Learn about the development and milestones of your 1-month-old baby. Help your baby sleep better and grow strong with parent and baby activities.
The newborn stage is in the rear view mirror, and at one month of age, your little one is learning, changing and growing every day. As a parent, you may be tempted to compare your baby’s development to others, but remember that your baby is unique. If your child has not yet reached a specific milestone, don’t worry, because babies grow at their own pace. That said, there are some common features and developmental milestones to look for in your 1-month-old baby.
1-Month-Old Baby Milestones
At one month old, your baby can focus on your face, and some children can smile in response to a parent’s smile. Some of your child’s newborn reflexes will start to smooth out, resulting in more controlled movements. By the end of the first month, she may be intently watching you and even reaching out for you. All babies are different, but around the one month mark, many babies:
- Have a strong suck
- Lift head briefly when placed on tummy
- Can bring hands to face
- Use other sounds besides crying
- Smile back when smiled at
1-Month-Old Baby Activities
Your 1-month-old baby may be little, but she can learn and get stronger through simple play. While you engage in playtime activities with your baby, you are bonding together at the same time. Choose a time for play when your baby isn’t wet, hungry or sleepy, and try some of these:
At one month, some babies start turning their head or lifting it briefly, and tummy time allows them to strengthen these important muscles. Position your little one on your chest so she can see your face. Next, place some toys or a mirror in front of her, so she will want to lift her head to look, and make it fun by talking to her and making funny faces. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends tummy time, because it encourages early motor skills and boosts muscle development. The more your baby practices tummy time, the earlier she may be able to reach milestones like sitting without support and crawling.
Your little one can see the book you hold while listening to your voice. She can watch and mimic your facial expressions and sounds. Your baby will learn that something special is coming when mom or dad sits down to read a book. To a baby, that means snuggling, bonding, and staring at her favorite person — you.
Whatever you do around the home or on the go, talk to your baby, because she loves to hear your voice. Make sounds, and mimic the sounds she makes. You can have a conversation back and forth, even though it might not make any sense. Hold her head up, facing you. This way, she can watch your mouth move, and see you smiling at her.
Your 1-month-old baby can focus on a high contrast toy like a rattle. Place the rattle to the right, then slide it left and watch her track it with her eyes. When she moves her head to find the toy, this strengthens her neck muscles. Use other toys in a similar way, talking her through it, and telling her how strong she is getting.
Take your baby for a walk in the stroller or carrier and enjoy the fresh air. Talk to your baby about what you see. Ask her questions, and answer her when she makes her baby noises.
1-Month-Old Baby Challenges
Crying is your baby’s favorite way to communicate. When your baby has been changed, fed and napped and she still cries, this can be frustrating. Make sure there isn’t another reason for her fussiness, like a draft or a scratchy clothing tag.
If your 1-month-old baby is still crying for no apparent reason, make her as comfortable as you can. Try singing or talking to her in a quiet voice. Rock her gently or go for a walk. If you have tried everything, set her in her crib for a few minutes. Sometimes parents just need to take a break from a crying baby, and when they do, that little one may surprise everyone by falling asleep.
However, if the crying persists without explanation, talk to your pediatrician. Any parent who feels overwhelmed or unable to cope with a fussy baby should discuss this with someone they trust.
Some babies have physical reasons for crying, and your health practitioner can answer any questions regarding your baby’s crying habits. A baby with colic often shows other symptoms, such as tightly closed, balled up fists, or knees pulled up to the chest, as if in pain.
Doctors often pinpoint colic with the rule of threes: three hours of crying for three days a week, lasting for three weeks or more. 20% of newborns fit the typical pattern for a colicky baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics gives some ideas for dealing with a colicky baby, such as: swaddling, offering a pacifier, and using white noise for a soothing effect.
Your 1-month-old baby should sleep around 14-17 hours per day, and this is broken up into naps and short periods of nighttime sleep. Bottle-fed babies often sleep for longer periods of time than breastfed babies.
Remember that at one month old, your baby won’t stay in the same sleep routine forever. Her internal body clock will regulate itself around 3-4 months, but you can help establish your baby’s healthy sleep routine, by considering these bedtime tips:
- Create a dark, cool room (around 68-70 degrees).
- Put the baby down for naps and night sleep at the same time every day.
- Start a brief bedtime ritual with reading, quiet singing or gentle baby massage.
- Use white noise.
Every day, your 1-month-old baby is learning more about the world — and you are the center of that world. Enjoy the snuggling, the simple playtime, and those eyes that would love to stare into yours all day long.
When facing challenges of sleep and unexplained crying, keep trying until you find what works. As a parent, the things you do every day with and for your baby can make a big and long-lasting difference in your little one’s life.
Now that you know everything about your one-month-old baby, download the Kinedu app and get expert development guidance through 1,800+ science-based activities, live play sessions, personalized coaching, master classes, and family forums.