is unable to suckle properly.
- Is not focusing objects that are close to her.
- Her lower jaw is trembling constantly.
- Her limbs are loose and floppy therefore not thrusting her arms and legs.
- Is not responding to bright lights.
- Absence of Startle Reflex, therefore not responding with sharp jerks or movements of arms and legs in response to loud noise (like banging of the door).
Health Precautions for Your One Month Old
- Always wash your hands and face before thoroughly handling your baby, especially if you are back after being out.
- Get her immunisations administered on time and as per schedule. That’s the most potent way to protect her from infections.
- If your baby isn’t eating or sleeping well, consult your doctor immediately.
Note: Each baby is different and therefore tends to grow at a different pace. Chances are that your little one may have crossed certain milestones already, or is probably a little behind on a few others, which is normal. If you still feel there is something of concern, do speak to your paediatrician/registered professional child healthcare provider.