The first year of a newborn's life is one of the fastest in human development; it’s no wonder that when you have a baby, you often hear people say ‘they grow so quickly!’ or ‘time goes so fast!’ The best thing you can do is enjoy and marvel at your baby's month-by-month development.
Physical development of a 1 month old baby
When a baby is born, he already has some amazing abilities though he has a long way to go in terms of baby development.
A newborn without complications has the instincts to breathe, tightly hold fingers, and can even smell his own mother and know her from any other person.
Incredibly, some babies even suck their thumbs when still in the womb!
Despite the fact that a baby is born with all of these incredible skills, for the first month of your baby’s life it can seem that all he does is lots of eating, sleeping, crying, and require frequent nappy changes.
At this age, babies have very little control of their muscles and instead rely mainly on reflex actions, such as sucking, yawning, sneezing and crying.
As a baby progresses through his first month of life, he begins to discover that he has control of his body.
Discovering his hands is a big moment. It gets even more exciting when your baby realises he can use his hand, to squeeze things like your finger, or to suck on for comfort or when he is hungry!
Sensory development of a 1 month old baby
Crawling, walking, running, and even dancing will happen sooner than you think.
But the road to these skills starts when your baby discovers his own body, and how he begins to interact with the world around him.
A newborn can open his eyes and see almost immediately after being born. Though his eyes are not yet able to focus on things that are farther away than one metre, he can focus perfectly on your face when you hold him in your arms–which is the distance from your breast to your eyes.
Looking into your newborn’s eyes is an important way to bond with him. Spend time just looking at your newborn; study his features, tiny body, and get to know him by looking into his face and smiling.
Your baby will also get to know you by looking at your face, and the bond between you will strengthen.
A newborn can hear from around 28 weeks of pregnancy. From inside his mother’s tummy, he has been able to listen and hear both the sounds of his mother’s body and noises from the outside world.
Studies have found that newborns react more strongly to the higher pitch of a female voice, than to a deeper male voice.
Newborn babies are soothed by the sound of their mother’s voice talking and singing to them (thank goodness!)–and they can be upset when that voice becomes sad or angry.
Interestingly, many dads raise the pitch of their voice when talking to their newborn.
A baby’s nose is sensitive; a newborn can tell the difference between the smell of his own mother and another person.
This is combined with a well-developed sense of taste (babies have more taste buds than adults) which is finely tuned towards the sweet taste of breast or formula milk.
Everyone needs human touch to promote feelings of well being and happiness. Baby massage is a great way to bond with your baby, and he will find the touch of your hands comforting and soothing, just as an adult would!
Gentle massage also helps with baby development, specifically your newborn’s muscles.
Newborn babies are born with a number of reflexes, which are vital for survival.
These include the rooting reflex which enables your baby to find your breast his cheek is placed nearby; the sucking and swallowing reflexes that allow your baby to drink, and the gagging reflex that prevents him from taking too much liquid.
A newborn is also able to cough up the mucus that has filled his lungs for the last nine months.
When a baby is put down on his tummy, he will automatically turn his head to help him breathe; he won’t just lie with his head face down. This is known as the labyrinthine reflex.
Read on to learn more about baby development during the first month. Next up is your baby’s cognitive, emotional and social development.