Your 1-Month-Old Baby’s Development and Milestones

Having your baby at home with you in the first few weeks might have felt daunting. As the weeks progress and you gradually adjust to this new little person in your life, you'll become more confident and comfortable. Don’t get too comfortable though! Newborns grow and change rapidly, and your baby will be keeping you on your toes in weeks five, six, seven, and eight. To help you feel more prepared, we’ll outline some typical milestones for a 1-month-old baby, cover what you need to know about feeding and sleeping schedules at this stage, and give you a heads-up on potential conditions your baby might develop, like colic and cradle cap.

Baby Development Milestones for a 1-Month-Old

Your baby is unique (you knew that, of course!) and it’s normal for them to grow at their own pace. Don’t be surprised if your baby’s development in one area seems to lag for a few weeks, only for them to catch up soon after. Here are some of the baby milestones to look forward to now that your baby is 1 month old.

Growth and Physical Development: Chubby Cheeks

Does it seem as if your baby’s growing out of their clothes at supersonic speed? On average, babies gain about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length and about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds in weight this month. At the upcoming checkup, your baby’s healthcare provider will look at your 1-month-old baby’s weight, length, and head circumference and plot these key measurements on baby growth charts. What matters is that your baby grows at a steady rate. However, your baby will go through growth spurts from time to time.

You might notice that your baby’s head is disproportionately larger than their body. This is perfectly normal: their head’s growing a little faster and their body will soon catch up. Your baby will also start to lengthen and develop stronger muscles. Luckily, they’ll still have those cute chubby cheeks for some time to come!

Senses: Eyes on That Rattle

In every waking moment, your baby is slowly taking in the sights, sounds, and smells around them. So, what can babies see at 1 month? Your baby’s vision at 1 month old is still developing, but by now they may be able to better focus on faces and track objects moving in front of them. In the next month or so they may also start to reach for objects. For example, if you hold a rattle in front of them, they may start batting at it.

Movement: Working on Those Leg Muscles

This month, most of your 1-month-old baby’s movements will still be reflexive, but some of your baby’s reflexes present in the first four weeks may gradually disappear and be replaced by more controlled movement. For example, your baby may briefly hold their head up when they're on their tummy, and they may start to stretch their arms instead of holding them close to their body.

Your baby may also start to stretch and kick their legs. It might seem like a little thing but they’re working hard to strengthen their leg muscles and improve their motor skills. Be careful: Even very young babies can roll over from time to time, so make sure you keep an eye—and hand—on them when they’re up somewhere high like a changing table.

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Crying and Communication: Mom, I'm Bored (or Hungry)!

This month your baby can probably start communicating in a clearer way. If they’re bored, they may let you know by crying out until they’re shown something new. If they’re amused, they may respond by smiling. Around this time, you might also start being able to tell the difference between their hungry cries, tired cries, and irritated cries.

If you haven’t experienced it yet, this month you might see your baby’s first true smile, sometime called the social smile. They’ll flash that little grin when they’re awake, in response to something like the sound of your voice—and your heart will melt.

Activities for Supporting Your 1-Month-Old Baby’s Development

Here are some things you could try this month:

  • Cuddle time. Cuddle your baby as much as possible. Experts say the more quickly and consistently you comfort your baby when they’re upset in the first six months, the less demanding they may be when they’re older.

  • Visual stimulation. At this stage, your baby might be drawn to objects with bold patterns, such as stripes or checkerboard designs, in black and white or bright, contrasting colors. A mobile hung safely over the crib is a good choice.

  • Tactile toys. Your baby is getting to know the world through touch, too. Show them toys with different textures, shapes, and sizes.

  • Talking with your baby. Have a conversation with your baby by letting them “talk” using their coos, gurgles, and smiles, and talking back to them using words, sounds, and facial expressions. In time, your baby will learn to imitate you, so these early “conversations” are an important part of their development.

  • Getting physical. Gently stretch your baby’s arms in front of them to form a “clap”; move your baby’s legs as if they were cycling; and continue to practice tummy time. These movements and exercises help develop muscle strength and coordination.

