Development and Health Care for a 1 Month Old Baby

The ‘newborn’ period is from birth and lasts for four weeks – totaling 1 month old baby. The baby will typically sleep the whole day it is as if the baby can’t adjust to life in their new world. A 1 month old baby will gain a lot of weight and its five senses will start to develop.

Height50.8cm (Boy) 50.1cm (Girl)
Weight3.4kg (Boy) 3.3kg (Girl)
DevelopmentFreely adjust the feeding amount. Can see the baby respond to small sounds. Baby has vague vision.
Milk FeedingPowdered milk 100cc 8 times per day. Breast milk separate every 90-120 minutes.

The Special Characteristic of this Period

1. Life’s Greatest Weight Gain

1 month old baby

The weight of a 1 month old baby tends to suddenly reduce 3-4 days after birth due to very little being consumed during this period. That which is eaten is mostly passed out of the body in urine or feces, moisture will also evaporate from the skin and lungs so much so that the amount lost will exceed that which is consumed.

After one week, the weight will return to that of the day of the child’s birth, afterwards there will be an average weight gain of 30g each day.

Therefore, one month after birth, the baby’s weight should have increased by 1kg. If the weight gained is less than this, it suggests that the baby is being underfed.

2. Muscle Gradually Becomes Sturdy

When changing clothes or diapers, the baby will flourish its arms and legs in a reflex action. At this stage it is possible to see, although the body still cannot be held stable the muscle has nevertheless started to become visibly sturdy. After one month, the neck will become stiff and the head will be able to turn and face the direction of light or sound.

3. Sleep 20 hours per day

Babies cannot differentiate between night and day, as the whole time is a repetition between eating and sleeping. Typically, the baby will sleep between 18-20 hours each day so other than eating, 2/3 of the time will be spent sleeping. Only after another 3 months will the baby start to distinguish between day and night. When the baby wakes up crying, you must check if it is hungry or if the diapers are wet. If it is the case that the baby sleeps less than anticipated, but eats more and grows heavier, there is no need for undue concern.

Points to Note: Food for a 1 Month Old Baby

1. Let babies eat what they want, when they want

It takes 2-2.5 hours for babies to digest breast milk and 3-3.5 hours to digest powdered milk, but you must not calculate your breast feeding schedule based on this statistic. If you rely on breast milk, it is possible that the milk secreted by the mother will at times be insufficient, so it is best to also use powdered milk to feed babies whenever they are hungry. This way, you can gradually adjust the feeding until the appropriate balance is reached. Babies drinking powdered milk are the same, rather than feeding a specific amount at an allotted time. Always feed as and when the babies will accept it.

2. Must Burp after Feeding

As the baby’s digestive system is still developing, there will often be sickness after feeding. This is especially because the infant’s stomach resembles a thin and delicate bottle where the sphincter muscles have yet to develop. Therefore, after drinking milk, it is very easy to flow in the wrong direction. Not only this, the intestines will be full of gas so burping is very important. An alternative to burping is to lay the baby down and ensure the head is turned to the side. Therefore if milk is vomited, it will not block the esophagus.

Intellectual and Emotional Development

1. Five Senses slowly Develop

Sight, hearing and taste are still not fully developed, but there is a limited function of the sight and hearing. The babies are very sensitive to light even though they cannot see clearly. But from a distance of 20-35 cm, they can see faces or things with a black and white contrast. Of the three senses, taste will develop quicker and the babies will show an obvious approval for the sweetness of breast milk and obvious disapproval if subjected to bitter or sour tastes. Hearing will have fully developed at the end of the ‘newborn’ stage. So when hearing a familiar voice, the eyes and head will move to face that direction, and when hearing abrupt noise, the baby will respond by crying. Smell and touch at this point has no particular development but they can sense temperature, so ensure the bath water is not too hot or too cold otherwise they will respond by crying.

