In the first few weeks your baby will have probably (and thankfully!) started to make noises other than just crying and by the time she’s a month old she may have started to gurgle, coo, make humming noises and possible even squeal. As she adds new sounds to her repertoire she's able to use them to communicate her needs and moods in different ways, and as her ability to communicate grows you’ll start to be able to make out her personality. Your baby’s also starting to make associations, learning that if she cries her needs will be met - and if her needs aren’t met then she may protest noisily.
Over the course of this month your baby may start to lift her head 45 degrees and hold it up for brief periods as her neck muscles strengthen. She’s naturally curious about everything, particularly her own body, which she is slowly discovering, starting with her hands and feet, although she doesn’t yet realise that the hands and feet are part of her. If you place a rattle in her hand she should be able to hold it for a time, but she won’t examine the rattle as she does so.
She's alert for much more of the day now and she’s also sleeping for longer chunks at a time, perhaps having four sleeps a day. But she’s probably not sleeping through the night yet (but if she is then lucky you!) and will most likely still want one or two night-time feeds.
What you can do
As she’s awake and alert for longer periods of the day you have plenty of opportunity to play together and for you to stimulate her senses by talking or singing to her, entertaining her with new toys or objects and drawing her attention to her own hands and feet.
Although your baby can’t yet talk to you, and won’t say her first words for many months to come, she is learning very rapidly at this stage and the words and sounds she hears you make will inform her own language development. It’s a good idea to talk a lot to your baby, particularly when she’s looking at you, explaining what things are and what you’re doing and asking her questions: 'Shall we change your nappy now?', 'Do you want to play with the baby mirror?' 'Who’s this? Is it Daddy?' You might also find yourself imitating your baby’s gurgling noises or making 'baby talk' don’t worry, it's not a bad habit to get into for now, it's all part of the game of imitation and reaction that your baby will learn from.
Sometime around weeks 6 to 8 (depending on your local health authority) your baby will have developmental tests including checks on her eyesight, hearing and physical measurements.
NB: All babies develop at their own pace and some will reach developmental landmarks more quickly than others. This timeline is meant only as an approximate guide for parents. Premature babies will develop more slowly than full-term babies and can be expected to develop in line with their age calculated from their due date. If you are worried about your child’s health or progress consult your doctor.
Sleeping positions - I have a 3 week old daughter who can't seem to sleep on her back! She just doesn't like it! The only way she can sleep is if she is on her stomach and if im lucky maybe on her side! What should I do? Asks Cass on the forum.
You can ask your own questions or share advice and experiences in the newborn and baby folders.
Breastfeeding, the real deal - If you're breastfeeding and finding it harder going than expected then Lucy's article on the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding is a must-read.
SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or Cot Death, is a rare occurence and impossible to foresee, but there are steps you can take to lower the risk for your baby.
Contraception after birth - As the time for your six-week check approaches you might already be thinking kick-starting your love life again, and what contraception to use. Unless you want to be back in the delivery room within the yer it's a good idea to read up on your options.
Lochia - I was just wondering - how long after you gave birth did the bleeding stop - what's normal? My little girl is 5 weeks old and I'm still bleeding..its not too bad but def there! Says Sam on the forum.
Feeling the baby blues? - Feeling exhausted, moody and weepy isn't unusual for new mums, here's why it happens and tips on
how to cope.
Birth stories - I was tired and very heavy and praying everyday that today was going to be the day, but still nothing happening. Like most mums-to-be I had tried raspberry tea, hot curry and even sex but nothing seemed to want to kick this baby into action. So starts Amanda's birth story.
If you still haven't added your birth story to the site you can do so at any time in the blogs section.
And why not add some pics to the gallery too. It's an easy way of sharing pictures with friends and family, not to mention the other TB members.
Just for Dads - So everything went okay, and now you have a beautiful new baby. Your life has changed, almost certainly for the better, but it might not seem that way at first. Here's what you should know about you life as a new dad.
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