Your 1 Month Old Baby Growth and Development

A doctor measuring an infant's size

If you are new parents, you may find that caring for a little baby is a daunting task. Constant worries about whether your child is growing in a healthy manner may give you sleepless nights. In a one month baby, development is a gradual process and happens each day. Knowing what to expect at specific time periods can put your mind at ease.

Growth of the Baby

Your baby will be born with excess body fluid and will lose this in the month following their birth, leading to a 10 percent decrease in your one-month-old baby’s weight. So, if there is some weight loss in your baby during the first few days, there is no reason for you to be alarmed. Their weight should increase within the next two weeks and after that, they will begin putting on weight more rapidly. They may gain anywhere between 14 to 28 grams per day during their first month.
If your baby is not gaining enough weight reach out to a healthcare professional to check for any underlying causes.

Baby Development

You can track your baby’s development by the week for a better understanding of how he is growing. Your doctor will measure your baby’s weight, height, and head circumference to determine his growth progress. You can also keep an eye out for other developments including vision, hearing, communication, and language abilities.

A doctor weighing a newborn baby

4 Week Old Baby Development

At 4 weeks old, gurgles, babbles and coos are how your baby will try to communicate with you. It is important that you talk to your baby during this time and keep the conversation going. This is one of the important ways to build and develop language skills in your baby. As his hearing and vision are developing, he may be able to recognise voices, sounds, and familiar faces.
Your baby is also ready to be set on her tummy which will allow her to try  and lift her head up, even if it is for a few moments T.his should be done under supervision. Never leave your baby unattended while she is in this position or even otherwise. Your baby will be growing around 4 inches by the fourth week and gain anywhere between 140 to 200 grams in a week.

5 Week Old Baby Development

By 5 weeks, the muscles on your baby’s neck will have grown stronger and your baby should be able to hold his head up for a little longer while lying on his tummy.
Around this time, your baby may also reach one of the first milestones – smiling. He may also sleep for longer hours in the night and go for four to six hours without waking up.
Since babies usually have their first growth spurt between the fourth and the sixth week, your baby may likely gain up to 200 grams during the 5th week.
With the better development of vision and focus, he may be able to focus both his eyes on a specific object. He will also be able to distinguish between certain colours.

6 Week Old Baby Development

Your baby at six weeks will have a fully developed hearing and will be able to focus his attention on sounds and voices better. He may be able to listen to and appreciate music much better as well.
His memory is also slowly developing, so you can expect him to perk up when he sees you. You can also expect some facial expression paired with eyebrow-raising or pursing of his lips.
While his first growth spurt would have ended by this time, you can still expect him to gain around 140 to 200 grams in the sixth week.

7 Week Old Baby Development

You may notice that your baby has grown at least two inches by the seventh week. More importantly, your baby’s brain is also gradually growing. This is a great time to engage him in learning. With a better vision and focus, he should be able to focus at least 60 cm ahead of him. He may even be able to track a moving object with more focus.
This is a great time to engage him in conversations, play him music or even show him pictures and patterns to improve his cognitive abilities.
By seven weeks, he will also begin understanding that he can use his hands to grab things. So, you may notice him trying to reach out for little things to grab on to. Keep out any sharp or harmful objects away from her during this time.

Baby Health

Most parents worry about their baby’s health during this time if their baby cries often. If you find that your baby cries often and are concerned that your baby has colic, you can check for the symptoms. Colicky babies are known to ball up their fists, pull up their knees to the chest and shut their eyes tight or keep it wide open as they cry. They may even flay their limbs or have gas, as well as hold their breath for short period of time. The general rule of thumb to diagnose colic is the ‘rule of threes’ – three hours of crying, for three days each week, which lasts for at least three weeks.
However, not all severe crying can be traced back to colic. Crying is your baby’s natural way of communicating and is a sign that he is healthy. If your baby doesn’t seem to cry a lot you can consult your doctor to find out why.
You will also need to check if your baby needs a change of diaper, is hungry or is feeling uncomfortable in any way.
Around the first month is also when your baby’s immunizations are due and you will need to take him to the doctor to get these administered. Reduce your baby’s exposure to germs and infection by maintaining proper hygiene. Also, keep him away from anyone who is unwell to prevent him catching any infections. Always handle your baby only after washing hands.

