What Can Babies Do at One Month?

Reviewed on 6/7/2021

Newborn sleeping
At one month of age, the babies still want to feed frequently and are unpredictable with their sleeping patterns.

At one month of age, a baby will look around with alert, widened eyes and an open mouth. There is increased bonding between parents and their baby at this stage

At one month of age, the babies still want to feed frequently and are unpredictable with their sleeping patterns. Many are still fairly sleepy and apart from short wakeful periods of feeding and being alert, they sleep for at least a couple of hours between their feeds. 

  • Common milestones a baby may reach during the first month are
  • Able to bring their hands close to the eyes and mouth
  • Able to turn their head from side to side
  • Head tilts backward when not given support
  • Clenches hands to form a tight fist
  • Rooted reflex movements
  • Able to identify the scent of the mother’s breast milk
  • Can detect soft and coarse sensations
  • Prefers soft and gentle handling
  • Dislikes acidic and bitter-smelling odors
  • Likes sweet smells
  • Turn their head in the direction of sounds
  • Recognizes parents’ voices and tones
  • Blinks when parents clap their hands
  • Reacts differently to songs and various nursery rhymes
  • Prefers black and white or sharp-contrast colors (including stripes)
  • Can focus their vision up to about 39 feet (or 12 meters)
  • Crossing and wandering eyes
  • Babies will begin to turn their head when lying on their abdomen
  • Babies will start or try to lift their head for short periods
  • They will start to feel comfortable with their mother’s touch

One-month-old babies spend much of their time sleeping. Eventually, they become socially responsive. They like it when their parents pick them up. They may even get quite excited when they are cuddled. Babies go through several different states of alertness.

  • The quiet alert state is when the baby is cuddly and still. They also look into their parent’s eyes, listen to their parent’s voices, take in their surroundings and get used to their environment.
  • The active alert state is when the baby moves frequently, looks around, and makes sounds. The other states of alertness are crying, drowsiness, and sleeping.
  • The baby will cycle through these states repeatedly throughout the day.

As the baby gets older, parents will be able to help regulate their states of alertness. For example, if the baby has their days and nights mixed up, parents can provide less stimulation at night by feeding them in a dark room and putting them to bed once they are done feeding. Parents can also provide more stimulation during the day by playing with them. Crying is the baby’s only way of communicating at first, and it is important to realize that they will do a fair bit of crying this month. The baby’s crying will gradually increase in the first weeks of life, peaking at about six weeks.

What to expect in baby’s first month

  • Days with a one-month-old baby can be busy with feeding, changing diapers, settling them to sleep, and responding to their wails.
  • However, within a few weeks, babies start to take more notice of their parent’s voices, faces, and touch.
  • Black and white patterns also draw their attention.
  • The baby’s hearing gets better and they might turn toward familiar sounds, such as the mother’s voice.
  • Baby can lift the head briefly and turn it to the side when lying on their abdomen. However, when they are upright, their head and neck still need support. Although their arms move jerkily, they can get their hands close to their mouth.

Parent’s role:

  • Enjoy getting to know the baby. Cuddle, talk, and learn how they signal when they are sleepy or hungry. Be attentive and responsive.
  • Make them lie on their abdomen from the start when the baby is awake, so they can strengthen their muscles. Encourage them to look at and reach for toys.
  • Make sure they get plenty of time outside. Place them in a stroller or carrier and take them to the park or playground. They may enjoy the outdoors, relaxing, and being around other children.
  • Get close and make eye contact with the baby when talking, singing, and reading to them.
  • Play simple games when the baby is alert and in a good mood, such as peek-a-boo or mimic their sounds.
  • Learn the signs of the baby to attend to their needs.

Each child develops at their own pace, but talk to the doctor if a month old baby

  • Feeds slowly or doesn't suck well.
  • Doesn't seem to focus their eyes or watch objects moving nearby.
  • Doesn't react to bright lights.
  • Seems especially stiff or floppy.
  • Doesn't respond to loud sounds.

QUESTION

Newborn babies don't sleep very much. See Answer

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References
American Academy of Pediatrics. Developmental Milestones: 1 Month. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-1-Month.aspx

WebMD. Baby Development: Your 1-Month-Old. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/baby-development-1-month#1

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