1 month old baby milestones: Development, growth, and more

Updated May 16, 2024
1 month old baby milestones: Development, growth, and more | Huckleberry

In those first few weeks of your baby’s life, your days will likely be filled with feeding, changing, and snuggling your little one. It’s a period that can feel like you’re both doing so much yet nothing at all! But rest assured you’re doing the right things to support your newborn as they get used to the big, wide world outside the womb. While the changes are subtle, babies at 1 month learn and grow every day with your help.  

In this article, we’ll go over the milestones you can expect from 0 - 4 week old babies, supply you with a useful 1 month old development checklist, and suggest handy tips to help ensure your little one is learning and growing as much as possible.

Editor’s Note:

When we discuss babies and development at Huckleberry, we use their adjusted age (vs. actual age). There’s a wide spectrum when it comes to how fast babies grow and develop. Not all babies will reach 1 month old milestones at the same time — and that’s expected. While many infants do reach these milestones between 0 and 4 weeks, this isn’t always the case. If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s development, reach out to their pediatrician.


1 month old baby milestones at a glance

1 month old development milestones

1 month old development milestones checklist

5 development tips for 1 month old babies

Takeaway: Development milestones for 1 month olds

1 month old development milestones FAQ

Babies at 1 month spend most of their time eating and sleeping — this is normal! They’re not quite ready for major physical milestones like rolling over or sitting up. Instead, they’re doing age-appropriate skills like lifting their head briefly during tummy time, bringing their hands close to their mouth and eyes, and taking in the sights and sounds around them. At this age, babies can focus on objects around 8 - 12 inches [1] away and can’t see most colors just yet. However, they are starting to recognize familiar sounds and voices! 

Newborn babies from 0 - 4 weeks sleep a lot. You may feel like all you do is feed your baby then change their diaper and it’s time for another nap. And commonly, it is! At this age, babies only typically stay awake for about 30 - 90 minutes so there’s quite a lot of daytime sleep. Overall,  we expect around 15.5 hours of total sleep in a 24-hour period. 

These numbers are general guidelines, however. Baby sleep needs vary and there’s a broad range of what’s normal and healthy. On top of that, newborn sleep can be pretty unpredictable and chaotic in those early weeks. Babies won’t follow a typical 24-hour schedule for sleeping and eating until closer to 3 - 4 months old. Until then, nap schedules and durations are likely to vary greatly. Your little one may sleep for 10 minutes or two hours — you never really know! 

What you can start to predict are your little one’s sleepy cues. Signs your baby may be ready for sleep include yawning, irritability, and getting a glazed/faraway look. It may take a little practice to recognize these signals, but rest assured you’ll learn your baby’s cues before you know it! Recognizing signs that your infant is ready for sleep can help prevent them from becoming overtired. Overtired babies usually have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.   

Even if you avoid the overtired stage, we don’t expect 1 month olds to sleep through the night. Young babies often need to wake overnight for feedings and comfort. It’s best to check in with your child’s pediatrician or a lactation consultant to determine how many nighttime feedings your child needs. Typically night feedings will continue until a baby has established a pattern of consistent weight gain, is back to birth weight, and has been cleared by a doctor or lactation consultant.

Although newborns aren’t ready for sleep plans and schedules quite yet, you can begin setting your little one up for success by getting into a good sleep routine now. You can start by using the Huckleberry app to track your baby's naps and bedtimes. This will allow you to see how they change as they grow too. If you’re looking for some expert-backed sleep support now or in the future, check out Huckleberry Premium membership in the app.

Similar to sleep, newborns likely won’t have a consistent feeding pattern for a while. It’s normal for a little one’s eating schedule to vary frequently at this stage. The recommended feeding schedule for a newborn is usually every 2 - 3 hours, which is about 8 - 12 breast milk or formula feedings in a 24-hour period. Little ones will wake to feed often during these first few months and require regular feedings day and night to keep their energy levels up and hydrated. 

The AAP recommends “responsive feeding” [2] or feeding on demand for newborns. This means following your baby’s hungry and full cues and promptly responding. It’s ideal to initiate a feeding when your baby is first hungry [3], before they start crying. Crying is a late hunger cue and it’s often much harder to feed a fussy baby [4]. If this happens, you may need to first calm your little one with snuggles, rocking, singing, and/or a pacifier, etc., then start a feed. 

While figuring out your little one’s hunger cues may sound a little daunting, trust your instincts and watch for some telltale signs. Some ways [2] your baby may let you know they’re hungry at this age include moving their hands to their mouth, making sucking noises or motions, rooting, and flexing arms and legs. Fullness cues may include starting and stopping feeding often, unlatching if breastfeeding, slowing down or falling asleep, or turning away from the bottle or breast.