2. Crying to Express Wishes

Crying is the baby’s only form of communication. They will cry to tell you they have wet diapers, they are hungry, or if something is too tight, too hot or uncomfortable. Loud crying is an instinctual and healthy expression for the baby. When the baby cries, it is good to check what the baby requires and do your best to provide it. When the baby cries for no apparent reason give a gentle massage all over the body or hug tightly. During this stage, regularly hugging the baby will be good for their emotional development and give them stability.

Health Care

1. BCG Vaccination

Immunizing with BCG is essential. There are many things to inoculate a newborn with, so maybe it is best to arrange them all together. After the BCG vaccination, there may be swelling of the lymphatic glands or even the appearance of Tuberculosis symptoms. You must do your best to prevent this. Recently, many pediatric immunizations avoid using the BCG vaccine, although the alternatives will not leave a scar, it is still most effective to use a common BCG vaccine. The immunization must be done between birth and 4 weeks old. If it is the case that the baby has already passed 4 weeks old, you still must hurry and get it done immediately. This can be arranged in any standard medical centre.

2. Avoid Bathing after Breast Feeding

Bathing between 10AM to 2PM is the best. When bathing immediately after breast feeding, the blood will have accumulated in the heart and thus will hinder the digestive system. You should wait at least 30 minutes before bathing, or better still is to bathe before breast feeding. For babies that are not easy to fall asleep, it will be beneficial to give them a bath to help them fall asleep. The bath water temperature should be between 38-40 degrees, use your elbow to test the water.

3. Still unable to Sleep on the Stomach

There are many parents that wish the baby to sleep on its stomach in order to ensure a beautifully shaped head. However, lying on the stomach poses a risk of suffocation as the baby’s neck is still not strong, especially in the first 6 months, there are many sudden deaths amongst babies, and so you must be extra careful. While the baby is awake, do some exercise and allow it to rest on its stomach, this will help develop its muscles, but this is not to say babies who lie on their side will be healthier.

4. Cleaning the Navel

The navel is the point where the umbilical cord connects the child to the mother, allowing the child to receive nourishment during pregnancy. After birth, the umbilical cord is cut and after 7-10 days it will dry out, and shortly after will fall away naturally. Before the navel heals, use alcohol pads to disinfect the area and allow it to heal cleanly. If at this point cleanliness is not maintained and the area becomes infected with bacteria, there is a risk of Tetanus and other illnesses.

Use Q & A to Relieve Anxiety and Doubt

Q. Why does the baby pass so much waste when drinking breast milk? It happens around 10 times, it worries me a little.

A. The amount of waste passed from drinking breast milk and normal milk is the same. Feces are what are left over after passing through the stomach and intestines and all the nutrition is absorbed from it. Adults will hold this waste in the intestines for a period of time, until enough is accumulated then it will be passed in one visit to the bathroom. At this point, the child does not have a mature digestive system, so after drinking milk and the stomach is bloated, the body will have a reflex reaction to push the waste out, thus resulting in frequent passing of waste. While drinking milk the baby will be content, so don’t worry too much if there is a lot of waste passed.

Q. Too much gum in the eyes causes the corner of the eye to tear.

A. Newborn’s conjunctivitis or nasal lacrimal duct blockage will cause higher levels of eye gum. This will be at the most severe 2-5 days after birth, the white cornea may also become blood-red, this is largely due to infection during labor, but can be healed with antibiotics. Nasal lacrimal duct blockage indicates the lacrimal gland is still blocked, so tears cannot flow and causes lots of eye gum. By gently pressing down on the lacrimal sac, the condition will gradually improve.

Newborns Jaundice

The newborns liver function has not yet fully developed. Red blood cells create the “bilirubin”pigment and the liver has no capability to deal with this, so the pigment will surface on the skin or the rim of the eye, and these areas will turn yellow. This will normally appear 2-3 days after birth and will be most severe after 4-5 days and they will naturally disappear7 days after birth, so there is no need to worry. Rumor has it that breast milk causes the jaundice to be more severe, but this is inaccurate, do not stop feeding breast milk.

Those are the information needed to know about a 1 month old baby. Remember to just be gentle and caress your baby.


Editor in Babiology, mother of two, highly passionate about sharing the pregnancy care and post delivery care learning with the readers.

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