Being a new parent is exhausting, overwhelming and wondrous all at the same time. Your whole life has changed and you are just getting to know your 1 month old baby and this very special relationship!
In the first year, you will encounter many different challenges, trials and learning curves as well as a whole heap of unconditional love. But in the first month, there seems to be an endless amount to learn!
That’s why I wanted to compile ONE article that contained it ALL!
So if you’re ready… Here’s what to expect during your newborn baby’s first month of life!
1 Month Old Baby At A Glance
In the beginning… feeding and sleeping will become more regular and differ from daytime to nighttime.
You will get to know how many dirty nappies are normal for your baby, and start to recognise sleep cues in your little one.
Evening baths will become part of your daily routine and your baby will start to respond to the sound of your voice, the sight of your face and enjoy simple games.
This is just the beginning of a very special journey together!
TOP TIP: Take photos of your little one at one month. Your baby will change so much in the coming months and you will love to look back at them.
1-Month Development And Senses
Your baby’s development at 1 month old evolves heavily around the senses and reflexes they were born with. They will begin to be more aware of the world around them, respond to familiar faces and voices and may even attempt their first social smile.
Your 1 month old baby will have highly developed senses as this is primarily how they interact with the world at this stage.
At this stage in your baby’s development, their eyes are able to focus on objects 8 to 12 inches away. They will like to look at bold patterns but as they are naturally drawn to the human face they will love to look at your face the most.
Your baby’s hearing will have developed before they are born in utero so by the time they are 1 month old they will turn their heads or look towards familiar sounds and voices. As with looking at your face, the sound of your voice is what charms your baby the most.
Your baby’s sense of taste at 1 month old is highly developed and they are able to differentiate between sweet and sour taste with a hard-wired preference for sweet which is why they love breast and formula milk so much.
Your baby will have learnt to recognise your scent and that of your breast milk very soon after birth and this continues and contributes to their strong bond with you.
Babies love things that are soft to touch and like the feel of your skin on theirs. Make sure your baby’s clothes are soft and non-scratchy and offer them the experience of touching soft toys and feeling soft materials against their skin.
This is your baby’s first love language so cuddle them, put your finger in their little hand where they will hold it tightly and get skin to skin contact.
NOTE: Babies are born with a highly developed sense of touch.
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1 Month Old Milestones
Even at this age, there are important milestones to look out for and delight in, as you watch your baby start their incredible developmental journey that is unique to the human child.
Newborn reflexes are reflexes that are present at birth and are designed to protect your little one and give you signals concerning their needs. They include:
- The rooting reflex helps them locate your breast or bottle.
- Sucking reflex for consuming food and comforting.
- Moro or Startle reflex is when your baby jumps with splayed out arms and legs when startled.
- Palmar reflex is when they hold your hand tightly when you place a finger in the palm of their hand.
Other Important Developmental Milestones Are:
- Can focus on objects 8-12 inches away
- May turn toward familiar voices and sounds
- Prefers parents faces to all others and will look intently at you when held
- Recognises the smell of mothers milk
- Will have identifiable cries for discomfort, hunger and tiredness
- Head flops backwards if not supported
- Moves head from side to side while lying on tummy
- May hold head up briefly when on tummy
- Movements become less jerky
The most important thing to remember about the beginning of your parenting journey with your newborn is that YOU are their favourite thing in the whole world.
Their eyes will seek you out, their ears will listen out for your voice and their mouth will seek out the milk your offer them.
Their brains are developing on a daily basis and although you may not appear to be getting much back at this stage… there is a huge amount going on in their little minds and bodies that will eventually reward you with that first smile and cooing response to your voice.
For a newborn baby, keep talking, interacting and offering short suitable, stimulating play and developmental opportunities. This will help them develop a little bit more every day.
To learn more about child development and how important it is to understand, click here to go to my Child Development post!
What Should A 1 Month Old Baby Be Doing & When To Be Concerned About Developmental Progress
As I am always saying… each child is an individual and this is true from the moment they are born.
While the above milestones are a list of what your baby can be expected to be doing not all these milestones will be achieved or exhibited by every baby in the same time period.
They are just a guideline.
