Your tiny newborn isn’t quite so tiny anymore. They’ve been here for a whole month, and they’re already more awake and curious than when they first arrived in the world. You’re getting to know each other, feeling more on top of baby care, and maybe wondering if there are any 1-month-old baby activities you can try out together.
Little ones are born playful. A one-month-old might not be as expressive as an older baby, but there are still things you can do to stimulate them.
What should a 1-month-old be doing?
Even in their first month, your little baby has hit a lot of big milestones.
Growing: Hopefully, even if they lost a little bit of their birth weight in their first week, your baby will now be longer and heavier than they were when they arrived.
Sleep: Newborns need about 16-18 hours each day, even if they’re still not 100% sure of the difference between day and night. Hopefully, they’re starting to get the message that daytime is for naps and nighttime is for longer sleeps, and you’ll start to get a bit longer to close your own eyes.
Reflexes: You’ll still see your baby jerking their arms as part of their startle reflex, but they may also try to reach for you. It’ll be clumsy, but it’s definitely a start.
Smell: By now, your baby will be familiar with how you and your partner smell. For them, it’ll be the most reassuring smell in the world.
Vision: Your baby will still only be able to see a few inches, but things that are closer to their faces won’t be as fuzzy. They’ll also respond to bright lights and contrasting patterns, especially black and white.
Hearing: As soon as they’re born, your baby is familiar with your voice because they heard it in the womb. It’s very soothing for them to hear you speaking, even if it’s just about the way you’re making dinner.
What activities are good for a 1-month-old?
It’s actually pretty easy to entertain your one-month-old.
They don’t need the latest toys, or to visit a lot of classes (although going to baby groups is also fine if you feel it would help you to meet other mamas).
They’ll be content even if you’re “just” holding them and talking as you go about your day together, but here are some more ideas for 1-month-old baby development activities to support the milestones they’re hitting.
Chatting to your baby gently when they’re awake and making different facial expressions can help them learn how to imitate you.
By lying down with your baby or holding them close to your face (so they can focus) you can talk about what you see or what you’re doing and encourage the first gurgles that form a conversation.
Babies love hearing their parents’ voices.
Short baby books with bright pictures can be stimulating for them, but reading aloud from your own favorite books is just as beneficial for language development.
Singing and dancing gently with your baby in your arms can be soothing for them.
You can either hold them as you dance, or lie them down on a playmat and move their arms and legs to the beat.
They’ll hear the different pitches of your voice, smell and feel you, and experience new sounds.
There’s no need to find baby music for them. They’ll enjoy your favorite songs just as much.
No, we don’t mean the gym! But gentle movements help your baby get to know their body and encourage them to use their arms and legs after so long squashed in the womb.
- Clapping your baby’s hands together
- Gently stretching their arms
- Moving their legs as though they were pedaling a bike.
- Lying them on their tummy so they can practice lifting their heads. Some one-month-olds enjoy tummy time and it helps to build strength in their neck and upper body. At this age, they may only want to spend a few minutes lying on their front, so try rolling a colorful ball or shaking a rattle to make things more fun.
Can you take a 1-month-old baby outside? Of course, as long as they’re dressed for the weather and your doctor hasn’t told you otherwise.
A change of scenery is good for you and your baby. Experiencing fresh air, different smells, and sunshine is a great way to spend part of the day, even if your baby is too little for the playground.
The youngest babies notice cool breezes and dappled sunlight, and they often like to look up at the leaves on the trees.
Once you’ve got the hang of bathing your baby and they’re more used to the water, there are lots of activities to do with your 1-month-old in the bath.
Trace patterns on their skin as they wiggle around, make the water gently lap over their tummies, tickle their toes, or sing them a song like “Row Row Row Your Boat.”
What toys can a 1-month-old play with?
There are plenty of 1-month-old baby development activities you can do without toys, but you might enjoy trying out some new games too.
Toys, books, or mittens with simple black and white pictures or patterns can help encourage your baby’s eyes to focus.
Waving a muslin cloth in front of them or playing peek-a-boo is another simple way to stimulate their senses and train their eyes.
Smooth rings and rattles are good for little ones because they’re easy to grip.
The textures and sounds of crumpling paper are fascinating for babies, so try tearing and scrunching some and letting them discover it, especially during tummy time.
Balloons also feel interesting to babies. Bouncing balloons will encourage your baby’s eyes to move around the room, and you might even see them making a first attempt at batting the balloon with their hands. Just be careful to clean up all the pieces if any of them pop, as the rubber scraps are a choking hazard.
Read also: 7 Toys for a 1-Month-Old
Although it might not seem like your one-month-old does a lot, everything is new and interesting to them in the brief windows when they’re awake. If you get to try an activity, enjoy the moments when they’re engaged.
If they become tired or fussy, have some quiet time together instead. After all, they’ve got a lot to process, and you still need your rest too, mama.
👶 Read next: 2-Month-Old Baby Activities: Suggestions to Try