Caring For Your 1 Month Old Baby
Can you believe that your baby is already one month old? It probably feels like your little bundle of joy arrived yesterday. And so much has changed in the last few weeks! As such, you may have a few questions about your 1 month old baby’s development.
In this post, the baby experts at Mustela will explain everything you need to know about caring for your 1 month old baby. We’ll cover your baby’s development, senses, motor skills, eating schedule, and sleeping habits. Then we’ll close with some general childcare tips and a few warning signs to keep an eye out for.
Caring For Your 1 Month Old Baby
In the first few weeks after birth, your baby’s life is pretty simple. It involves plenty of sleeping, eating, and, of course, dirty-diaper-making. But your little one is growing rapidly, and you probably have a few questions about their development. Here’s everything you need to know about your 1 month old baby.
Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Development
By the time your little one reaches the one-month mark, they’ve already put on a few pounds since birth. While most babies actually lose weight in the first week of life (due to excess water weight being shed) babies start gaining weight quickly in the second and third weeks of life. Your baby is probably gaining a half-ounce to an ounce per day.
One-month-old baby boys are typically 8.8 pounds (4 kg) to 10.8 pounds (4.9 kg) in weight. On average, boys are between 20.9 inches (53 cm) to 22 inches (56 cm) in height at four weeks. Baby girls are a bit smaller at the one-month mark, with average weights ranging from 8.4 pounds (3.8 kg) to 10.1 pounds (4.6 kg) and average heights between 20.5 inches (52 cm) to 21.7 inches (55 cm).
It’s important to note that these are just averages. Babies, just like adults, have a wide distribution of weights and heights. There’s absolutely no reason to worry if your 1 month old baby is a little bigger or smaller than the figures we’ve stated here.
Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Senses
At just one month old, your baby’s senses are not yet fully developed. Your little one is extremely nearsighted and can only see objects clearly when they are 12 to 14 inches away from their face. Anything further than that appears fuzzy. Babies prefer to look at objects with bright colors, simple designs, and bold lines because they’re easier to see.
Luckily, your baby is close enough to you to study you while they’re feeding. Your little one’s gaze will naturally be drawn to your face, as they are slowly learning to recognize you.
At the same time, research has shown that your baby can recognize the scent of your breastmilk. Your infant’s sense of smell is still developing, but your milk is one scent they know well.
Your 1 month old baby’s sense of taste is also rudimentary, as they have only ever tasted breast milk or baby formula. This sense will develop as they grow and try new foods.
While your 1 month old baby can hear relatively well, they have not yet learned to recognize different sounds. One that they can identify, though, is the sound of your voice. Research has shown that babies become familiar with their mother’s voice while in the womb. That’s why your baby finds your voice so soothing.
Lastly, your baby’s sense of touch is limited, but it’s still important to hold them often. According to some studies, your baby needs skin-to-skin contact with Mom and Dad in order for their brain to develop properly. So hold your little one close and give them plenty of TLC!
Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Motor Skills
At this point, your little bundle of joy doesn’t have the muscle strength to move around much. Your baby has basic reflexes, like the Moro reflex and the startle reflex, as well as the ability to suckle. Your little one should also be able to flail their arms and legs a bit.
If you place a single finger in the palm of your baby’s hand, they may close their fist around it. And while your 1 month old baby doesn’t have the strength to hold up their head yet, you may notice them turning their head to the side when lying on their back.
A great way to help your baby’s muscles develop is to give them plenty of tummy time. This is essentially placing your baby on their stomach and letting them get used to lying in this position. Tummy time will strengthen your little one’s arms, shoulders, neck, and back muscles.
Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Eating Schedule
At the one-month mark, your baby needs to eat often. They’re growing quickly and surviving on only breastmilk or baby formula, so they need to feed frequently. Ordinarily, a 1 month old baby will become hungry every two to three hours. And while your little one may sleep for up to four or five hours at a time during the night, they need to eat immediately before and after sleeping.
Many parents wonder whether their baby is getting enough nutrition. This is a valid concern, but it’s difficult to give a precise answer, as all babies are different. If you’re formula-feeding your 1 month old baby, they should have about four ounces of formula every three to four hours.
If you’re breastfeeding, there are two ways to make sure your little one is eating adequately. The first is to make sure your baby seems content at the end of every feeding. Trust your judgment on this one! No one knows your baby better than you.
The second way to ensure that your baby is consuming enough is to monitor their weight. As long as your 1 month old baby is gaining weight at a healthy rate, their feeding habits are A-OK.
Your 1 Month Old Baby’s Sleeping Habits
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but babies sleep quite a bit. In fact, your 1 month old baby needs to sleep 15 to 16 hours per day.
Typically at this age, a baby will sleep between eight and nine hours during the night, with two or three interruptions for feeding. You may find that your baby is sleeping up to five hours at a time without waking. If this is the case, try to get some rest! There’s no need to wake your baby up to feed them. They will let you know when they’re hungry.
Your baby likely sleeps another six to seven hours during the day, in the form of three or four naps. Again, there’s no need to disturb your baby’s sleep for the sake of feeding. Let your little one’s body determine when to sleep and when to eat. There’s really no such thing as sleeping too much for your 1 month old baby.
General Childcare Tips
There are so many parenting decisions to make when you have a baby that it can become overwhelming. But every parent should follow certain guidelines no matter what. Below are a few examples.
- Never leave your baby unattended, not even for a second.
- Always put your 1 month old baby to sleep on their back.
- Clean your baby’s bottom thoroughly when changing a dirty diaper.
- Babyproof your home to ensure your baby’s safety.
In addition, choose natural skin care products that are safe for your baby. This will care for your little one’s skin while also treating any skin conditions they may be experiencing, like peeling skin, baby acne, cradle cap, or eczema.
Mustela offers a variety of baby-safe products made with natural ingredients that are gentle on your baby’s delicate skin. This includes everything from shampoo and body wash to soothing creams and lotions. Your baby’s skin is delicate and easily irritated, so using baby-friendly products is absolutely essential.
When To Be Concerned
There are a few situations in which you will need to consult a pediatrician. Head to the doctor’s office immediately if your baby:
- Doesn’t respond to loud sounds or the sound of your voice
- Is having trouble suckling
- Doesn’t use their eyes to track objects 10 to 14 inches from their face
- Seems unable to move their arms and legs
Apart from these early warning signs of a developmental delay, there’s no reason to be overly concerned with your 1 month old baby’s development. All babies follow their own unique developmental path.
At this stage in your little one’s life, eating and sleeping are the two primary activities to monitor. On top of that, just remember to hold your baby often, speak and sing to them as much as possible, and shower them with plenty of hugs and kisses, and your 1 month old baby will be as healthy as can be.