It’s also common for newborns to engage in cluster feeding, which means shorter, more frequent feedings. Cluster feeding can boost your little one’s health and is often associated with growth spurts. If you’re breastfeeding, it can also stimulate milk production. 

A period of cluster feeding can be physically and emotionally draining, but rest assured that it is normal and this phase won’t last forever. Consider reaching out to your child’s doctor or a lactation consultant if you have concerns about your newborn’s feeding patterns or your milk supply if you’re breastfeeding. 

It’s common for babies to lose weight [5] in their first few days of life, then over the next couple of weeks they usually catch up and surpass their birth weight then continue to steadily gain weight. Typically babies gain about one ounce per day after the first two weeks. They usually grow 1 - 1.5 inches [6] in height too during their first month. It’s common for newborns to go through growth spurts at around 7 - 10 days old and again at 3 and 6 weeks old.  

Note that some babies will grow more and some will grow less than this over their first month of life. At well-baby visits, your child’s doctor will ask you about their eating habits and chart their height and weight to check that they’re growing at a regular pace. This can pinpoint any trends that may need attention. If you have concerns about your baby’s feeding, consult their pediatrician. 

Hand and arm movements: 1 month gross motor milestones likely include your newborn making jerky movements with their arms. They may be able to bring their hands [1] close to their eyes and mouth at this stage, but their hand-eye coordination [7] has not quite developed yet. Babies at 1 month often keep their hands in tight fists and may suck on their fists or fingers. 

Head movements: Young babies need lots of support to keep their heads from flopping backward. They may be able to momentarily hold their head up when supported at 1 month old. Newborns can also move their heads from side to side [1] and raise it up [8] slightly while lying on their stomachs.  

Focus: Babies at this age can focus on objects about 8 - 12 inches [1] away. Their eyes typically wander and it’s normal for them to occasionally cross. 

Visual preferences: Newborns at 1 month often prefer black-and-white images and high-contrast patterns. They can detect light and dark [9], but can’t see all colors just yet. Most of all, they love human faces [1] and facial expressions! 

Reaction to sounds: At 1 month, a baby’s hearing is fully mature [1]. They may recognize certain sounds and turn toward familiar sounds and voices. 

Smell preferences: Babies at 1 month prefer sweet smells and avoid bitter or acidic smells. They can also recognize the scent of their mother’s breast milk [1]. 

Touch preferences: Young babies tend to prefer soft items [1] (toys, clothing, etc.) and gentle touch. Snuggling [9], swaddling, and “wearing” your baby in a sling or carrier can give them a sense of security. They usually dislike course textures and rough or abrupt handling. 

Taste preferences: Did you know taste buds begin forming in utero? Newborns have a strong preference for sweet tastes over sour or bitter. Remember babies should only eat breastmilk and/or formula at this age. The American Academy of Pediatrics [10] recommends introducing water and solid foods at around 6 months old. 

Many of a newborn baby’s movements are done by reflex, meaning they happen automatically without your little one trying. Reflexes are normal and these innate skills help babies survive [11]! The presence and strength of a little one’s reflexes are an indication that their nervous system is working and developing properly. Not all newborns will acquire and lose reflexes at the same time, but there are general guidelines [12] for what you can expect.    

You may have noticed that your baby will turn their head and open their mouth (“root”) when the corner of their mouth is touched. This is a reflex! [5] The root reflex helps newborns find the breast or bottle and usually disappears around 4 months old.

This is another oral reflex that helps your baby eat in those early days. It causes a baby to suck when the roof of their mouth is touched with the breast or bottle nipple. This reflex begins to develop [5] around the 32nd week of pregnancy and is fully matured by about 36 weeks, which is why premature babies may have a weak sucking ability — the reflex hadn’t quite developed yet.

If you’ve seen your little one respond to a loud sound or movement by throwing their head back while their arms and legs flail out and then relax, then you’ve witnessed the Moro reflex (also called the startle reflex). This protective reflex typically starts to disappear [13] at around 12 weeks and is usually fully gone by around 6 months.  

The palmar grasp reflex [14] causes your little one to close their fingers when you stroke the palm of their hand. This often causes your baby to hold onto your finger, making for an adorable moment even if it’s not exactly intentional or a true fine motor skill. This reflex generally disappears around 5 - 6 months. 

This reflex causes your little one to make walking or stepping movements [14] when held upright with their feet touching a solid surface. (Of course, babies this age can’t support their body weight and need their heads supported if you try holding them up like this.) This reflex helps newborns “crawl” to the breast right after delivery while lying on their mother’s abdomen. It disappears around 2 months.    

Note that all babies grow and develop at different rates. While most children will hit these 1 month development milestones by 4 weeks, this might not always be the case. If you are concerned about your child’s growth or potential developmental delays when it comes to 1 month old milestones, reach out to their healthcare provider. 

