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Getting to know your one month old

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While you are relishing the joy of motherhood, it is also important to know about your baby. Here are few inputs on how to know more about your baby when she is just one month old.

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Nutrition essentials.

From birth, breast milk should remain your baby’s main source of nutrition. During this stage, your baby will breastfeed on demand. She may feed as frequently as every 2 hours with breast milk, which is best for your baby.

Skin to skin contact.

One of the best ways to bond with your new baby is with direct skin to skin contact. In fact, skin to skin contact may actually help soothe a colicky baby. One great and loving way to nurture this bond is through baby massage. It is a simple way to spend quality time with your baby that can help strengthen your bond, improve muscle development and stimulate growth. Research has shown that your nurturing touch may have many health benefits for your baby.

Brain and eye development.

Between birth and 4 months babies go through a period of rapid development. As a newborn, babies can see best when things are really close to them (within 12 inches). By 3 months old, babies are interacting more with the world around them and sharing smiles when people interact with them.

During the first month of life, your baby will focus on learning how to make sense of her new environment using her eyes, ears, sense of smell, and touch. Through the love, comfort, and attention you’ll provide, she’ll bond even more closely with you. If you notice a lot of crying, realise that it’s part of your baby’s communication with you since she sees that you respond to her cries by meeting her needs. With your help she’s learning new things and growing every day.

Your baby’s growth.

At each checkup, your doctor will measure your child’s height, weight, and head circumference, plotting his development in percentiles. What’s most important isn’t exactly how much your baby weighs but that she continues to grow in a steady way.

Length for 1-month-old babies usually ranges from 45 cm (10th percentile) to 51 cm (90th percentile). Weight usually ranges from 3.2 kg (10th percentile) to 4.8 kg (90th percentile).

At one month your baby may be able to:

Lift her head slightly as her neck muscles strengthen

Focus her eyes on your face as she begins to learn how to focus both eyes together

Visually follow an object that moves about 6 inches above her face up to 90o (high-contrast colours such as black and white are what she can see best at this time)

Blink at a bright light

Recognise familiar sounds and voices and respond by turning her head toward them and become quiet on hearing the sound of a bell

Grasp your finger when you stroke her palm—part of her developing grasping reflex

Turn toward your finger when you rub a corner of her mouth (this rooting instinct is what helps her to latch onto your nipple for feeding)

Recognise you by your scent (she can smell your milk if you’re breastfeeding)

What role should you play?

Develop her awareness of her environment by stimulating her senses

Speak to your baby in a higher-pitched voice—she’ll best respond to this sound

Stimulate her hearing by playing soothing music, hanging wind chimes outside her window, and providing soft toys that make interesting sounds

Stimulate her visual development by hanging bright toy mobiles or soft sculptures in black-and-white patterns near her crib (Babies this age seem to prefer black and white over other colours.)

Stimulate her sense of touch by letting her feel age-appropriate soft toys and blanket

It is one of your life’s most joyful experiences to know your baby. Keeping few pointers in mind help in your comprehension and in building a bond between the two of you.

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