Below are some signs to watch out for that you should consult a medical professional as they may be signs of a developmental delay. If your little one displays any of the following you should seek advice:
- Is slow to feed or has a weak sucking reflex
- Is not focussing or following a moving object
- Does not respond to loud sounds
- Does not blink in a bright light
- Appears to be very loose and floppy or overly stiff
- Does not move arms and legs very often
- Jaw trembles constantly even when not crying
1 Month Old Baby Health
All parents worry about the health and wellbeing of their baby and being a new parent can be scary as you adjust to having this new life in your hands and come to terms with the responsibility that entails.
However, as time passes and you will get to know each other things will begin to settle down into a new way of life that you will feel comfortable with and in control of.
Your baby’s health will be your primary concern and there are common issues that may occur. Some will be easy for you to remedy and some will need medical intervention but knowing what to expect and how to deal with it is very important.
Here are 11 common health concerns for parents of a 1 month old:
1. Cradle Cap
This condition affects up to 10% of 1 month old babies.
It is not infectious and can usually be treated by using a mild shampoo and a cradle cap brush (see my Toolbox for my recommendations!) It is not known what causes cradle cap and is by no means an indication of lack of care if it occurs.
The term colic covers a range of symptoms that occurs in up to 1 in 5 young babies. It usually starts at about 2-3 weeks old but tapers off by 3 months of age.
A doctor may diagnose colic if your baby regularly cries for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week and the pattern persists for more than 3 weeks in a row
Take a look at my post on colic and reflux for more help and ideas if you think your baby is suffering from Colic.
3. Umbilical Cord Care
Your baby’s umbilical cord should have dropped off within the first couple of weeks and by now should be well healed.
If you detect any signs of swelling or oozing after this you should seek medical advice as in very rare cases infections can occur but are easily cleared up with antibiotics.
4. Newborn Acne
This skin condition which manifests itself as small red spots is more common than you might think and is thought to be caused by maternal hormones still circulating in your baby’s bloodstream.
There is very little you can do to treat this condition apart from keeping the skin clean as it will normally clear up on its own.
The small white bumps that commonly appear on newborn babies is harmless and as with newborn acne, there is no treatment required. These spots will disappear on their own usually within a few weeks.
6. Constipation And Diarrhoea
Parents are naturally concerned if their babies are constipated or have diarrhoea.
Constipation can usually be treated at home but if your baby has diarrhoea for more than 24 hours, you should seek medical advice from your medical practitioner or paediatrician.
NOTE: Constipation is not about the number of bowel movements your baby has but is defined by hard stools that cause pain or discomfort when passed.
7. Nappy Rash
Nearly all babies will suffer from nappy rash at some point. The main cause is usually having worn a dirty or wet nappy for too long.
By keeping the area clean, applying a nappy rash cream and allowing your baby to lie without a nappy for short periods of time the rash should disappear quite quickly.
If, however, the rash does not improve after a week you should consult your doctor or paediatrician.
As your little one’s digestive system is immature they will need help to expel wind for up to the first 3 months. Finding out which burping position helps your baby release wind the best is the key.
9. Stuffy Nose
Most babies will suffer from a congested nose at some point. The condition will usually clear on its own but if you are concerned about your baby’s stuffy nose you can try a nasal aspirator or saline drops. If the condition persists and is accompanied by a fever then consult a doctor or paediatrician.
10. Spitting Up
It is common for babies to spit up milk after feeding as their digestive tract is immature. As long as they are gaining weight and are not experiencing any discomfort associated with the spitting up then there is nothing to worry about.
As with stuffy noses, coughs are common in newborns. Most coughs will go away on their own but if your baby’s cough is accompanied by a fever then should consult a doctor.
TOP TIP: At your baby’s 1-month check-up they will get their second Hepatitis B Vaccine and you should ask your doctor about vitamin D supplements if you are breastfeeding.
1 Month Old Baby Weight
All parents are obsessed with their baby’s weight and it is true to say that weight gain is important. In the first month of life, you can expect your little one to gain on average 1 ounce or 30 grams per day.
Some babies will lose some weight just after they are born, but do not worry! This is completely natural and they will gain the birth weight back (& more!) by about 2 weeks.
