Development and Characteristics of a One Month Old Baby

Parenting September 26, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 1 Month Old Baby

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How I Grow and Talk

  • I cry when I’m hungry, wet, tired, in pain, or when I want to be held.
  • I’m beginning to make some throaty sounds.
  • I like your hand behind my neck when you move me, so my head doesn’t wobble.
  • I turn my head sideways when I’m on my stomach.
  • I root around and try to suck even when I’m not feeding.
  • I roll part of the way from my back to my side. Never leave me alone in a place where I could fall. Keep the sides of my crib up and latched when I’m alone.
  • I keep my hands in a fist or slightly open most of the time.
  • I have a soft spot on my head. My skull was soft to allow me to be born more easily. My flexible skull will give my brain room to grow.

How I Understand and Feel

  • I feel comforted when you hold me close, smile, and talk gently to me. Don’t be afraid of spoiling me because I need to be held and touched.
  • I tune in to Mom’s voice, and I like to hear her heartbeat and similar beats or rhythms. I spent a lot of time listening to her voice and heartbeat before I was born.
  • I can recognize Mom by her smell. As Dad and other caregivers play with me and help me, I’ll recognize them too.

How I Respond

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  • I like to look at things that have a light verses dark contrast.
  • I like to look at your face the most, but I like mirrors, too. I make eye contact with you.
  • I stare at things, but I don’t grab for them yet. Please change my position so I can look at different things.
  • I don’t show much expression in my face, but I will soon!
  • I may smile when I see or hear you. Don't believe those people who say I’m smiling because of gas. Babies smile for real (it’s not just a reflex) within two to eight weeks after birth.

Learn more about Your 1 Month Old Baby from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.