Month 1 With Your Baby!
At a month old, your baby is becoming more curious and connected with the world around her. While crying and sleeping are still at the forefront of her activities her fast developing physical capabilities mean she is now kicking and waving arms and may even return a smile to your voice or funny faces (although at this stage it’s still likely wind!). Only a couple more short weeks until she’s genuinely smiling back at you, a reward which makes all the sleepless nights worth it.
Month 1 Of What To Expect From Your Baby
Sleeping is still her main activity and if you’re lucky you may be starting to see longer stretches at night. Don’t stress if not though, it’s completely normal not to see this for another month or two.
Crying is also still quite normal at this stage, particularly in the afternoon. Sometimes, babies will go through bouts of extended crying, which doctors refer to as colic (and are not really sure of the cause). Rocking can help in this instance. As will going through the regular checkpoints to see if there’s something baby is trying to tell you, be it hunger, they need comfort/soothing, they might be uncomfortable, too hot or cold ect. While colic can be a really tiring and stressful time for parents (who are already sleep deprived) reach out if you need some help from a sleep consultant or doctor.
By now, baby can recognise you more clearly and you may have noticed her following with her eyes and ears – she can see and hear much better and is taking an interest in the world around her. Don’t be alarmed if she looks ‘crossed-eyed’ at times, this is because she still has trouble focusing on things at close range.
While baby is getting much stronger muscles doing bicycle kicks and waving her arms, you still need to support her neck and head when you are carrying her. ‘Tummy time’ as this age is important in helping baby strengthen those neck muscles. Put her down on her tummy for a few minutes at each awake time each day and she will try to lift her head up on her own. It will take a while before she can hold it up on her own though. Of course, never do tummy time in an unsafe area or leave baby unattended in this position. Some babies hate tummy time, others love it. Let your baby guide you, however, remember it’s an important developmental activity to do with your baby.
Try this: encourage baby communicate by having a conversation with her, even if it is rather one sided for now. She will love it! Place your face close to hers and talk happily. Then give her a chance to respond back. At this stage you may see attempted smiles, gurgles, or just her mouth move.
Listening to advice
Raising a baby is not easy. There’s so many decisions to make and things to learn and often a ton of information being thrown your way from everyone and everywhere. Some people are worried about over feeding or ‘spoiling’ their babies with too much attention, based on perhaps what an aunty or mother has advised them. Your baby actually needs lots of cuddling and holding and can never have too much of this. As for the size of your baby and feeding, your baby is growing rapidly at this stage and there is a lot of variation in what’s considered normal weight in babies. For example, a baby who was large at birth may not gain as much as a lower birth weight baby. And contrary to what you also may have been told, bottle fed baby’s are not always on the larger side. Try and forget all the generalizations.
Reliable signs your baby is getting enough milk
The most reliable way to tell if your baby is getting enough milk at this stage is to feed on demand, and check how many wet nappies they have are having. There should be 5 very wet nappies in a 24 hour period and usually 3 or more soiled nappies (or bowel movements) each day. Baby should be putting on weight and some length and head circumference, which can be assessed at her check-ups. Simply seeing if baby is contended after each feed is not reliable since some babies go through phases of feeding more frequently, or if they are breastfeed, choose to nurse for other reasons such as comfort.
Month 1 Of What To Expect From Yourself
You are still probably losing a lot of sleep getting up for multiple night time feedings. It’s a good idea to establish a bedtime routine at this stage to ease baby into understanding that night time is for sleeping, as this will be important later. A simple bedtime routine can be a nice warm bath and then reading a book or baby massage before a cuddle and then sleep. Do not worry about ‘cuddling your baby to sleep’ at this stage or any other such sleep association. If it feels right to you, do it. Your baby is too young at this stage to be enforcing any sort of sleep training or being left to cry it out and current evidence now suggests doing so is not the best for baby.
” During feeding I’d heat up a heat pack and place it in my babies bassinet to warm the mattress, while I finished feeding. That way, when I placed baby back down into the bassinet, she wasn’t going from my warm arms to something icy cold, as the heat pack had warmed the surface of mattress. Seemed to work like a treat and she didn’t stir. ” Terri
If you’re finding it hard to wind back down after the hour long feeding and changing process in the middle of the night, try keeping only a very dim light on while you’re feeding and avoid ‘scrolling’ on your phone.
If your baby has not been weighed until now after the birth, this is a good time to do it. They will also check your baby’s length and head circumference. While you are getting this done at the health center, clear any other doubts you may have about baby’s development.