  • Playing peek-a-boo. If you’re wondering how to entertain or play with your 1-month-old baby, a game of peek-a-boo always works! That's because babies love seeing faces, especially those of their parents.

  • Bonding. Establishing security and trust with your baby allows them to reach their full potential. Find out more about bonding with your newborn in those everyday moments.

Keep in mind that there’s only so much stimulation young babies can handle. Watch for signs that your baby has had enough—they might look away or cry—and give them a chance to rest.

Watch the short video below to learn more about bonding with your baby through touch.

Feeding Your 1-Month-Old Baby

You may be wondering how often “should” a 1-month-old baby eat as they grow. It's best to continue to feed your baby whenever they seem hungry. Your 1-month-old baby’s feeding schedule may likely look like this: about eight times in a 24-hour period for babies who are breastfeeding or about every three to four hours for babies on formula. If your baby is mid-growth spurt, they may want to eat a little more often.

If you’re new to nursing, read more about the how-tos of breastfeeding and check out our go-to breastfeeding guide.

Burping Your Baby

Babies can swallow air when they feed—more often when they’re bottle-fed than when nursing. This swallowed air can make them feel uncomfortable and fussy. To help ease their discomfort, burp your baby during bottle feeds, or when you switch them from one breast to the other. Try one of the burping positions and techniques listed below, using a burp cloth or a small blanket to protect your clothes from spit-up:

  • Hold your baby upright with their head resting on your shoulder, patting their back with your other hand.

  • Rest them on your lap with their tummy down and gently rub or pat their back.

  • Sit your baby on your lap supporting their chin and chest with one hand while rubbing or patting their back with the other.

Tracking Wet and Dirty Diapers

At this stage, babies may produce about four to six wet diapers a day. If you’re wondering what “should” a 1-month-old baby’s poop look like, know that there is a wide range of “normal” baby poop. And, when it comes to your 1-month-old baby’s poop frequency, even that can vary from baby to baby.

Most babies will have at least one bowel movement a day, but some babies may go several days or a week without pooping. This is likely OK as long as the consistency of the stool is normal—in other words, soft and a little runny—and your 1-month-old baby is eating well and gaining weight. Consult your baby’s healthcare provider if you think your baby may be producing too few wet or soiled diapers, which may indicate your 1-month-old baby is eating less than usual.

Given all the diaper-changing going on in your life, you deserve a reward! Download the Pampers Club app and start earning cash back for all your diapers and wipes purchases.

How Much Sleep Does a 1-Month-Old Baby Need?

If you’re wondering how much “should” your 1-month-old baby sleep, by around 4 weeks of age many babies sleep about 14 to 17 hours a day—including roughly five daytime naps. However, every baby is different. With some luck, your baby might start sleeping for longer stretches overnight from about 6 weeks of age, though your 1-month-old baby sleeping through the night is still a ways off.

If you're feeling super tired, take heart: Over time, your baby’s natural biological sleep cycle will emerge, but for now it’s important to allow your baby to sleep whenever they’re drowsy. A key point to remember: Always put your baby to sleep on their back,which can help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The Fundamentals of Baby Sleep

For more insights and advice on your 1-month-old’s sleep schedule, check out the Newborn Sleep Fundamentals in the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers app. This easy-to-use app was codeveloped with pediatricians and includes everything you need to know about the science behind babies’ sleep. Plus, it has emotional support for you, tips on creating calming bedtime routines that encourage sleep, and a proprietary algorithm that customizes sleep coaching approaches for when it comes time to help your baby, and you, sleep longer each night.

A Day in the Life of Your 1-Month-Old Baby

So, what can babies do at 1 month? Here’s an example of a typical day’s routine for a 1-month-old baby, including bathing, sleeping, feeding, and playing:

Your Baby’s Health

Some health issues you may encounter this month include:

  • Cradle cap. This condition consists of scaly patches on your baby’s head. Washing their hair and gently combing out the scales may help; if not, your baby’s healthcare provider may recommend a special shampoo.

