What are some of the developmental milestones my child should reach by one month of age?
In the very beginning, it may seem that your baby does nothing but eat, sleep, cry, and fill his diapers. By the end of the first month, he’ll be much more alert and responsive. Gradually he’ll begin moving his body more smoothly and with much greater coordination—especially in getting his hand to his mouth. You’ll realize that he listens when you speak, watches you as you hold him, and occasionally moves his own body to respond to you or attract your attention.
Here are some other milestones to look for.
- Makes jerky, quivering arm thrusts
- Brings hands within range of eyes and mouth
- Moves head from side to side while lying on stomach
- Head flops backward if unsupported
- Keeps hands in tight fists
- Strong reflex movements
Visual and Hearing Milestones
- Focuses 8 to 12 inches (20.3 to 30.4 cm) away
- Eyes wander and occasionally cross
- Prefers black-and-white or high-contrast patterns
- Prefers the human face to all other patterns
- Hearing is fully mature
- Recognizes some sounds
- May turn toward familiar sounds and voices
Smell and Touch Milestones
- Prefers sweet smells
- Avoids bitter or acidic smells
- Recognizes the scent of his own mother’s breastmilk
- Prefers soft to coarse sensations
- Dislikes rough or abrupt handling
Developmental Health Watch
If, during the second, third, or fourth weeks of your baby’s life, she shows any of the following signs of developmental delay, notify your pediatrician.
- Sucks poorly and feeds slowly
- Doesn’t blink when shown a bright light
- Doesn’t focus and follow a nearby object moving side to side
- Rarely moves arms and legs; seems stiff
- Seems excessively loose in the limbs, or floppy
- Lower jaw trembles constantly, even when not crying or excited
- Doesn’t respond to loud sounds