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Your Child’s Development: 1 Month

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

Have you ever noticed how your baby's tiny fingers instinctively curl around yours and close into fists? Or how he or she startles with a loud noise? These and other primitive reflexes were present at birth and will become less noticeable as your baby grows. 

Doctors use certain milestones to tell whether a baby is developing as expected. There's a wide range of what's considered normal, so some babies gain skills earlier or later than others. Babies who were born prematurely reach milestones later. Always talk with your doctor about your baby's progress.

Here are some new skills your baby may have:

Communication and Language Skills

  • startles at loud noises
  • makes sounds other than crying

Movement and Physical Development 

  • keeps hands in tight fists
  • arms and legs move equally on both sides
  • when lying on the tummy, holds head up briefly

Social and Emotional Development

  • recognizes mother's voice
  • when upset, responds to a parent's cuddles, voice, and affections
  • becomes alert when hearing a pleasant sound, like music

Cognitive Skills (Thinking and Learning)

  • will stare at an object placed in front of the face, especially something brightly colored
  • follows faces

When to Talk to Your Doctor

As your baby becomes more alert, he or she will watch you constantly. And you'll be watching your little one closely too, so it's a good time to notice any subtle signs that could point to a problem. Tell the doctor if your baby:

  • has one eye that is crossed or eyes that don't line up in the same direction
  • does not respond to pleasing sounds, such as "baby talk" or gentle music
  • has legs or hands that do not move in unison: only one leg kicks, for example, or just one arm shakes
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2016