  • Diarrhea. If your baby has very loose, watery stools more than six to eight times a day, let your baby’s healthcare provider know.

  • Constipation. If your baby hasn’t had a bowel movement in several days and this is unusual for them, or if you think they may be constipated, reach out to your provider.

  • Vomiting. If your baby is vomiting forcefully (i.e., projectile vomiting), is vomiting for more than eight hours or after a couple of feedings, or if any kind of vomiting is accompanied by fever or diarrhea, check in with the provider.

  • Spitting up. Spitting up a small amount after eating or being burped can be normal for young babies, especially if it happens within about an hour of feeding. If your baby seems irritable during feeds or shows any other signs of being unwell, contact your baby’s healthcare provider to make sure everything is OK.

  • Baby acne. Pimples may appear on your baby’s face at the start of this month. They may be prompted by the stimulation of oil glands in your baby's skin. Try placing a clean receiving blanket under your little one's head while they’re awake and wash their face once a day with a mild baby soap.

  • Baby eczema. Does your 1-month-old baby have dry skin on their face or elsewhere? It could be eczema, which can occur after 1 month of age. Your baby’s skin may look dry and scaly, and your little one may have red patches on their face, inner elbows, and/or backs of the knees. Consult your baby’s healthcare provider for treatment. In the meantime, avoid using scented laundry detergent to wash your baby’s clothes and dress your baby in soft fabrics, avoiding wool and rough weaves.

Early Hygiene Habits: Bath Time

So, how often “should” you bathe your 1-month-old baby? Three times per week is generally recommended; bathing more frequently can dry out your baby’s skin.

When Is Crying Colic?

All babies cry from time to time, but persistent crying may be a condition called colic if

  • your baby seems to cry each day or evening for hours on end

  • the crying sounds high-pitched

  • the crying seems to be for no apparent reason

  • you have a hard time calming your baby when they’re crying.

Your baby’s healthcare provider may make a diagnosis of colic if your little one cries for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for at least three weeks straight. Colic often starts when a baby is 2 to 4 weeks old and can last until the baby is about 3 to 4 months old.

Experts aren't sure about the cause of colic, but some potential factors could include:

  • Gas. It could be that your baby cries because of discomfort associated with gas. If you notice your baby has a distended stomach and passes gas while crying, this could be the cause. Don’t overfeed your baby. If their tummy seems distended with gas, you could place them on their tummy across your knees, as this extra pressure on their belly may feel good.

  • Sensitivity to stimulation. Your baby may feel overwhelmed and may not yet be able to soothe themselves, leading them to cry. You can try to console them by holding them while walking, rocking them in a rocking chair, putting them in a vibrating baby seat, or driving them around.

  • Food allergy or sensitivity. Some breastfed babies may be sensitive to a food in mom’s diet, causing discomfort and resulting in crying. Rarely, the discomfort may be caused by a sensitivity to milk protein in formula. Your baby’s healthcare provider will be able to check for and diagnose any food sensitivity or intolerance.

  • Medical problem. In some cases, your baby may be reacting to discomfort resulting from an illness or other problem such as a hernia, which the healthcare provider will be able to check for and treat.

Although colic usually lasts only a few months, this can seem like a lifetime when your baby is in the middle of a crying spell! Sometimes, nothing will seem to work to calm them and your nerves may become frayed.

Never Shake Your Baby!

If you are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, put your baby in a safe location, such as their crib, for a short time and take a break in another room, or ask a loved one to care for them for a few hours so you can have some much-deserved me time. With colic, there is an end in sight; in a few months or so those colicky crying spells will likely stop.

Regular Health Visits and Immunizations

Regular checkups at this early stage typically take place when your baby turns 1 month old and again when they’re 2 months old. Of course, you can call your baby’s healthcare provider any time you have a question or concern, even between visits. At your baby’s regular checkups your baby’s provider will

  • check your baby’s growth and development

  • do a physical exam

  • complete any screening tests that haven’t been done yet

  • ask how you’re doing and perhaps offer advice

  • answer all your questions

  • give you an idea of your baby’s progress in the coming weeks and months

  • schedule or give your baby any immunizations that may be required in the coming weeks.

