Within the first month of bringing the baby home, time simply flies by. It take a lot of getting used to, and tons of things happen during this short period of time. We might be vaguely aware of the fact that babies grow extremely quickly, but parents never truly realize it until they see their own child's speedy development before their very eyes.
Baby might behave and appear like a completely different individual after the one month milestone is reached. With all these changes happening, it's sometimes hard to keep track of exactly what's going on, and what's changing with the baby.
The truth is that there are plenty of ways baby will change during the first month. Some of these are quite obvious changes that we can see, hear and witness. But other changes are harder to spot. Some changes happen on an almost imperceptible level, and some changes occur primarily in the baby's brain. Just because we can't see the changes, that doesn't mean they're not occurring. Sometimes it's interesting to get a medical and scientific perspective to give us some insight into exactly what happens in this crucial first month. Here are 20 ways a baby is likely to change within the first month.
20 They Could Start To Vocalize (Without Crying)
Let's face it - during the first month, you're going to be hearing a lot of crying from your baby. This is just a fact of reality. Crying is pretty much their only means of communication at this point, and this is their way of telling you that something is bothering them. But within a month's time, you might just start to see some early signs of vocalization that don't involve crying.
These include cooing, grunts, and perhaps a few squeals here and there. This is the first stage of language development, and it's very exciting. You should be even more excited if your baby squeals and coos in clear response to your own vocalizations.
19 They Might Smile For The First Time
One of the most joyous developments during the first month is the very first smile. During these few weeks, you'll probably see your child start to make their first facial expressions. But one of the most monumental and important facial expressions is of course the smile. You might see your baby smiling in certain situations, or even while they're sleeping.
But a great sign is if your baby is able to smile in response to your own smile. Only some babies can do this within the first month, but it's an indication of highly attuned emotional intelligence, and it means your baby is developing very quickly indeed.
18 They'll Grip Your Finger Surprisingly Hard
Reflexes and motor skills are very important within the first month, and your baby will probably show signs that they're developing normally. One of the most common motor skills is a reflex that babies have involving their grip. This motor skill is quite easy to test. All you need to do is put your finger in their palm, and the baby will grip the finger.
You might even be surprised at how strong the baby feels when they grip your finger. This is an important motor skill that your baby will probably be showing long before the 1 month milestone.
17 They'll Start To Recognize Scents
A baby's sense of smell is something that often goes unnoticed by parents and healthcare professionals alike. After all, the sense of smell isn't something we can see or accurately measure. But rest assured, your baby's sense of smell is probably developing quite quickly during the first month, along with all the other senses within this important period of time.
In fact, a baby can recognize the mother's scent almost immediately after being born. You can bet that your baby will remember this scent for many years to come, and it will always be a comforting scent to the little one.
16 Their Language Development Begins To Ramp Up
This is one of those developments that we can't actually see. Deep inside the brain of the newborn, the language processing centers are beginning to come to life. These parts of the brain are starting the long process towards being able to communicate with other people, and despite what some mothers might think, they are very much active during the first month.
Even though you can't see these important skills developing during the first month, you can definitely help them. This means talking to your baby, and having animated conversations with them. It might seem silly, but it's giving your baby a huge advantage.
15 Their Eyesight Improves Rapidly
Another thing that changes very quickly within the first month is the baby's eyesight, and the eyes themselves. Most people know that babies are born without full use of their eyes, and their eye color might also change directly after birth. But within the first month, the most significant change has to do with the overall strength and quality of their vision.
Within the first month, a baby's vision is still quite blurry. But in just four weeks, their vision will improve rapidly, to see objects from 8 to 12 inches away from their head. Sometimes, the baby's eyes will even cross when they're trying to focus on things. Don't worry, this is usually nothing to worry about.
14 They Start Trying To Turn And Support Their Head
During the first month, the baby will be trying desperately to support their own head. This is an important part of the development process, and babies will be working their neck muscles and strengthening them. This will happen in a slow, gradual way, but eventually your baby might even be able to support their own head for short periods of time after one month.
One of the best ways to encourage head movement and support is by placing the baby on their belly. This is probably the most comfortable way for the baby to raise their head up for short periods of time. This should definitely be supervised at all times.
13 They Might Prefer Certain Music
This is another major thing that changes during the first month. Yes, that's right, your baby might actually start to develop a particular taste in music. As their hearing starts to develop, they'll start to understand the concept of music and start to establish their own personal preferences.
Playing different types of music to little ones can definitely aid in their brain development. Mothers have been singing to their children for countless years, and this is definitely something that most babies will love. But you can also test out your baby's tastes with all kinds of different genres and tunes! Who knows, they might have a thing for country music!
12 They Might Learn To Soothe Themselves
Soothing is something that most infants will need lots of during the first month, and that's definitely something that is going to be one most mother's mind during these first few weeks. Of course, the most obvious way to soothe a child is to actually breast feed them or give them formula.
But within the first month, some babies will probably gain the ability to self-soothe. This can be done in a variety of ways, with some babies actually soothing using their own thumb or finger. Sucking the thumb is actually a sign that the baby is developing in a certain way. Self-soothing can also be done with a pacifier.
11 The Umbilical Cord Will Fall Off
After the first few weeks, one of the biggest changes your baby will go through is the loss of the umbilical cord. The doctors or nurses cut the umbilical cord after birth occurs, but there will still be a stump left behind. This is definitely a welcome development for many mothers and babies alike, because having that dried, shriveled up stump left behind isn't exactly pleasant.
