After bringing the baby home from the hospital, mom will often wonder what they are able to see, hear and feel. In fact, she is going to be extra cautious about what kind of television shows are on whenever their new baby is home. Yes, some people are afraid of putting on unsettling television shows around their newborn's presence because they think on some level it could disturb the baby!
Mom will also be concerned about the lighting, and she will want to make sure that anyone's voice is not too loud around a new baby. The fact of the matter is, moms really don't know what their new baby could be feeling, seeing, and hearing. And, right after birth, they may not detect very much around them. However, as the weeks progress, so do their senses.
By the way, the term newborn does not only apply to babies that were literally just born. It applies to babies that have been just born until the age of three-months-old. That is why you see clothing for babies under three months of age labeled as being in newborn sizes.
And, even though a two-month-old is a lot more advanced than a baby that has been just born, they are still newborns. So I will be talking about the 15 things that one-month-old babies are able to see, feel and hear. And, I will be using the terms one-month-old baby and newborn interchangeably so don't be confused! Are you ready to find out how much your newborn can see, hear and feel?
15 Hears: High-Pitched Sounds
You probably already know that your baby was able to hear many things before birth, going back to your second trimester. So your baby was hearing a variety of sounds for a long time. Additionally, your baby certainly had the ability to recognize your voice before coming into the world.
However, just because your baby may hear something doesn't always mean that they will respond to the noise. According to Kids Health, a one-month-old baby not only hears high-pitched sounds well but responds to them.
Whether they respond in a positive manner to the sound depends on many factors. If they were sleeping and the neighbor's dog that had a high-pitched bark that was left in the yard work the baby up- then you'd be dealing with a cranky newborn, while you would be silently cursing your neighbor's dog for waking your baby up!
However, if you are using a high-pitched voice to talk to your baby in a sing-song way, then your baby will love it and respond well to it. In fact, based on the same source, parents should talk to their babies, and they can even use baby talk as it will not have an effect on their development.
14 Sees: Bright Colors
I remember quite clearly when my daughter was a few weeks old, she was staring at the stuffed balloons that were on the wall above the changing station. They were blue, red, yellow and green. And she stared at it with extreme fascination. What I even found more interesting was that when I took her for her one-month checkup (or was it four-week check-up, I can't remember as so much has happened in 16 years), she was on the exam table, looked up and then smiled (yes, she smiled early). Why did she smile? Because those same brightly colored stuffed balloons were on the wall at the pediatrician's clinic. She recognized them!
According to Kids Health, newborns can see bright colors. And that is why toys for newborns and babies are bright. And that is also why babies toys that are geared towards that age are not normally of pastel like colored. They can't appreciate those toys because the newborn cannot really see colors that are not bright all that well.
So, if you have a newborn, you will want to keep them stimulated by letting them see a few brightly colored objects close up (as they cannot see in distances well at all). But don't let them see too many bright colors as that can be overwhelming!
13 Feels: The Rocking Motion
Whenever you imagine your baby being tucked away inside of your womb, you can only imagine how much movement they became used to because of the fact that you were constantly having to shift around to find a comfortable position- and before walking became an ordeal in your pregnancy, your baby quickly became used to constantly feeling movement from you walking.
That said, that is why newborns and very young babies- or even older babies and toddlers are comforted when they are rocked. They definitely not only feel the movement but it soothes them and lulls them to sleep, this especially applies to the very young babies.
According to Parents Magazine, the one way you can keep your newborn or young baby calm is by rocking them since the movement is extremely calming.
I just remember my kids' pediatricians telling me that when I was teaching them to sleep through the night- to not rock them to sleep or else they would become too dependent on the movement. That said, they would refuse to sleep if they were not rocked at the end.
That also meant every time they fussed when it was supposed to be their downtime, it was hard not to pick them up and rock them to sleep!