  • Stays awake 30 - 90 minutes at a time 

  • Wakes overnight for comfort and feeding

  • Eats approximately 8 - 12 times in a 24-hour period

  • Returns to birthweight at around 2 weeks then shows a consistent pattern of weight gain

  • Brings hands close to eyes and mouth 

  • Keeps fists clenched

  • Briefly holds head up during tummy time

  • Focuses on objects 8 - 12 inches away 

  • Recognizes some sounds and turns toward familiar sounds and voices 

  • Prefers things that smell or taste sweet

  • Comforted by snuggling, swaddling, baby-wearing

  • Displays newborn reflexes like rooting, sucking, Moro, grasp, and stepping reflexes

Babies at 1 month may prefer to sleep during the day and party at night! While this is frustrating for caregivers, it can be common for children at this age to confuse days and nights because their circadian rhythms are still developing.

It can be helpful to try keeping blinds open and your little one’s environment bright during the day, light exposure helps establish circadian rhythms. Don’t worry about limiting background noise during the day either, even at naptime. Keep vacuuming, chatting on the phone, and playing music! Then, at night, try to limit light and noise and keep interactions with your newborn calm and quiet to create a contrasting environment. Rest assured day/night confusion usually resolves at around 8 weeks.    

Your voice and touch help your newborn feel calm and relaxed as they’re still adjusting to life outside of the womb in these early weeks (and beyond!). At this age, play may look like singing to your baby [5] and talking in soothing tones, which are great for bonding and brain development [15]. 

Babies at this age also enjoy snuggles, rocking, and being held too. Baby-wearing [16] can be a convenient way to keep your baby close while also freeing up your hands. Don’t worry about spoiling your baby — holding your baby in these early months and responding to their cries quickly helps meet their basic needs and makes them feel safe. Of course, this is all within reason. You don’t have to immediately pick up your baby as soon as they make a sound! The goal is to find a good rhythm that suits your young baby’s needs and your own too. 

Swaddling can be a great way to soothe your little one and possibly improve their sleep because it can simulate the coziness of the womb and it can help prevent the Moro reflex from fully waking them. 

There are lots of different swaddle options on the market, from simple swaddle blankets to velcro varieties, and just about everything in between. If possible, we suggest trying a couple of different kinds to see which you and your little one prefer. Also, some babies don’t like being swaddled and that’s OK too! 

The AAP recommends [17] monitoring swaddled babies while they sleep for safety reasons. Also, be sure to immediately stop swaddling your child when they show any signs of rolling over. 

As soon as you bring your baby home from the hospital, the AAP [18] recommends your little one do a few minutes of tummy time per day. You can start by having your newborn do 3 - 5 minutes a couple of times per day during awake time and work up to around 15 - 30 minutes total per day by around 7 weeks old.

Tummy time will help your kiddo develop strong muscles that will be needed for future motor skills, like rolling over and sitting up. A good way to remember to do tummy time is by working it into another routine, like following diaper changes or after waking from a nap. 

If your baby isn’t a big fan of being on their stomach at first, it’s OK to start slow. Consider having them practice in a more upright position first, like laying on their belly on top of your chest while you’re reclined on a pillow on a bed or couch. Then you can work up to them doing tummy time on the floor or another safe surface. Always be sure to supervise your child during tummy time. 

Have you noticed that your infant gets very fussy around the same time every day, usually in the late afternoon or evening? This is known as the “witching hour” (even though the periods can last up to around 3 hours) and commonly starts at about 2 - 3 weeks old. You may see periods of intense fussiness where it seems like you can’t do anything to calm your baby down. It’s often hard to nail down a culprit for the witching hour, though babies who are overly tired, hungry, experiencing tummy issues, or are overstimulated may be more susceptible to fussy spells.

While the witching hour often makes days feel extra long and tough, take comfort in knowing this is a phase. It usually peaks at about 6 weeks, then commonly resolves at around 12 weeks.  

If you’re concerned about your little one’s fussiness and suspect maybe something else is going on, discuss this with your pediatrician. If your newborn baby is extremely fussy throughout the day, this may be colic instead of the witching hour. Colic tends to be more defined when a little one is crying for more than 3 hours per day, for more than 3 days per week, and more than 3 weeks in a row. 

  • Newborn babies spend the majority of the first few weeks of life eating and sleeping! It’s normal for 1 month old babies to sleep for around 15.5 hours over a 24-hour period and eat somewhere between 8 - 12 times. Young babies are expected to wake overnight for comfort and feedings and likely will not be developmentally ready to sleep through the night until closer to 6 months old. 