1 Month Old Baby Poop
At 1 month old you can expect your baby to produce 1-4 dirty diapers a day.
However, each child is different and you will get to know what is normal for your little one. This will apply to the number of poops in a day and the colours they come in.
Breastfed babies will generally produce a more yellow speckled stool while formula-fed babies produce a more green coloured stool.
NOTE: You should only be concerned if your baby’s stool shows signs of mucus or blood.
One Month Old Baby Bathtime
1 month old babies need a bath about 3 times a week.
Whilst bath time will become an intrinsic part of the bedtime routine it is not essential to do it every day. BUT… it is really up to you.
Once the umbilical cord has dropped off you can start building a daily bath into your evening routine making sure your baby’s skin is well moisturised before going to sleep.
1 Month Old Baby Sleep
A one month old baby can spend 14-18 hours asleep every day, which will include about 5 naps during the day.
There is light at the end of the tunnel at this point as by 6 weeks old your little one may be able to manage longer stretches of sleep at night.
While a well-established bedtime routine is your ultimate goal… for now you should let your baby sleep when they need to.
At this stage, you really just have to go with the flow with baby’s sleep!
TOP TIP: Swaddling can help some babies feel secure and therefore, settle more easily.
How Much Should You Feed A 1 Month Old Baby?
A one month old baby that is breastfed should feed about 8 times per day and be fed whenever they are hungry. To ensure your baby is getting the appropriate amount of breast milk or formula they need you can use the following as a guideline.
A formula-fed baby will on average have 6 to 8 feeds of 2-4 ounces over a 24 hour period or consume 2-2.5 ounces of formula per pound of body weight in 24 hours.
However, it is important to remember that all babies are different and some are naturally greedier than others.
As long as your baby is gaining and maintaining a healthy weight you are doing fine.
NOTE: Breastfed babies will generally wake more often at night than formula-fed babies.
1 Month Old Baby Feeding Schedule
At this stage in your baby’s development, there is no need to worry about a strict feeding schedule.
You will still need to feed your baby when they are hungry and let them sleep when they need to do so. Just go with the flow for now!
1 Month Old Baby Activities
You might think that in the first month there is not a lot you can do to play with your little one. BUT… in my post How To Play With a Newborn, you will find lots of ideas for interacting with your baby and the huge benefits of doing so.
Just remember your baby is primed to learn from the moment they are born so the simplest activities are of huge interest to them. Some easy and simple ways to play with your baby are:
- Talking and chatting about anything and everything. They love the sound of your voice!
- Making funny sounds and pulling funny faces
- Putting a mobile over the crib for them to look at
- Playing soothing music or singing to them
- Start tummy time on a soft tummy time mat
- Showing them boldly patterned toys or books
Best Toys For A 1 Month Old Baby
Newborn babies do not require lots of expensive toys and without a doubt, you are their favourite toy. Here is my list of the ones I consider most important:
- Crib Mobile
Mobiles are ideal for this age as they can lie and look up at them and will find them fascinating it also encourages them to lie awake on their own for short periods of time
- Books with bold patterns and pictures
By one month old your baby will be able to focus on a book with bold patterns and pictures to take time to share a book together and sow the seed for the love of books
- Simple wooden rattle
Your baby will be able to follow and turn to the sound of a rattle at this age
- Tummy Time Mat
Tummy time is hugely important for the development of your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles that will lead to better head control and later to sitting.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about 1 month old babies that I feel every parent should know the answer to!
What Can Babies Do At 1 Month?
As I mentioned above, newborns do very little except sleep, eat and poop. Click here to jump up to the one month milestones you should be looking out for.
Can A Baby Go Out At 1 Month?
I am a great advocate of getting out and about with your baby as soon as you feel able to.
By one month old, I would be aiming to take baby out for a walk at least once a day or if the weather is warm, spend some time outside in the garden on a blanket.
This isn’t just for baby’s benefit either… it is for your health too.
When Should You Start Tummy Time?
You can actually start tummy time as early as day one but by the time your baby is 1 month old they should be having daily tummy time sessions.
2-3 sessions a day for 3-5 minutes is a good place to start.
