A review of the skills that a one-month-old baby should have.
As we already know, the process of human development is somewhat complex and heterogeneous, with the evolution and physical and mental maturation of each of us being different and taking place at different speeds. However, it has been observed that although there are individual differences, as a general rule there are different skills and abilities that tend to have been achieved around a certain age. This occurs practically from birth, and different evolutionary milestones can be found even from the first month.
Sometimes this can generate certain anxieties, especially for first-time parents, in order to analyze if their baby’s development is normative or presents some type of alteration. And in such anxiety, it is often intended to observe behaviors or aspects that actually correspond to much more advanced levels. That is why in this article we intend to make a brief mention of the evolutionary milestones that a baby usually has reached at the end of the first month of life.
What should a one-month-old baby be able to do?
The human being, like other animals, is wonderful. From the first moment it is born, we are faced with a being with enormous potential that will end up going far and mastering tremendously complex and demanding skills, despite ignoring the large number of processes that they involve. But for this, a deep and prolonged process of maturation and development will be necessary , in which little by little they will learn and acquire skills.
Thus, many parents ask themselves: “What should my baby do in his first month of life? In the case at hand, we are talking about a practically newborn child. And already in this period parents, family members and professionals If we deal with them, we will be able to see how they will begin to carry out different behaviors and actions.
So what can be expected at this time of development after birth? We are going to see it in different sections.
Babies’ muscles are still very underdeveloped, with very limited movement capacity. During the first month of life the movement is usually minimal, limited to movements of the head (yes, it will need to be supported against something) with which it even follows sounds and may get to lift it briefly. You can move your hands toward your face and usually keep them tight.
It is also common for him to carry out jerky movements with his arms and legs, and it is a stage in which many, many biologically programmed reflexes can be observed. Eye control is not yet complete.
Although they would actually be part of the ability to move, reflexes are a very particular element since they are movements that are carried out instinctively and innately. Most of them will be lost over time.
In a one-month-old baby, we can find reflexes such as blinking at light or contraction of the biceps or knee (also called patellar) in the presence of tapping on the biceps or patella. We can also see the flight reflex, in which the leg flexes in response to a painful sensation. One of the best known is the grasp reflex, which makes the baby grasp it tightly at the touch of something in the palm of the hand.
There is also the Babinski reflex, in which the toes are stretched and turned inward under the pressure of the outer edge of the foot, or the Moor, in which, in the face of loud noises, legs and hands are extended and then the arms shrink into a barrier as if intended to protect her body.
3. Auditory perception
The sense of hearing exists in the human being since before birth, with correct hearing from birth. But this does not imply that it is able to recognize them. It will be towards the end of the first month of life when we will see how our baby begins to recognize sounds such as our voice.
4. Visual perception
Vision is a sense that, unlike hearing, takes a little longer to finish developing. Throughout the first month of life, it is expected that the baby will be able to focus her eyes on elements that are up to a maximum of around 25 cm away. They also seem to be able to recognize the contrast between black and white. It is usual for the gaze to focus rather on the outer contours of objects, unless they present movement.
5. The sense of taste
Taste is like hearing a sense of early development. The sweet, the salty, the acid and the bitter are recognizable a few hours after being born. In the first months and during infancy, there is a preference for sweets (in the case of a one-month-old child, milk).
Clearly, a baby experiences different emotions. However, it must be taken into account that many of the emotions that we consider basic as adults contain cognitive and learned aspects that a one-month-old child still lacks.
It is considered that the emotions that first manifest and that are already in this vital stage are surprise, pleasure, discomfort or pain and interest. Other emotions such as joy or sadness do not usually appear clearly until months later.
It is widely known that babies spend most of their time sleeping or eating. In fact, they can generally spend up to twenty hours a day sleeping, of which they come out in cycles of around four hours to feed.
The high number of hours that a baby can sleep is not something that should worry us (unless he does not present any type of activity or does not eat or cry), but it is something normal and healthy. Of particular note is deep sleep, which occupies most of childhood sleep and is linked to the development of the brain.
The basic form of communication for a baby, as most of you already know, is crying. However, it can also be perceived how some of the children of this age begin to be able to use the a and the o, although we are not yet in front of a babbling.
The socialization capacity of a one-month-old baby is minimal, and in fact it could not be considered as such because its actions are not due to an attempt to communicate with its peers and there is not even self-other differentiation. However, it can be observed that children of this age have a preference for the visualization of human faces, which most frequently captures their attention. Very precocious children can begin to use the social smile, although it is something more typical of the second month of life.
- American Academy of Pediatrics (2006). Caring for your young child: from birth to five years. Bantam Books.
- Delval, J. (2004). Human development. XXI century: Madrid.