Baby Developmental Milestones: 1 Month Old

By the time your infant is 1 month old, as a parent, you will have become accustomed to the baby, and parents and baby are attuned to each other. Now beginning to interpret your infant’s cry, you are learning that your baby can be comforted in a variety of ways, such as through touch, a voice, or a smile. You know when to pick your baby up and when to feel confident that the crying will soon stop. You enjoy feeling close to your baby and are comfortable talking to your bay and holding, cuddling, and rocking him or her.

Your baby responds to your overtures. He or she fixes on a face or an object, following it with his or her eyes, and your baby responds to your voices. He or she shows some ability to console himself or herself, possibly by putting his or her fingers or hands in his or her mouth. Attentive parents learn to recognize the early indicators of your infant’s individual temperament. You know how to avoid over stimulating your baby and how to calm your baby down. You also understand that infants vary in their need for feeding, in terms of frequency and amount.

Physically, your baby displays good muscle tone, deep tendon reflexes, and primitive reflexes. His or her weight, length, and head circumference continue to increase along his or her expected growth curve. Frequency and consistency of stools vary, and many healthy babies strain and turn red when having a bowel movement. Constipation is signaled by a hard stool. Exclusively breastfed babies may have a variety of stool patterns.

Some babies develop the classic symptoms of colic, including pulling their legs into their abdomen. It is more common, however, for babies just to have a fussy period at the end of the day, when they cry to “sort themselves out.” In spite of your new responsibilities and periods of increased stress, you typically have gained enough self assurance in the first month to be able to enjoy your baby. Intermittent periods of anxiety, depression, and feelings of inadequacy are normal.

It will help if each parent spends time alone away from the baby, and if the parents spend time together as well as with relatives or other important supportive figures. Parents with other children should give individual attention to each sibling. It is important that parents know to seek medical help if your baby does not “look right,” has a fever or diarrhea, refuses to feed, vomits excessively, sleeps too much, or is irritable. In addition, parents should know basic rules of injury prevention, such as using an infant safety seat in the car, keeping one hand on the baby when your baby is on a high surface, and never leaving your baby alone with young children or with pets.

Developmental Milestones For 1 Month Baby

  • Responds to sound by blinking, crying, quieting, changing respiration, or showing a startle response
  • Fixates on human face and follows with eyes
  • Responds to parent’s face and voice
  • Lifts head momentarily when in prone position
  • Has flexed posture
  • Moves all extremities
  • Can sleep for 3 or 4 hours at a time; can stay awake for 1 hour or longer
  • When crying, can be consoled most of the time by being spoken to or held

Development varies from child to child, so know that milestones are guidelines only. Trust your sense of how your 1 Month Old baby is doing. If you are worried, see your child’s healthcare provider and have them do a developmental screening.

First Shot

Vaccination is one of the most important tools available for preventing disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccinations not only protect children from developing a potentially serious disease but also protect the community by reducing the spread of infectious disease.

Most children get all their shots during childhood. Parents need to make sure their children are protected against some of the diseases of childhood before the child reaches 2 years of age.

Parents should consult their doctors about which vaccines their children should have and when. Keep track of your children’s immunizations yourself. You will be asked for these records when the child enrolls in school and throughout the child’s school career.

Watching your baby receive his or her first shot may be more painful for you than it is for your baby. You can ease your anxiety and make your baby more comfortable during his or her shots by holding your baby. If you are breastfeeding, nursing your baby during any uncomfortable procedure will also help both of you get through it more easily.

At your baby’s 2-month checkup at your pediatrician’s office, your baby will receive his or her first full set of vaccines against multiple childhood diseases, including polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, H. influenza, hepatitis B, pneumococcal disease and, most recently, an oral vaccine for Rotavirus, a major cause of diarrhea and dehydration in young children.

With two types of vaccine against rotavirus (stomach flu) now available for infants, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued recommendations that allow for more flexibility in dosing. The Rotarix vaccine, introduced in 2008, is active against a single strain of the virus and is given in two doses, ideally at 2 and 4 months. Now, under the CDC’s new guidelines, the first dose may be given up to the age of almost 15 weeks (previously 12 weeks) and the second up to eight months (previously 32 weeks). The RotaTeq vaccine, which is active against five strains of the virus, still requires three doses, given at 2, 4, and 6 months. Ask your pediatrician for more details about the two vaccines.

This checkup usually involves three shots given in the thigh, which is a baby’s biggest muscle. While most babies show no side effects, these vaccines can cause a little fussiness or a slight fever later in the day or evening. Your baby will receive more doses of vaccines at 4, 6, 12, 15, and 18 months, with another set of booster shots between his 4- and 6-year-old birthdays. Keep a record of your baby’s vaccinations to be sure that none are missed. Outbreaks of measles and pertussis (also known as whooping cough) and other dangerous diseases still occur.

Get your baby’s pediatrician’s help if you need

When you take your baby to visit the pediatrician, he or she wants to know how you are feeling, too. Your emotional health is the foundation to much of your baby’s health and development, and pediatricians who know you and your family are in the position to provide support.

A recent study highlighted the importance of pediatricians in helping mothers recognize and find treatment for their own parenting stress and depression. In the study, seven focus groups of mothers from a wide range of backgrounds all had symptoms of depression or maternal stress. Among mothers with a positive, ongoing relationship with their baby’s doctor who believed their pediatrician knew them well, symptoms of depression and stress were greatly reduced.

Carrying Your Baby

Young babies that are carried around in a sling or worn in a carrier for a couple of hours every day spend less time crying than other babies.

