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.

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.

4 Month Old Developmental Milestones

The relationship between parents and your 4-month-old baby is pleasurable and rewarding. Your baby’s ability to smile, coo, and laugh encourages you to talk and play with him or her. Clear and predictable cues from your infant are met with appropriate and predictable responses from you, promoting mutual trust. During this period, your baby masters early motor, language, and social skills by interacting with those who care for him or her. Let’s look at some of the Four Month Old Milestones.

Responding to the sights and sounds around your baby, your 4-month-old raises his or her body from a prone position with his or her hands and holds his or her head steady. Your baby may be so interested in his or her world that he or she sometimes refuses to settle down to eat. He or she stops feeding from the breast or bottle after just a minute or two to check out what else is happening in the room. Parents may need to feed your baby in a quiet, darkened room for the next few weeks.

Over the next 2 months, your baby will be ready to start eating solid foods. If he or she sits well when supported, holds his or her head up, and seems to be hungry, it is time to introduce one new solid food every week or so. The tongue thrust reflex and production of saliva may cause a lot of drooling at this age. Early teethers can be irritable, although most babies do not get their first teeth until after 6 months, and some babies may not do so until after 1 year.

As key social and motor abilities become apparent at 4 months, your infant who appears to have a delay in achieving these skills may need a formal developmental assessment. An infant who lacks a social smile may suffer from emotional or sensory deprivation. Are you interested in and appropriately interactive with your baby? If developmental delays are found, health professionals should explore their origin and make referrals for early intervention.

Most employed mothers will have returned to work by the time your infant is 4 months of age, and it is important that child care arrangements work for both infant and family. An irritable child who cries frequently or does not sleep through the night may clash temperamentally with a family that values regularity and tranquility. Family problems such as inadequate finances, few social supports, or low parental self-esteem may impair the parents’ ability to nurture. It is important that parents seek help when feeling sad, discouraged, depressed, overwhelmed, or inadequate. Parents who have the support they need can be warmly rewarded by their interactions with their 4-monthold infant.

Developmental Milestones for 4 Month Old

  • Babbles and coos
  • Smiles, laughs, and squeals
  • In prone position, holds head upright and raises body on hands
  • Rolls over from front to back
  • Opens hands, holds own hands, grasps rattle
  • Controls head well
  • Begins to bat at objects
  • Looks at and may become excited by mobile
  • Recognizes parent’s voice and touch
  • Has spontaneous social smile
  • May sleep for at least 6 hours
  • Able to comfort himself (e.g., fall asleep by himself without breast or bottle)

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 his major source of nutrition. Give your baby an iron supplement if you are breastfeeding exclusively.

Begin introducing solid foods with a spoon when your baby is developmentally ready. 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. Always supervise your baby carefully while he is eating.

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. Be sure that your caregiver is feeding your baby appropriately.

Avoid feeding solid food directly from a jar. Discard any milk or jarred foods when your baby has finished eating. Do not warm expressed breast milk, formula, or food in containers or jars in a microwave oven.

Promote Your Baby’s Development

  • Nurture your baby by holding, cuddling, and rocking him, and by talking and singing to him.
  • Encourage your baby’s vocalizations. Talk to him during dressing, bathing, feeding, playing, and walking.
  • Read to your baby. Play music and sing to him.
  • Play games such as pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, so-big.
  • Encourage play with age-appropriate toys.
  • Establish a bedtime routine and other habits to discourage night waking.
  • Encourage your baby to learn to console himself by putting him to bed awake.
  • Begin to help your baby learn self-consoling techniques by providing him with the same transitional objects, such as a stuffed animal, blanket, or favorite toy—at bedtime or in new situations.
  • Talk with the health professional about your baby’s temperament and how you are dealing with it.

Your baby’s development may be different with the Four Month Old Milestones. As long as your baby is healthy, you should not worry too much since each child is different, each child grows on his or her own pace. However, keep your eyes on your baby’s development and talk with your baby’s doctor if you need to.