12 Hears: White Noise
We already know that your baby certainly hears music, and is calmed by soothing music like classical or jazz. And, your baby also hears the central vacuum cleaner, the hum of the fan, and radio static- and loves those sounds. That is all considered to be white noise, and according to Parents, babies are calmed by white noise because it reminds them of whooshing and soothing sounds when they were in the womb.
In fact, there are plenty of digital products around that are geared towards helping colicky and fussy babies sleep that consist of white noise. So that said, if you have a colicky one-month-old, you will want to do a Google search on those kinds of products, or maybe put a fan in the nursery.
If you are uneasy about that idea because you are afraid that the baby could catch a draft, you can always consult with the pediatrician before doing that. The fan could be faced away from the crib and it should be fine, but again- you will want to get a professional opinion before doing that.
And you know what? Adults are comforted as well by the sound of white noise. That is why I have my fan on in the middle of winter when I am trying to sleep at night. I just keep it faced away, and I stock up on fans each summer for this reason. Fans burn out fast, and by the time October rolls around, they are not available until April of the following year!
11 Sees: Shapes Like Circles And Squares
You may have wondered why so many babies and toddlers are so fascinated with shapes. In fact, whenever a toddler sees a shape of something, they blurt it out because it amazed them. For instance, if they see a table that is a circle, a square, or a rectangle- the first thing they will say about that table before the color is the shape.
So that means if you are going furniture shopping, and you are having to drag your two-year-old along, don't be surprised whenever your little one is constantly talking about the shapes of those tables that they see at the furniture store. Your toddler is amazed by shapes, not because they just discovered them. It's because according to Kids Health, your toddler has recognized shapes since a month after their birth.
In fact, shapes of all kinds whether they are circles, squares, rectangles and so on are one of the first things that the newborn can see. However, the difference between a one-month-old baby and an older baby or toddler is that the one-month-old can only see those shapes close by. Everything else is blurry. The older baby or toddler can see those fascinating shapes from a distance. So many that is why the little one is fascinated by all of the shapes they can see far away that they couldn't during the very first part of their lives.
10 Feels: Mom And Dad's Skin
A newborn has extremely sensitive skin, and according to Baby Center, the areas that are sensitive to touch are the cheeks, the mouth, the face, the hands, the abdomen and the feet. That being said, your one-month-old will feel anything that is placed in or around those areas of the body.
And, the one thing that the newborn definitely feels and loves is the feeling of someone's skin. That is why it is essential to bond with your newborn by using skin-to-skin contact, and it is important to keep that up even after your baby is one-month-old. The feeling of skin being in contact with them is extremely soothing and comforting to them.
So that said if you have been using this method to bond, and your baby is over a month old, then keep doing this. Your baby feels your skin, and loves the feeling of it, and is feeling extremely secure while your skin is touching theirs.
In fact, if you put your finger in the palm of your infant's hand, your baby will grasp your finger. A one-month-old has that newborn grasping reflex as well. However, you may find that your one-month-old may be holding onto your finger a bit longer than your baby did right after being born. Your one-month-old loves the feeling of your skin and that is why their fingers are staying curled up around yours.
9 Hears: Music
I remember when my daughter was a newborn, she did not like her crib in the nursery but was content with sleeping in the bassinet. It was likely because the space in the crib overwhelmed her which is understandable. I mean, she spent the last nine months in the womb so it is no wonder that many newborns prefer the bassinet to the crib, even if they are swaddled.
However, my concern was that once she was already one-month-old, she was growing quickly and was not going to be fitting in that bassinet for much longer. And, I asked her pediatrician at that point how to make the transition to the crib from the bassinet. He told me to put a radio in her nursery and set it to a classical music station on a low level, or a jazz station. And you know what? It worked. She accepted the crib.
And, according to Kids Health, one-month-old babies certainly hear music! And that means they hear all kinds of music.