If your little one is struggling with tummy time, read my post Help! My Baby Hates Tummy Time to learn how to navigate this tricky situation.
When Can I Massage My Baby?
You can start massaging your baby from birth and it has many benefits. Make sure you pick the right moment to massage your baby and follow their cues.
If you would like me to write a post on baby massage, leave a comment saying “baby massage post!” at the end of this article!
Does My Baby Have Colic Or Reflux?
Telling the difference between colic and reflux can seem a little tricky at first, but I have written a whole article about EXACTLY this, so click here to check out my Colic and Reflux article to explain all about the differences and how to help baby get through this uncomfortable time.
Checklist For This Month:
- Attend first-month check-up
- Attend a baby first aid course (this can be done before baby arrives too)
- Learn how to swaddle your baby
- Always place baby to sleep on their back
- Try a bit of tummy time every day
- Always support your baby’s head
- Read to your baby every day
- Take baby’s photo
- Read our 2 month old baby article!
Game Of The Month:
How? Clap your baby’s hands together gently and sing the Pat-A-Cake rhyme. You can also take your baby’s hands and hold their arms gently wide apart then bring them back together again.
Why do I recommend it? They will love to hear the sound of your voice, focus on your face and enjoy the physical actions which will naturally strengthen their muscles. It is also a lovely bonding exercise for you both.
Book Of The Month:
Hello Bugs (Black And White Sparklers) By Smriti Prasadam
What is it? When it comes to choosing your baby’s first books you can’t go wrong by including this gem. With its charming introduction to ten beautiful little bugs, it is a beautiful book for newborns.
Why do I recommend it? I love the high contrast black and white patterns and glittering bursts of coloured foil that bring a vivid splash of colour to every page, this book will capture your baby’s attention. It really is a little gem of a book.
There are endless places to buy books for your little one. Amazon is the first place most people think of buying books, however, you can pick up books at garage sales, charity shops, online second-hand book shops such as Awesome Books and Better World Books and of course, your local library.
Top Parenting Tips:
By the time your baby is 1 month old you will hopefully be feeling more confident about your parenting skills and ability to understand your babies needs but even if you are still feeling all at sea don’t worry, the best is yet to come.
From this point forward your little one will begin to develop their personality and start to communicate with you in subtle and not so subtle ways and you will begin to see a pattern develop in their behaviour and be able to implement simple routines that will make you feel more in control of your life again. Always remember that your little one is a unique individual.
Here are some helpful tips for getting through the first month of parenthood.
- Watch a baby massage instructional video or attend a class with your baby
- Let a family member and/or friends help
- Sleep when your baby sleeps
- Express some breast milk so that your partner can give one of the nighttime feeds. (Great for bonding)
- Invest in a night light and white noise machine
- If it all gets too much put baby in their crib (even if they are crying) take a deep breath and make yourself a cup of tea before you go back to your baby. They might even surprise you and fall asleep!
- Keep evening and nighttime interactions low key and daytime interactions more stimulating.
- Watch for sleep cues as an overstimulated or overtired baby is harder to settle.
What is one parenting tip you received and never forgot?
FINAL NOTE: Babies develop and grow at different rates. This post is to act as a guideline. If you are at all concerned about your baby, please visit your doctor or local GP.
If you enjoyed this post and know other parents who would enjoy this content, be sure to give it a share around!
As I mentioned in this post if you’re looking for products for your little one and you’re not sure where to begin, be sure to check out my Parenting Toolbox.
It is full of all my favourite products which I’ve tried to ensure are all non-toxic, eco friendly, sustainable and, of course, they’re all baby proof!
Do you have any blog recommendations that you’d like me to write about? Drop me an email [email protected] and let me know. I love hearing from you!
Thank you for your continued support and until next time, Happy Parenting!
Paula McLarenPaul Mclaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and has been in the child care industry as a Norland Nanny since 1982. Since then, her mission has been to help parents become the best they can possibly be. And each year, she continues to help more families understand their child's development, the trials and joys of parenting and of course, how to care for their little ones.
This free daily routine reveals our simple process to take you from feeling stressed, tired & overwhelmed to a thriving, organized & confident parenting champion.