Your one-month-old baby

by Julie Snyder

one month oldYour one-month-old is much more awake and alert. He's spent the last weeks adapting.

This month he is ready to interact, opening up -- his hands in greeting, his mouth in grins, his eyes to take in the world!

Get ready for smiles, excited flailing of hands and arms, and baby-initiated playtime.

Social and emotional development

looking for mommy's voiceShe responds to your excitement by becoming excited both in vocalizations and movements. Did you know a baby could wiggle that quickly? When you speak, your baby will establish eye contact, smile and study your face. She'll even make vague attempts to copy your gestures.

As well as delight when she "finds" you, she has begun responding with distress -- for example, when you put her down!

Often this innovative little one is able to sooth herself with a fist or thumb. Are you upset? She may notice your mood and also become upset.

Language development

He'll "talk" face-to-face with you, making aahh and oooh sounds, squeaks and gurgles; then pause while you take your turn to talk. His gestures emulate yours as he learns the intricacies of communication. Watch for him to initiate talk-time with a wiggle, a smile or a coo. Mothers instinctively use upbeat tones and exaggerated facial gestures to talk to their babies.

Cognitive development

Sometimes while your little one is flailing his arms, a hand stops in front of his face and he will stare intently. He may not yet realize that hand belongs to him, but soon will. He's able to see more clearly, further away and to follow movements more smoothly. Another clue that his brain is learning -- he can tell the difference between a nipple that gives milk and one that doesn't.

Large motor skills

Her limbs begin to relax and stretch out from the tightly flexed position of a newborn. She startles and twitches less frequently. During tummy time, she can lift his head to 45° for a short time. It is wobbly while held sitting, but so much stronger than just a month ago.

Fine motor skills

Her hands are beginning to relax. When you place a rattle in her hand, she can hold onto it for a bit. She may even turn to see what all that noise is about. Some little ones enjoy a wrist rattle, which might help your baby find her hands. While you can't expect her to reach out and grab an object, she will swipe aimlessly in the general direction of a dangling toy.

Note: These milestones may first appear this month. It is normal for them to happen later. Worried your little one isn't developing normally? Check out these developmental red flags.

The big picture

Your baby is opening up and reaching out as a social being. He needs contact with his parents, snuggling, animated talk and gestures. Help him build by responding when gives a cue.

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