Baby Milestones – 1 Month

Your baby’s milestones are an important marker which indicates that your baby is developing that way he should. Understanding these developmental milestones can be important in supporting in your baby achieve optimal growth. Some of the common milestones that your baby may exhibit during the first month include:

  • Physical Development: Your baby should now be able to jerk or quiver his arms and even bring his hands to his mouth. While lying on his tummy and holding his head up, he may even be able to move it from side to side. He may even be able to clench his palms and keep them closed. Your baby will begin to flash a smile during this time as well.
  • Touch and Smell Development: By one month, your baby will be able to identify the smell of your breast milk. He recognizes bitter or acidic smells and tries to avoid them. He may not be fond of rough handling and show an affinity towards pleasant smells.
  • Visual and Hearing Development: Your baby will be able to focus at least 12 inches ahead of him. He can also recognize voices and turn towards them as his hearing is completely developed. He may also be able to follow movement with his eyes.

Premature babies may not follow these timelines to achieve developmental milestones. Their development is likely to be in accordance with their gestational age. They will gradually attain these milestones at their own pace.

Behaviour

Your baby may begin smiling during his first month, mostly as a reflex. However, around the sixth week, you can see more reactive smiles as he comes to recognize your face and voice. This is also the time when colic sets in for most babies. You may find him crying very often and without reason. This may be due to colic and will usually subside as your baby grows older. In the meantime, you can try various measures to comfort your baby like singing to him, playing some music, rocking him or providing him with a distraction. You will need patience to deal with this phase, especially if your baby doesn’t respond to comforting actions. It is important to remember to try different things and find out what works best for your baby.

1 Month Old Baby Activities

Here are some safe and simple one-month-old baby activities that can aid his development process.

  1. Since your babies neck muscles are still developing, you will need to provide proper support. You a headrest for your baby to sleep on until his neck muscle are stronger and he can hold it up on his own.
  2. Allow your baby enough time on his tummy so that he can try to hold his head up. This will help develop his neck muscles. Always supervise your baby while he is on his tummy. Letting your baby sleep on his tummy may increase the risk of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome.
  3. Interact with your baby while you are changing his diapers or playing with him. Try and get him to follow your voice and movements.
  4. Let your baby grab your finger. This will help him develop a strong clasp and improve his motor skills.

1 Month Old Baby Care

Caring for your one-month-old the right way is essential in aiding their development. Here are some of the one-month baby care methods that will help you provide and care for your baby effectively.

  • Feed him when he is hungry. Don’t try to control his feeding times, but ensure that you feed him at least six times a day if he is formula fed and twelve times a day if you are breastfeeding him.
  • Let your baby control his sleeping patterns. A good quality sleep is imperative for his growth.
  • Interact and engage your baby. Speaking to him and playing with him is a great way to develop his communication skills.
  • Ensure that you take precautions before placing the baby in the crib. Keep the crib away from the window, remove any items or toys that may be harmful and maintain good lighting and temperature in his room.
  • Always clean your hands before handling your baby.
  • Take him for regular check-ups and get his immunizations administered on time to protect him against infections and diseases

Feeding

Your baby should ideally feed at least six times each day during the first month. This may even be up to 12 times for breastfeeding babies. Allow your baby to determine how much he wants to feed if he is healthy. The best time to feed your baby is when he is hungry.

Sleeping

One-month-old babies usually sleep for over fourteen to seventeen hours per day. This will be scattered throughout the day. They are most likely to go to sleep after feeding. It is important that your baby gets enough sleep to support growth as most of his growth happens while he is asleep.

Tips for Parents

A mother playing with her infant

You can follow the following tips to ensure that your baby is well provided for and is on the right track of development.

  • Give your baby ample skin to skin contact. Babies are comforted by the touch of their mother. Cuddling, holding and even rocking them will make them feel tended to.
  • Get him safe toys and rattles to keep him entertained.
  • Move his legs in a cycling motion to build his motor skills. This will help him build stronger muscles for walking or crawling.
  • Consult your doctor if you notice that your baby doesn’t eat or sleep well. Also, reach out to your doctor if you notice that he doesn’t respond to sounds or voices.

Every stage of your baby’s development is crucial and if you notice any developmental delays it is recommended that you reach out to a doctor immediately.

Next Month: 2 Months Old Baby Development