Your 1 month old baby
In the first month of life, your baby will try hard to adapt to the new world outside the womb, by focusing on the five basic senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Your love, care, and affection will help your baby do this and will get you to bond more and more as a result.
The crying can be sometimes overwhelming, but it's essential to help your baby grow. It's how your baby can communicate with you, so you better have patience, and watch your baby's behavior so you can learn how to handle it. Most your baby's needs are pretty obvious: feed me - change me - burp me - bathe me - help me sleep - play with me - and talk to me.
Your baby during this month
The skills your baby will learn as described below will start happening in due time. Don't worry too much about that aspect, since all babies have unique tendencies in the rate at which they grow and learn. If however you become worried about your baby's health or growth, then definitely speak to your doctor who will be able to explain the situation or address it as needed.
- Follow a black or white object with their eyes about 15 cm away from their face(they can only focus on high contrast colors).
- Blink when they see a vivid light. Look at your face a lot, as they learn to focus both eyes at the same point.
- Identify you by your smell; babies can recognize the smell of milk if you're breastfeeding.
- Remember familiar voices and react by turning their heads in the same direction.
- Hold or grip your finger when you put it close to their hands.
- Raise their head a little as neck muscles start working.
Tips for you during this month
During this month, senses are the most important for your baby to grasp, and it's easy to stimulate those senses, just put on some relaxing music, if you or your partner plays an instrument it's double the fun since they can look at your instrument and your fingers touching it, while they listen to the music that comes out of it. Remember babies in the first month like black and white the most, whatever you put in their crib or show them has to be in high contrast for them to look at. They might start holding or caressing their toys and blankets, this will enable their sense of touch a lot more. Just make sure the toys are soft and age appropriate.
For some, getting a baby turns their whole life upside down. While change is necessary, it's better to accept it and adapt to it than it is to fight it and become mad or frustrated. Take your time to grasp this so you're present for your baby's needs and take care of your own life at the same time. Get family or close friends to lend a hand, it's okay to ask. Put your focus on your baby more than you do on dishes or housework, it's just a matter of realizing what's important and putting things in perspective. If you're feeling cut off from the rest of the world or lonely, invite someone over from family or friends to spend time with you and your baby. And remember: don't have guests over if you're tired or exhausted, it's not fun for you and it's not fun for your guests.
Did You Know?
Senses are extremely important in the baby's first month outside the womb, getting in touch with these senses will be hard on your baby if you don't give the love, care and protection that is needed. At several points in the future, your baby will progressively start trusting you more, and start focusing on learning to use and manipulate the senses; and you'll be in charge of letting that happen more easily.
Relaxing music definitely helps them get more comfortable, play them an instrument and have them watch you when they start opening their eyes. Show them items that are high contrast (black or white are easiest), and hand them soft toys and blankets so they can feel the sense of touch better. So in the first month, it is crucial that you attend your baby's needs so they can trust you, and find them different ways to help them grow their senses so they can familiarize themselves with the world around them.