The changes that occur as your baby reaches 1 month old can be dramatic as they begin to lose their ‘newborn’ look and become more alert. Little things, like reacting when the doorbell rings, are all signs they’re growing both mentally and physically.
When it comes to feeding, you may also notice that generally, your baby’s appetite for milk has decreased slightly, although at 6 weeks it may temporarily increase again as they go through a growth spurt. This increase in appetite is just your baby’s way of letting you know they need more to fuel their growth. Be prepared to up the frequency of their feeds before allowing them to settle back into a routine after a few days.
If you’re breastfeeding, the more you feed your baby, the more milk you’ll produce – particularly, and unfortunately, at night. Your body will naturally adapt to meet your baby’s changing appetite. Dehydration and fatigue are common when breastfeeding so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and eating as well as possible. Remember, your breastfeeding baby gets all of their nutrients solely from your milk – what you put into your body affects what they can take from you.
As their muscles develop, your baby may now be able to lift their head slightly when lying on their tummy. The natural grasp reflex they were born with is strengthening and their hands will automatically grip anything put into their palm.
Other changes happening at this stage
crying remains your baby’s main form of communication, you might hear your baby make gurgling or humming sounds when they’re feeling snug and content. This is also your baby’s ways of exploring what sounds they can make and how.
Even at this young age, some babies are capable of smiling. You can tell if it’s a real smile rather than an accidental expression if they use their whole face – as with adults, a smile will light up their eyes. Babies will only smile when they’re ready – if it takes a while, it doesn’t mean that they’re unhappy, but you can try to encourage them through tickling, cuddling and play. Your baby will learn by copying you, so the more you smile, the more they are likely to.
Right now your baby’s eyesight is developing in quality and range, although it’s still quite limited. The human face – especially yours – along with any moving object will attract their attention most of all.
Bond with your baby
You can encourage bonding through physical contact. Your baby loves to be close to you, move their arms and legs gently and continue to use massage to soothe them. Holding them close during feeding, skin to skin contact or picking them up and rocking them gently will make your baby feel loved and help make the emotional bond between you stronger. Many mums find baby papooses or slings invaluable as they keep baby close yet give mum the freedom to move around.
If you have any questions about your baby’s development, why not get in touch with our Careline team on 800 6458 6262 (UAE)/ +971 4 420 9489 (Other countries) between the hours of 9am and 6pm Saturday to Thursday.