They are going to hate heavy metal or rock! And if you have a teen that is constantly blasting Metallica or Rammstein every night, yes, that teen at one time hated that noise! Newborns hear music, and respond the best to soothing, calming, music like classical.
8 Sees: Human Faces
I remember when my daughter was about one-month-old, or even younger, she would stare at my face with intensity- and other people's faces. I remember at the time figuring that she was intrigued by the funny faces that I made to her and that anyone that was holding her made. That said, I purposely made funny and silly faces at her to amuse her anyway. We all want our kids to be happy, right?
Though, at the same time, I did think that she was too young and not developed enough to be amused by recognizing funny faces, or sad faces, or any kind of facial expression. And, as it turns out, I was right to assume that. A one-month-old baby cannot distinguish between different facial expressions at all.
However, according to Kids Health, a one-month-old can certainly see human faces close up. Because human faces are another visual discovery that they have made- then that is why they are fascinated. They also begin to recognize their parents' or caregivers faces as well. That is because they see their parents' faces or, the faces of their caregivers the most.
But at that age, they are happy to be held by anyone. So whoever is holding them, their faces will be quite fascinating.
7 Feels: Swaddled In Comfortable Blankets
After any baby is born, the first thing the hospital staff does after cleaning the baby up, weighing them and checking them is swaddling them in a comfortable blanket. And, that need to be swaddled continues on well into a month after birth. In fact, babies are comforted by being swaddled in comfy blankets for several months.
They not only feel themselves all swaddled up, and are comforted because it reminds them life in the womb when they were enclosed.
But the swaddling blankets are meant to have a soft texture because they certainly feel it and love how it feels around them according to Parents Magazine.
I remember after bringing my daughter home for the first time how she was not calm unless she was swaddled in those blankets. She is my oldest, so I was very new at the parenting game at that time. In fact, babies love anything that is soft as it is. She needed to be swaddled for several months that I can remember. She also was the most comfortable with having several blankets around her, not just one.
That is why newborn sleepers and clothing are super soft, as that is the most comfortable fabric for babies from ages newborn to three-months-old.
6 Sees: Blacks And Whites
Before my daughter was born, I had won a stuffed dalmatian at a fair, and I ended up calling the stuffed pooch Lisa- and the reason for that was because someone who I knew named Lisa loved dalmatians and that is all she ever talked about. So it was hard not to use that name!
Fast forward to the time just after my daughter was born, I put Lisa on her dresser in the nursery, and my daughter became quite fascinated with that stuffed dog when she was closer to a month old. She would stare at Lisa whenever I changed her diapers, and I thought it was cute and funny how she was fascinated.
According to Kids Health, newborns not only recognize bright colors which had already been spoken about. Newborns also see black and white quite clearly, again close up since anything at a distance is blurry to them. So that means if your newborn is fascinated with looking at black and white objects that are near them- then they certainly see them quite well.
Since their eyesights have developed some since their birth, a black and white object is one of the many things that they are discovering. However, don't expect them to react if you have a black and white television program on. It's too far away for them to appreciate.
5 Feels: Comfort As Their Backs Get Rubbed
The first thing to do when it comes to calming a newborn is to gently rub their backs and many times they do calm down unless they are incredibly colicky. In that case, unfortunately, nothing calms them down as I remember how it was when my daughter was colicky. That was definitely a time that I could not wait to forget when it was happening. And thankfully now, that is ancient history.
Though the rubbing sensation is very relaxing to them. And, according to Parents Magazine, the one thing that parents can do while feeding them as well is to rub their backs. It is a great way to bond, and the baby feels very secure by being fed and having their backs rubbed. They are having many of their needs met in the most comfortable way at once.
You do have to wonder what is so calming about the rubbing sensation. Even older kids and adults like to have their backs rubbed whenever they are anxious. However, in some situations, a few kids and adults may feel the opposite. But in the majority cases, you have to wonder if the rubbing sensation remind them of the times when they felt the amniotic fluid rub around their bodies? Maybe it does and that is why it is incredibly comforting. That just shows you that the memories from the womb stay with us in our subconscious.
