Monday, November 05, 2012

Your 1-month-old's development

Holding her head up

Your baby's neck muscles are getting stronger, which allows her to hold up her head for short periods. She can also hold it up for a few moments while lying on her stomach and may even be able to turn it from side to side. She may be able to hold it up when she's in a car seat or front or back carrier, especially if she has lots of support and you use special baby headrests designed to help her in those situations. 

Exploring extremities

At birth, your baby had no idea her arms and legs were attached to her. That's all changing now as she starts exploring her body. The parts she'll discover first are her hands and feet. You can encourage her interest in them by holding her arms above her head and asking 'How big's the baby?' or by reciting 'This Little Piggy' and counting her toes. 

Learning to soothe herself

Babies love to suck. They need to suck. In fact, you may have discovered that a pacifier works wonders in helping your baby calm herself. And when her pacifier's not around, she may even be able to find her thumb or fingers to suck. 

Look who's babytalking now

Your one-month-old may gurgle, coo, grunt and hum to express her feelings now. Be sure to coo and gurgle back, and talk to her face to face. A few babies may also begin early squeals and laughter. If you have things to do, she'll still enjoy hearing your voice from across the room. She'll hold your gaze for ever-longer periods now. 

Even though your baby has been able to recognise you since she was a few days old, by the end of this month she may be able to show it. About half of all babies this age begin to exhibit an obvious recognition of their parents: they react differently to mak and ayah than they do to strangers. Your baby may quiet down and make eye contact with you; some babies at this age are able to smile when they see their parents. 

Baby listens and enjoys music

Now that your baby is awake for longer periods during the day, you can use these times to stimulate her sensory development. Try singing nursery rhymes or playing music to her. The sound of wind chimes or a ticking clock will also amuse your baby. The more varied the offerings, the richer the impact. Inevitably, you'll see your child react more pleasurably to one selection over another as she begins to develop preferences. 

Eyes can track objects now

Having learned to focus with both eyes, your baby can now track a moving object, something she may have been able to do for brief periods since birth. A simple rattle passed in front of her face will often transfix her. Or you can play eyes-to-eyes by moving very close to her face and slowly nodding your head from side to side; often her eyes will lock onto yours. 

The shops are packed with developmental toys, but you'll do just as well with everyday household objects. Pass shiny foil or a bright plastic ladle from side to side in front of her. Then try moving it up and down. This should attract your baby's attention, but she probably won't be able to smoothly follow vertical motion for about three months. 

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