Development Tips for Your Baby This Month

Here are some tips to help you bond with your little one and help them feel safe and secure, key components of healthy development:

  • Provide close, warm, and consistent physical contact. Holding and hugging your baby as often as possible promotes your baby’s sense of security and well-being. Continued skin-to-skin contact is also important. Make sure others in the household and other caregivers also provide the same loving care to your baby. There’s no way you can spoil your baby by giving them the attention they need.

  • Talk to your baby. Say your baby's name and use simple phrases to narrate some of your actions, such as during dressing, diaper-changing, bath time, and feeding. Respond to their facial expressions and gestures—it’s a conversation! If you or your partner speak a different language, feel free to use it with your baby.

  • Read to your baby. Daily reading helps foster your baby's language development. Reading together also creates a feeling of physical closeness.

  • Be attuned to your baby’s personality and rhythm. Even at this early stage of their life, you know a lot about your baby: their temperament and moods, their likes and dislikes. Paying attention to their cues will help you respond to their needs.

Items You Will Need This Month

Whether you’ve already purchased some of the following baby products or have received them as gifts at your baby shower, these are things you may be reaching for this month:

  • Diaper bag. You may start heading outside more often this month and a diaper bag will help keep all your baby’s things organized, including diapers, wipes, and an extra change of clothes, among other necessities.

  • Baby bathtub. By now your baby’s umbilical cord stump has fallen off, so it’s time to bring out the baby bathtub.

  • Baby wash/shampoo and other bath-time supplies. A multi-purpose baby wash or shampoo designed for sensitive skin is a good choice.

  • Diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream. You’ll continue to go through a lot of diapers in the months ahead, so it’s smart to stock up on supplies in advance.

  • Sound machine. If your baby takes a while to fall asleep, you may consider using white noise or very soft music to help lull them to sleep.

  • Humidifier. If the air is dry in your home, or if your little one comes down with a cold, your baby's healthcare provider may suggest using a cool-mist humidifier in the room your baby sleeps.

  • Night-light. Having a night-light is helpful when it comes to those late-night feedings and check-ins. With a night-light there’s no need to disturb your baby by turning on a bright overhead light.

  • Baby thermometer. Babies tend to run fevers, and you'll need a thermometer specifically designed for babies, along with an up-to-date first-aid kit.

Your Life as a Parent: Embrace Your Network of Family and Friends

You might be feeling more confident this month as some of the uncertainty you may have felt during the first few weeks starts to fade away. Still, talk about any concerns you have with trusted loved ones or your healthcare provider. You might be surprised how much better you feel afterward.

If you're breastfeeding, you might experience discomfort resulting from a breast infection called mastitis. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice symptoms such as sore breasts, fever, or nausea. Don’t stop nursing as this will make things worse. Keep in mind that it’s safe for your baby to nurse when you have mastitis—the milk is not infected.

Treatment for mastitis includes expressing milk from your breasts either by feeding or pumping, but your provider may also recommend antibiotics. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water to help your body fight the infection. Learn more about what mastitis is and how to treat it.

Checklist for This Month

□ If you haven’t already been to the appointment, schedule and take your baby to their 1-month-old health checkup.

□ Keep track of any questions or concerns you have so you don't forget to bring them up at your next visit. Among other things, your baby's healthcare provider will want to know about your baby’s

  • bowel movements (diarrhea and/or constipation)

  • vomiting, fevers, infections

  • hearing or vision problems

  • sleep issues

  • rashes

  • weigh gain and/or loss.

□ Sign up for a baby first-aid course and encourage others who care for your baby to attend along with you. If you’re unsure where to find such a course near you, ask your baby’s healthcare provider—they’ll know one in your local area.

□ If you’re eager to know what’s ahead next month, take a look at what you might experience once your baby is 2 months old.

□ Your baby will be 2 months old soon. Why not download these milestone cards to help celebrate and share this big day with friends and family.

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