  • Newborns can usually stay awake for about 30 - 90 minutes at a time at 1 month old. During these periods of awake time, they may enjoy activities like tummy time, hearing you talk or sing to them, getting snuggled, and looking at your face! You don’t have to do much at this age to entertain your little one.

  • Babies from 0 - 4 weeks have limited motor skills that include bringing their hands close to their mouth or eyes, lifting their head briefly in tummy time, and moving their head from side to side. Other newborn movements tend to be involuntary and due to reflexes, like the rooting reflex (baby turns their head to find the breast or bottle nipple) or Moro reflex (baby flails their arms and legs after being startled).  

  • These are general guidelines for how your baby learns and grows at 1 month. There’s a wide spectrum of normal when it comes to development, even from 0 - 4 weeks. That said, consult with your child’s healthcare provider if you notice any 1 month milestone red flags or delays. 

If you're curious about what lies ahead in the coming month, glimpse into the future to see what you might experience once your baby is 2 months old.

1 month old development milestones FAQ

Q: What should a 1 month old be able to do?


Babies at 1 month are just starting to discover the world outside of the womb. They don’t do much besides sleep, eat, make dirty diapers, and soak up snuggles and attention from you and other caregivers — that’s normal and expected!

Q: What are 3 major physical milestones by 1 month of age?


In these early weeks, little ones may be able to lift their head briefly and turn it from side to side during tummy time. They can often bring their hands close to their head and mouth and may suck on their fists or fingers too. Most babies keep their hands clenched in a fist at this stage.

Q: What does a 1 month old understand?


Young babies show that they can understand certain things by focusing on them. For example, newborns can often recognize familiar sounds and voices and will eventually be able to turn their heads toward sounds. They usually like to look at human faces too, whether a picture or a real person. You may find your little one is showing hints of a smile, especially when they sleep [5]. It’s so exciting when you capture a picture of those first sweet smiles.

Q: How to help a 1 month old reach milestones?


One of the best things you can do for your baby is spend time with them as much as possible to help them feel safe and secure [19]. You can do simple activities like sing and read to them, even though they won’t understand what you’re saying at this age. Hearing your voice and music is soothing and can stimulate their senses too, which is great for development. Tummy time is also very important for developing neck strength that will help them achieve future physical milestones.

Q: What milestones should a 1 month old have for a pediatric visit?


At your infant’s 1 month well-baby check-up, a doctor will chart their height, weight, and head circumference as points of reference to ensure they continue to follow their individual growth curve. A pediatrician will also inquire about how your baby is sleeping, feeding, and if they’re pooping and peeing regularly. They’ll want to know if your baby is making age-appropriate movements, like lifting their head briefly during tummy time, and if you have any concerns about their development.

Note: The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from your doctor, pediatrician, or medical professional. If you have questions or concerns, you should contact a medical professional.

19 Sources


  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2024). Responsive Feeding — Set Your Baby Up for Healthy Growth and Development! https://downloads.aap.org/AAP/PDF/AAP-Responsive-Feeding_Print-Fact-Sheet.pdf

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics (2021). Baby's First Month: Feeding and Nutrition. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/The-First-Month-Feeding-and-Nutrition.aspx

  3. NCT (2024). The reality of feeding: 10 things you need to know. https://www.nct.org.uk/baby-toddler/feeding/early-days/reality-feeding-10-things-you-need-know

  4. Children's Hospital of Orange County (2024). Newborn Development: 0-1 month. https://www.choc.org/primary-care/ages-stages/newborn/

  5. American Optometric Association (2024). Infant Vision: Birth to 24 Months of Age. https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/eye-health-for-life/infant-vision?sso=y

  6. Nemours Health (2024). Your Child's Development: 1 Month. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/development-1mo.html

  7. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (2024). Newborn-Senses. https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/newborn-senses

  8. American Academy of Pediatrics (2024). Infant Food and Feeding. https://www.aap.org/en/patient-care/healthy-active-living-for-families/infant-food-and-feeding/

  9. American Academy of Pediatrics (2022). Newborn Reflexes. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Newborn-Reflexes.aspx

  10. Edwards, C. & Khalili, Y. (2023). Moro Reflex. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542173/

  11. American Academy of Pediatrics (2022). Newborn Reflexes. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Newborn-Reflexes.aspx

  12. Raising Children (2024). 0-1 month: newborn development. https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/development/development-tracker/0-1-month

  13. American Academy of Pediatrics (2022). Swaddling: Is it Safe for Your Baby? https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/diapers-clothing/Pages/Swaddling-Is-it-Safe.aspx

  14. American Academy of Pediatrics (2023). Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Back-to-Sleep-Tummy-to-Play.aspx

  15. Pregnancy, birth, & baby (2022). Your baby's growth and development - 1 month old. https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/babys-growth-and-development-1-month-old