1-Month-Old: Baby Settling In

Having your baby at home with you in the first few weeks might have felt overwhelming. As the weeks progress and you gradually adjust to this new little person in your life, you might soon be feeling more confident and comfortable. Don’t get too comfortable though! Newborns develop and change rapidly, and your baby will be keeping you on your toes in weeks five, six, seven, and eight. To help you feel more prepared we’ll outline some typical milestones for a 1-month-old baby, cover what you need to know about feeding and sleeping at this stage, and give you a heads-up on potential issues you might face, like colic and cradle cap.

Baby Development Milestones

Your baby is unique (you knew that, of course!) and it’s normal for her to grow at her own pace. Don’t be surprised if your baby’s development in one area seems to lag for a few weeks, only for her to catch up soon after. Here are some of the baby milestones to look forward to now that your baby is 1 month old.

Growth and Physical Development: Chubby Cheeks

Does it seem as if your baby’s growing out of her clothes at supersonic speed? On average, babies gain about 1 to 1 ½ inches in length and about 1 ½ to 2 pounds in weight this month. At the upcoming health checkup, your healthcare provider will look at your 1-month-old baby’s weight, length, and head circumference and plot these key measurements on baby growth charts. What matters is that your baby grows at a steady rate. Having said that, your baby will go through growth spurts from time to time.

You might notice that your baby’s head is disproportionately larger than her body. This is perfectly normal: her head’s growing a little faster and her body will soon catch up. Your baby will also start to lengthen and develop stronger muscles. Luckily, she’ll still have those cute chubby cheeks for some time to come!

Senses: Eyes on That Rattle

In every waking moment, your baby is slowly taking in the sights, sounds, and smells around her. This month, your baby may be able to better focus on faces and objects, and may soon start to track them with her eyes as they move in front of her. In the next month or so she may also start to reach for objects. For example, if you hold a rattle in front of her she may start batting at it.

Movement: Working on Those Leg Muscles

This month, your baby’s movements will mostly still be reflexive, but some of the reflexes present in the first four weeks may gradually start to disappear and be replaced by more controlled movement. When she’s on her tummy she may briefly hold her head up, and she may start to stretch her arms out more instead of holding them close to her body. She may also start to stretch and kick her legs out. It might seem like a little thing but she’s actually working hard to strengthen her leg muscles. Keep in mind: Even very young babies can roll over from time to time, so make sure you keep an eye — and hand — on her when she’s up somewhere high like a changing table.

Crying and Communication: Mom, I'm Bored (or Hungry)!

This month your baby can probably start communicating in a clearer way. For example, if she’s bored she may let you know by crying out until she’s shown something new. If she’s amused, she may respond by smiling. Around this time, you might also start being able to tell the difference between her hungry cries, tired cries, and irritated cries. If you haven’t experienced it yet, this month you might see her first true smile, sometime called the social smile. She'll flash that little grin when she's awake, in response to something like the sound of your voice — and your heart will melt.

How to Support Your Baby’s Development

Here are some things you could try this month:

  • Cuddle time. Cuddle your baby as much as possible — it's a great way for you and your baby to bond! Experts say the more quickly and consistently you comfort your baby when she’s upset in the first six months, the less demanding she may be when she’s older.
  • Visual stimulation. At this stage, your baby might prefer to look at objects that have straight lines on them, such as stripes or checkerboard patterns. Choose a mobile or toys with bright, contrasting colors and patterns – she won’t be able to take her eyes off this visual feast!
  • Tactile toys. Your baby is getting to know the world through touch, too. Give her toys with different textures, shapes, and sizes.
  • Talking with your baby. Have a conversation with your baby by letting her “talk” using her coos, gurgles, and smiles, and talk back to her using words, sounds, and facial expressions. In time, your baby will learn to imitate you, so these early “conversations” are great for her development.
  • Getting physical. Gently stretch your baby’s arms in front of her to form a “clap”; move your baby’s legs as if she were cycling; and continue to practice tummy time. All of these help develop her muscles and movement.
  • Bonding. Establishing security and trust with your baby allows her to reach her full potential. Find out more about bonding with your newborn in those everyday moments.

Check out this short video for even more play ideas. However, keep in mind that there’s only so much new information young babies can take in. Watch for signs that your baby has had enough — she might look away or cry — and give her a chance to rest.

Feeding Your 1-Month-Old Baby

You may be wondering how much to feed your 1-month-old baby as she grows. Continue to feed your baby whenever she seems hungry. At this age, that’s probably about eight times in a 24-hour period for breastfed babies or about every three to four hours for bottle-fed babies. If your baby is mid-growth spurt she may want to eat a little more often.

If you’re breastfeeding, check out our go-to guide to discover essential breastfeeding basics.

Burping Your Baby

Babies can swallow air when they feed — more often when they’re bottle-fed than when nursing. This swallowed air can make them feel uncomfortable and fussy. To help, burp your baby during bottle feeds, or when you switch her from one breast to the other. Make sure you have a burp cloth or a small blanket covering your clothes to guard against spit-up milk or formula, and try one of these burping positions and techniques:Burping positions

Monthly milestones

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