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Birth to 1 Month


"Each child is unique. While certain attitudes, behaviors, and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide spectrum of growth and behavior for each age is normal. These guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general progression through the developmental stages rather than as fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to attain some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend. Keep this in mind as you review these milestones."

"If you have any concerns related to your child’s own pattern of development, check with your pediatrician or family physician." Donna Warner Manczak, Ph.D., M.P.H.


   -   Baby’s actions are largely in terms of reflexes: crying, grasping, yawning, sucking, blinking, swallowing, coughing, sneezing, gagging.
   -   Reflexively sucks whatever is placed in mouth.
   -   Reflexively opens mouth and turns head in search of food when cheek is touched.
   -   Feeds every 2-3 hours and may sleep 3-4 hours between nighttime feedings. May spit up after feedings as cardiac sphincter valve at top of stomach does not close tightly until baby is walking.
   -   Reflexively grasps whatever is placed in hand clenches it briefly then just lets go.
   -   Startles easily by sudden noises or movements.
   -   Movements are jerky. Waves arms, legs, wiggles and squirms.
   -   Lifts head for a few seconds and can turn head from side to side while lying on tummy.
   -   Cannot support head without assistance.
   -   Cannot turn body or sit without assistance.
   -   Eyes do not focus clearly. Can see best at about 8-10 inches. Quiets to stare at faces. Eyes may also cross due to poor muscle control.
   -   Shows preference for human face focusing on eyes or mouth. Stares at simple black and white contrasting patterns, such as stripes or checkerboard. Notices outside edge of pattern rather than internal pattern.
   -   Usually sleeps from 17-20 hours per day. May develop fussy crying at 2-3 weeks old for a few hours in the evening. Naps about 8 times in 24 hour period. There is usually no regular pattern of eating or sleeping yet.
   -   Cries and fusses about 1 to 4 hours per day. (24 hour period) Often fusses during bathtime, and when over stimulated.
   -   Is alert and quiet about 2-3 hours per day. (24 hour period)
   -   Begins to turn head in direction of sounds.
   -   Begins to distinguish human voice from other sounds.
   -   Is more sensitive to high-pitched voices, especially mother’s voice. Responds with throaty sounds and movement of arms and legs. Quiets to hear soft music, singing or talking.
   -   Smiles spontaneously and unselectively during drowsiness or sleep.
   -   Makes tiny gurgling sounds when content.
   -   Begins to distinguish parent’s face from a stranger’s
   -   Discriminates some smells (can smell breast milk from mother)


Cuddle, soothe, and respond quickly to his needs. Try swaddling him when he cries to make him feel secure. You cannot spoil a baby at this age. Quick responses at this age develop secure babies.


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Child Development Birth to 1 month


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