Remember that you do need to keep a close eye on the umbilical cord stump during the first few weeks. Certain complications can occur, and it's important to keep the stump as dry and as clean as possible. If there is a foul-smelling discharge after the stump has fallen off, it's time to visit the doctor.
10 The Baby's Diaper Habits Will Change
The baby's stool and bowel movements might not be the most pleasant thing on Earth, but they're definitely important to keep track of if you're interested in your baby's health and development. Your baby's stool will actually change a lot during the first few weeks. During the first few days, the baby's stool will be black and sticky.
But after that, the baby's stool should be greenish or yellow, and this is considered a transitional period before "regular" baby stool. Mustard yellow, green or brown are all considered normal and healthy colors for a baby's stool. After about 6 weeks, the baby should be having noticeably fewer bowel movements.
9 Their Body Will Start To Spread Out And Become Less Curled Up
When the baby is first delivered, it might resemble something like a scrunched up little ball. The arms and legs might seem a little bit curved and tucked in to the body, and the fingers and toes might seem all balled up. But as the baby starts to move around and explore the world during that first month, this will all change.
One of the biggest changes during the first month can be seen in the body. All the limbs, fingers and toes start to spread out, and your baby will start to look a lot more comfortable in their own skin.
8 Baby Will Start To Develop Their Sense Of Touch
During the first month, the baby will have a lot of fun exploring their sense of touch. This is an important part of their development process, and it's always great to see them touching different things to figure out what the world actually feels like! Although the sense of touch definitely keeps developing after delivery, it's the most developed sense as soon as the baby is born.
Because the sense of touch is the most developed sense upon birth, it's very important to touch the baby as much as possible, and give them as much skin-to-skin contact. Think about it. The baby cannot hear or see very well, so a comforting touch is one of the only ways you can truly communicate with your little one.
7 It Might Look Like They're Not Growing
During the first few days, your baby might actually lose a little bit of pounds. This can be disconcerting to some mothers, because according to them, the opposite should be happening... Right? After all, as the baby grows, it'd make sense if they gained instead of losing pounds.
But losing lbs during the first month is actually totally normal. If you're seeing your baby lose around 5 to 10% of their initial body mass at birth, then it's nothing to worry about. This is due to a normal rate of fluid loss after birth. Note that this loss is only normal during the first 5 days after birth. After that, the baby should be gaining steadily.
6 The Baby Might Develop A Sweet Tooth
Another important development that happens within the first month has to do with the baby's sense of taste. Within these first few weeks, the baby begins to figure out what tastes they like the most. Normally, the baby develops something of a sweet tooth, and favors foods and substances that satiate that sweet craving.
Luckily, breastmilk should be naturally sweet, and so the baby will be getting all the sweet flavors that they need. They can also start to differentiate between sweet tastes and bitter tastes, and that's a great sign. It shows that their sense of taste is developing normally.
5 Their Face Might Change Quite Quickly
When the baby is first born, its face might not look entirely encouraging. What we mean by this is that your baby might have certain facial features that seem unnatural or unattractive. These are things like a crushed, flat nose and a cone-shaped head. But rest assured, these things are actually a result of childbirth (especially if there was a lot of pushing!).
During the first month, the baby's face will actually slowly retain a different shape. Baby's heads and faces are remarkably flexible and almost rubbery, and they'll start to fill out very quickly. Your baby might even look completely different after just one month at home.
4 The Baby's Reflexes Are Probably Developing Fast
Even within the first month of life, the baby is beginning to use their own body. Much of this has to with getting familiar with the extremities, such as the fingers and the toes. But your baby will also be working on developing its reflexes, and this happens at a rapid pace during the first month of life.
The reflexes represent the first physical lessons the baby will learn, and they are very important. The baby will probably develop certain reflexes for latching and feeding. The baby might also develop certain reflexes for dealing with shock and surprise. This one is called the Moro reflex.
3 Baby Will Probably Recognize Your Voice Soon
One of the most important developments in a baby's life during the first month is hearing. Obviously, their hearing improves over the first weeks, but that's not the only important development. Babies also tend to recognize important sounds, such as the sound of their mother's voice. It's always a touching moment when we discover that our baby can recognize the sound of our voice.
This is an important thing to remember, because it means that talking to our baby is always important. Even when the mother is in the other room, they can still talk to their baby, and the baby will actually recognize their voice. This will make them feel so much more comforted and secure.
2 They Might Even Take Their Very First (Assisted) Steps
Babies definitely won't be walking within the first month, but they might just be able to put themselves on the path towards completing this monumental task. Some babies are able to actually take their first steps while assisted by a mother or father. If your baby can handle it, it's okay to hold them up and see if they can take a few exploratory steps.
You can help develop your baby's leg muscles by manually exercising them during the first month. Move your baby's legs lightly in bicycle motions to encourage strengthening of muscles. Before you know it, they'll be taking their first steps.
1 They'll Start To Recognize The Difference Between Night And Day
The baby's sleep patterns will also change quite considerably during the first month. When a baby first arrives home, they probably won't be able to tell the difference between night and day. They won't realize that daytime is for being active, and night time is for sleeping. But of course they won't. Why would they? This is something they have to slowly learn, and it's definitely a tough process for both the parents and the baby.
Because babies stay in REM sleep for much longer than adults, they are woken much more easily. This means that you might find yourself comforting the baby during both day and night when they wake up suddenly. But within a month, your baby might just get the picture that night time is for sleeping.