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Baby's First Month: A Guide to Development and Milestones

Published on: May 01, 2013

One-month-old baby

All about your 1-month-old baby!

Physical development: Baby’s hearing is fully developed (for newborns, a hearing screening is universally done on babies born in a hospital in Washington state) and he might “startle” toward familiar sounds — your voice or a loud noise — says Dr. Michelle Terry, attending physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital. At this early stage his head and neck need careful support.

Brain development: Your baby can't focus farther than 8 to 12 inches away — just the right distance for him to gaze at your face when he is being held in the crook of your arm. Black-and-white patterns also draw his attention, says Terry.

Social development: Enjoy getting to know your baby. Cuddle him, talk to him and learn how he signals when he's sleepy. Give him plenty of tummy time while awake, but always put him on his back to sleep, says Terry.

Fun fact or milestone: Babies are born wired to learn and they do it best by imitating. In Dr. Andrew Meltzoff’s studies on imitative learning, a baby 42 minutes old mimicked the doctor’s facial movements, says Princess Ivana Maria Pignatelli Aragona Cortes, a real-life princess, mom to two, and co-author of the book A Simple Guide to Pregnancy & Baby's First Year

What to watch for/common concerns: Each child develops at his own pace, but Terry advises that you talk to your baby's doctor if your one-month-old feeds slowly or doesn't suck well; has problems going pee or poop; doesn't seem to focus his eyes or watch things moving nearby; doesn't react to bright lights; seems especially stiff or floppy; or doesn't respond to loud sounds.

One important thing you can do for your baby: Encourage him to look at and reach for toys. Make sure he gets plenty of time outside. Go for walks with him. Read to him every day. Baby books are sturdy because they will get put in mouths and dropped a lot, says Terry.

More child development milestones:


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