Your Amazing One-Month Old


As small and fragile as your baby may seem, rest assured that your gentle loving caresses will provide for his most basic needs: to be loved and comforted by you.

Milestones this month | Your newborn's natural reflexes | Your baby's developing senses | Snooze news | Dinner! |

Milestones this month*

  • Your baby can lift his head slightly for a few seconds when lying on his stomach.

  • He focuses his eyes on your face.

  • With his eyes, he'll follow an object moved about six inches above his face.

*All babies have their own internal developmental timetable. If your 1-month-old hasn't yet reached these milestones, rest assured that he will in time. If you have concerns about your baby's development, discuss them with his doctor.

Your newborn's natural reflexes

After nine months in the womb, your baby will be equipped to say hello to the world with these universal reflexes:

  • Grasp: His little hand will grip your finger when you stroke his palm.

  • Startle: When he's startled by a loud noise or a quick movement, your baby will thrust out his arms and legs, then draw them back and cry.

  • Rooting: When you rub the corner of your baby's mouth, he'll immediately turn toward your finger. This rooting instinct is what helps him to latch onto your nipple for feeding.

  • Sucking: Your baby is ready and willing to suck for feeding; sucking also comforts him.

  • Tonic neck: Lie your newborn on his side, and watch how he extends his arm and leg on the side he's lying on, and flexes the arm and leg on the opposite side.

  • Walking: Although he's far from ready for the real thing, if you support your baby upright in a standing position, you'll see him naturally try to step out.

Your baby's developing senses
At 1 month, your baby will be experiencing a symphony of the senses. What he hears and sees can make him quiet, agitated, satisfied or blissful -- sometimes all four emotions in the same breath!

  • Seeing: Your baby's vision tends to be nearsighted: he's able to focus best on objects eight to 15 inches away. Bold shapes and bold black-and-white patterns attract his attention. Place a mobile over his crib so your baby can follow its movements. He's already turning his head and eyes to look at you. And your baby also is trying out his mime talents by imitating your facial expressions.

  • Hearing: Your baby knows your voice well, and he responds to it by growing quieter or more excited. Speak to your baby or sing to him as you feed, diaper, rock, and bathe him. Your words will be his first tools of communication. From you your newborn will learn to speak and to listen. You'll also discover that babies like the sound of music; play soft lullaby tapes throughout the day and at bedtime to help him relax.

  • Touching: Your tiny one responds to your touch. Take advantage of the opportunities to be close-feeding, cuddling or just rocking. Respond to your baby's cries; this will help him learn very early that you're there to comfort and care for him.

Snooze news
During these first weeks, your little one will sleep -- and sleep -- and sleep. The average newborn logs 15 to 18 hours of sleep per day, often in the form of short naps. Though you're probably hoping that his longest sleep stretches will occur during the night, don't count on it, at least not for awhile. One way to move closer to that goal is to wake him if he sleeps for more than three to four hours at a time during the day.

Already, your baby anticipates mealtime. If you're breastfeeding, plan to nurse him every two to three hours. You'll know he's getting enough to eat if he seems satisfied following the feeding, if he continues to have wet diapers and stays within a normal growth curve.

If your baby is taking formula from a bottle, plan on feeding him every three to four hours. Initially, he'll eat about two to four fluid ounces at each feeding, but gradually the amount will increase.

As he begins to recognize your face, your voice and your touch, he's also building his fledgling memory bank. And before you know it, he'll express that recognition and trust with a big, beautiful smile -- incredible!

Experts agree that breastmilk is best for your baby. Not only is it the most nutritionally complete food your newborn will ever eat, but it also benefits your baby in other ways. Even if you plan to bottle-feed formula to your baby, consider breastfeeding these first few days so your baby can benefit from this nutritious natural food.