4 Sees: Mom And Dad's Hairline
Now that we know that a one-month-old baby can see human faces, it is still not known what they exactly recognize. It is not known if they really pay attention to the eyes, nose or mouth- or just human faces in general. However, it is also a known fact, according to Kids Health that newborns can also see hairlines. That said, they can notice some details.
So now this has me thinking. Did my kids when they were newborns stare at people's faces only? Or were they also studying the hairlines quite well- because that was another new thing that they had discovered, among so many other things?
Now you also have to wonder, since one-month-old babies can recognize hairlines, how confusing would it be to them if someone who was bald picked them up.
A one-month-old has no reasoning skills, so they aren't going to be advanced enough (even the newborns who turn out to be geniuses) to wonder why someone has a hairline whereas someone else doesn't.
Though, since they do notice hairlines, they would likely notice someone who has no hair either. And that is all they would do- is just notice- not think. They just want to be held, and they don't care whether someone with hair or someone without hair is holding them!
3 Feels: Kisses On The Cheek
One of the most sensitive areas of newborns and babies, in general, is their cheeks, and anything that is rubbed against their cheeks they feel it intensely. That is why if you have a one-month-old during the winter months, they become fussy if their hood is touching the cheek. They feel the fabric and don't like it.
However, that does not necessarily mean that they would dislike the feeling of that same fabric if they felt it on their fingers. Their cheeks are highly sensitive so that is what does it. Since you know how sensitive their cheeks are, you want to make sure that whatever is rubbing against it they will like.
According to Parents Magazine, they suggest that one way to bond with your infant is by putting your cheek against theirs. They always love the feeling of someone's skin, even if it is against their sensitive cheeks.
I actually do remember when my kids were babies, they enjoyed having their cheeks gently stroked as well. I just did not know how sensitive that area of their faces was at the time. But since they enjoyed it, then I made sure they got plenty of gentle strokes as it made them quite content.
2 Sees: Stripes And Patterns
We already have learned that newborns can see bright colors, shapes, black and white objects, human faces as well as hairlines. But that is not all they are able to see, as long as it is up close of course. According to Kids Health, one-month-old infants are able to see stripes and patterns as well.
Now, that is not likely the case if the stripes or pattern are in softer colors since they can't really see pastel colors all that well. But, if the stripes or patterns are of bright colors or are black, then they can see that quite well. It is likely they could see white stripes or patterns on dark clothing, blankets or crib sheets as well.
So that also means if you decide to put your one-month-old in a playpen for supervised tummy time on the surface that has patterns, and your little one is staring at it- the baby is definitely noticing it well. Additionally, the pattern alone is what is keeping the baby quite stimulated. This may be another reason that even toddlers enjoy different patterns. That is probably because that was one of the first things that they recognized ever, in their lives! Even though kids are curious about learning new things, they are always comforted by anything familiar.
1 Feels, Sees, And Hears Too Many Things
Imagine being thrown into an environment when you were being touched in the most sensitive areas of your body, while you were hearing high pitched noises that would not end, with bright and flashing lights- and the environment you were in had plenty of patterned walls! How would you feel? That would not only frighten you but at the very least you would be so overwhelmed that you would want to cover your face and ears and just hide from it!
That said, if your one-month-old is fussy for no apparent reason, there is a good chance that they are being overwhelmed. Especially if you go somewhere that you would think is calm that is not all that noisy! And, it is the same place where you took your baby two weeks after birth- and had slept the entire time!
Even though a one-month-old is technically a newborn, whenever a baby is into the second month of their life- their senses are a lot stronger than they were just after they were born! According to Parents Magazine, it does not take much to overstimulate and overwhelm a young baby.
If you have a one-month-old that seems to be fussy for an unknown reason, maybe it is the environment causing it.