Your baby at one month old
In month one, your baby will go through a range of developments, linked not only to their appearance and growth but also their senses and motor skills.
OK, so it will be a while before they will be debating the finer points of War and Peace, but your baby’s language abilities start developing right from day one. Researchers have proved that even a four-week-old baby can tell the difference between the sound of ‘ma’ and ‘na’. By now they can coo, gurgle, grunt and hum to express their feelings.
Coo and gurgle back in a sing-song voice (try not to feel silly – this is brilliant for their development). Hold them close and speak to face–to-face so they can see your expression. Keep talking even when you put them down and move away.
At a glance
- Your baby’s hearing is very sensitive and it’s fully developed now
- A newborn baby’s vision is very fuzzy, but by now they are able to focus a bit better. They still can’t see far – around 30cm
- The mirror game: hold your baby in front of a big mirror and pull faces and make noises
Your baby's senses at one month old
Having done a lot of development in the womb, your baby's hearing is very sensitive and it's fully developed now. They will begin to turn their head towards the source of a sound. Watch their response when you clap your hands from across the room or shake a rattle - they may blink or jump slightly.
You might want to try singing some nursery rhymes or softly playing some music to your baby. You'll likely find your little one reacting differently to different sounds and types of music, an early indicator of their music tastes perhaps!
A newborn baby's vision is very fuzzy, but within one month they are able to focus a bit better. They still can't see far - around 30cm - so when you smile at your baby, lean in close.
They are also beginning to track a moving object by moving their head and eyes but when the object disappears they forget it ever existed. Don't worry if they look slightly cross-eyed occasionally - it takes a lot of effort to focus. Many toys for this age are black and white: it's not that they can't see colour but they find the high contrast easier to pick out.
Your baby's motor skills at one month old
Movement and awareness
When babies are born they have no sense that they even are a separate person from you, but at one month old they may discover their legs and arms - even if that's by accidentally hitting themselves. It will be another month or two before they get any co-ordination, though.
Their neck muscles are still weak, although you may notice your baby is able to hold their head up briefly when they are lying on their tummy or being held by you. They may also be able to turn it side to side.
How to help your baby develop in the first month
- Keep up an animated conversation with your baby and maintain lots of eye contact - it seems daft as they clearly can't understand you, but the sound of your voice will soothe them and kick-start their language skills
- Choose a bright and noisy toy like a rattle (make it a lightweight one) and move it across their line of vision so they can follow it with their eyes
- A mobile hanging above your baby's cot is a good idea as it helps their tracking skills and focus. It doesn't have to be an expensive all-singing, all-dancing one - they will love even homemade cardboard shapes hanging above them, especially if they are shiny and/or high contrast
Game of the month
The mirror game: hold your baby in front of a big mirror and pull faces and make noises. Watch how they react - they may even try to copy you.
They're all different
A small note on developmental milestones: it's really true - all babies are different and although we can encourage them, they will do things at their own pace and in their own time.