While some babies need to cry for several hours during the day, 2 hours a day is average for 2-month-olds. Crying usually subsides to 45 minutes a day after 2 months and then spikes again at 9 months. However, there is a wide range of normal in crying, just as in other aspects of infant development. Just as some babies sleep more, others cry more. What was once called “colic” is now considered within the normal range of crying. Still, even a normal amount of crying can be stressful for parents. Seek support if you find it more than you can bear, and be sure that friends and family give you frequent breaks during your baby’s crying spells. And if your baby’s crying worries you and seems excessive, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician to rule out any medical causes.

Vaccinating to protect our children and our future

Parents need to make sure to vaccinate your child to protect him or her from diseases. If we keep vaccinating now, parents in the future may be able to trust that diseases like polio and meningitis won’t infect, cripple, or kill children. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of certain diseases.

Prepare your baby’s first short well, both of you are going to be OK.

6 Month Old Developmental Milestones

As a parent, you cherish your interactions with your social Six Month Old Baby, who smiles and babbles back at you but has not yet mastered the ability to move from one place to another. The feelings of attachment between you and your baby create a secure emotional bond that will help provide stability to the changing family.

The major developmental markers of a 6-month-old are social and emotional. A 6-month-old baby likes to interact with people. He or she increasingly engages in reciprocal and face-to-face play and often initiates these games. From these reciprocal interactions, your baby develops a sense of trust and self-efficacy. His or her distress is less frequent. Your baby is also starting to distinguish between strangers and those with whom he or she wants to be sociable. He or she usually prefers interacting with familiar adults. At 7 or 8 months, your baby may appear to be afraid of new people.

Your 6-month-old can sit with support and smiles or babbles with a loving adult. He or she may have a block or toy in hand. As your baby watches his or her hands, he or she can reach for objects such as cubes and grasp them with his or her fingers and thumbs. Your baby also can transfer objects between his or her hands and obtain small objects by raking with all fingers. He or she may also mouth, shake, bang, and drop toys or other objects.

Your baby’s language has moved beyond making razzing noises to single-consonant babbling. The 6-month-old often produces long strings of vocalizations in play, usually during interactions with adults. Your baby can recognize his or her own name. He or she can also stand with help and enjoys bouncing up and down in the standing position. He or she likes rocking back and forth on his or her hands and knees, in preparation for crawling forward or backward. An infant who tends to lie on his or her back, show little interest in social interaction, avoid eye contact, and smile and vocalize infrequently is indicating either developmental problems or a lack of attention from his or her parents and other caregivers. He or she may need more nurturance, increased health supervision, formal developmental assessment, or other interventions.

Over the next few months, as your baby develops an increasing repertoire of motor skills such as rolling over and crawling, parents must be vigilant for falls. The expanding world of the infant must be looked at through his or her eyes to make exploration as safe as possible. Your baby will do more sooner than you anticipate. Toys must be sturdy and have no small parts that could be swallowed or inhaled. Baby walkers should never be used at any age. To avoid possible injury, it is never too early to secure safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and install window locks and guards.

Developmental Milestones for 6 Month Old

  • Vocalizes single consonants (“dada,” “baba”)
  • Babbles reciprocally
  • Rolls over
  • Has no head lag when pulled to sit
  • Sits with support
  • Stands when placed and bears weight
  • Grasps and mouths objects
  • Shows differential recognition of parents
  • Starts to self-feed
  • Transfers cubes or other small objects from hand to hand
  • Rakes in small objects
  • Is interested in toys
  • Self-comforts
  • Smiles, laughs, squeals, imitates razzing noise
  • Turns to sounds
  • May begin to show signs of stranger anxiety
  • Usually has first tooth erupt around 6 months of age

Nutrition

Continue to breastfeed or to use iron-fortified formula for the first year of your baby’s life. This milk will continue to be a major source of nutrition. Give an iron supplement to your baby if you are breastfeeding exclusively. Begin to introduce a cup for water or juice. Limit juice to 2 to 4 ounces per day.

When your baby is developmentally ready, introduce one new solid food at a time. Wait 1 week or more before offering each new food to see if there are any adverse reactions. Start with an iron fortified, single-grain cereal such as rice. Gradually increase the variety of foods offered, starting with puréed vegetables and fruits and then meats.

Serve solid food two or three times per day. Let your baby indicate when and how much she wants to eat. Avoid giving your baby foods that may be inhaled or cause choking (e.g., no peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs or sausages, carrot sticks, celery sticks, whole grapes, raisins, corn, whole beans, hard candy, large pieces of raw vegetables or fruit, tough meat). Always supervise your baby while she is eating.

Learn emergency procedures for choking. Talk with the health professional about giving your breastfed baby a daily supplement of vitamin D if you are vitamin D–deficient or if your baby does not receive adequate exposure to (indirect) sunlight.

Do not give your baby honey during the first year. It is a source of spores that can cause botulism in infancy.

Expect a difference in the consistency and frequency of your baby’s bowel movements when changing from breast milk to formula or introducing new foods.

Be sure that your caregiver is feeding your baby appropriately.

Promote Your Baby’s Development

  • Encourage your baby’s vocalizations. Talk to her during dressing, bathing, feeding, playing, and walking.
  • Read to your baby. Play music and sing to her.
  • Play games such as pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, so-big.
  • Provide opportunities for safe exploration.
  • Continue to provide regular structure and routines for your baby to increase her sense of security.
  • Establish a bedtime routine and other habits to discourage night waking.
  • Encourage your baby to learn to console herself by putting her to bed awake.
  • Consistently provide your baby with the same transitional object—such as a stuffed animal, blanket, or favorite toy—so that she can console herself at bedtime or in new situations.
  • Encourage play with age-appropriate toys.
  • Talk with the health professional about any problems your baby is having with separation anxiety.

Your Six Month Old Baby will be no longer content to be held, cuddled, and coddled, he or she will now wiggle, want to be put down, and may even crawl away. Your baby is growing on his or her own pace.