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First year development timeline: month 1

Your baby’s first month is a pretty exciting time and over the next four weeks you will see a lot of changes already. So what exactly can you expect?

Sensory development:Your baby’s senses of smell and taste will be very strong from the moment he is born, however his vision will be very blurry. He already has some basic reflexes that allow him to react to stimuli in his environment, but he is particularly reactive to touch and loud noises. If he looks cross-eyed sometimes, don’t worry that’s a normal part of his vision development and he will quickly grow out of it.

baby on his belly

Laying your baby on his belly when he’s awake is good for the development of his neck muscles

Motor skills: Your baby’s muscles and joints have a lot of development to undergo this year and to kickstart the process it’s a good idea to lay your baby on his tummy when he is awake. He will try to lift his neck which will strengthen his neck muscles.

Mobility: This month your baby is still curled up in the fetal position and over the next six months he will gradually stretch out. Your baby will like being swaddled this month as it makes him feel as cosy as he was in your womb.

Cognitive development: Your baby’s brain is developing rapidly, but right now it’s quite preoccupied with taking in his new environment, so don’t expect too much.

Communication skills: Your baby will not react to you or your voice this month, but it is important that you begin talking to him. This will expose him to language and the other communication skills he needs to develop. His main means of communication this month is crying and you’ll soon be able to tell what each cry means. Some babies may develop colic this month and this will stay with most of them until they are 4 months old.

Sleep patterns:Newborns will sleep for 16-17 hours each day, but don’t expect it to be long stints of sleep. Each sleep will be short and your baby will wake frequently. Some babies may develop a distinctive sleep and wake cycle by the end of this month, but there is a very good chance your baby won’t. Never try to force your baby into a pattern, he will develop his own when he is ready. To avoid SIDS, put your baby on his back and give him a pacifier when you put him down to sleep.

baby breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the best nutrient source for your baby throughout his first year

Dietary developments: This month your baby should be breastfeeding or drinking formula. He should continue with this diet for at least the next four months. Remember, never give your baby cow’s milk! Depending on your baby’s diet, his stool will be a mustard yellow to dark brown colour and probably quite runny. However, his first bowel movements will be green and sticky, because of meconium. Expect 5-6 diaper changes a day, but don’t worry if it’s less or more. As long as your baby has at least one bowel movement each day everything is fine.

Also this month your baby will still have his umbilical cord stump. This will slowly dry up and fall off by the end of the month, avoid wetting it.

Month 1 Tip: Rock your baby frequently. This new world and experience is overwhelming for him and a good rocking will comfort him and give you both the opportunity to bond.

Back to Your Baby’s First Year

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