Caring for Baby

Observing My New Surroundings

Observing My New Surroundings

The first month with baby can be a whirlwind of late-night feedings and nonstop diaper changes for parents. While you’re busy keeping up with round-the-clock care, baby is busy achieving some significant developmental milestones.

Keep in mind that babies grow and develop at their own pace, and you should ask your child’s doctor if you have questions or concerns.

1 Month Milestones

Look what I can do ...

  • Focus on nearby people and objects (about 8 to 12 inches away)
  • Pay attention to faces
  • Startle at loud noises
  • Lift my head briefly

How You Can Help

  1. Give baby interesting things to observe. In their first month, babies can see black and white patterns. You might show her some black and white pictures or art — or a zebra toy. Walk around your house and show baby each room and the pictures on the walls. Look out the window together.
  2. Let baby study your face. At this age, your child has no interest in princesses or superheroes — you’re the one baby wants to watch! He or she will spend hours watching your face and learning how to mimic your expression. When you’re feeding or holding baby, sometimes you may be multitasking on your phone or watching TV. Be sure to set aside time to take a break from everything else and have “face time” with your baby.
  3. Change positions when you’re holding baby. Hold baby facing you, facing out and curled in your arms on each side. Doing so gives baby a different viewpoint. It also encourages baby to work his muscles in different ways. Rotating positions when holding baby also helps caregivers avoid strained muscles from repetitive movements.
  4. Go outdoors with baby. The natural light and fresh air can help calm a fussy baby. Being outside feels and looks different, and it’s good for baby to experience new surroundings. Go for a walk with the stroller. Show baby a flower, a leaf or other things you find outside.
  5. Talk in a soothing voice. Your baby heard your voice when he or she was in the womb, and now there are so many more sounds out in the world. Your soothing voice is something that can help baby feel safe and calm.

Have Concerns? Ask Your Child’s Doctor

In these early weeks and months, you probably have many questions about what’s normal with your baby’s development. Talking about it with a doctor can help put you at ease. And if something isn’t right, it’s always best to identify potential problems early on.