Well Child Care at 1 Month

Feeding

At 1 month of age, your baby needs only breast milk or infant formula to grow healthy and strong. Breast-fed babies should usually feed about 10 minutes at each breast during each feeding. If you give your baby breast milk, it is a good idea to sometimes feed your baby with pumped milk that you put in a bottle. This helps your baby learn another way to drink milk and other people can enjoy feeding your baby.

It is not yet time to start cereal or baby foods. These can be started at about 4 to 6 months of age.

Babies usually wake up at night to feed. This is normal. If your baby wants to feed more often, try a pacifier. Your baby may need to suck but not feed. It is important to hold your baby during feeding. This is a good time to talk to your baby. It is better to hold the bottle and not just prop it up.

Development

Babies are learning to use their eyes and ears. A baby may start to lift its’ head. Babies reach for things with their hands. They may smile at faces. Cooing sounds are in response to people speaking gentle, soothing words.

Most babies will strain to pass bowel movements. As long as the bowel movement is soft, there is no need to worry. Ask your doctor about bowel movements that are hard (constipation). Babies usually wet the diaper at least 6 times each day.

Sleep

Babies usually sleep 16 or more hours a day. Healthy babies should be placed in bed on their backs. Sleeping on the back reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Many babies wake up every 3 to 4 hours, while others sleep for longer periods during the night. Every baby is different. Feeding your baby a lot just before bedtime doesn’t have much to do with how long your baby will sleep. Place your baby in the crib when he’s drowsy but still awake. Do not put your baby in bed with a bottle. Ask your healthcare provider for ideas about ways to keep your baby alert and awake during the day and sound asleep at night.

Safety Tips

Choking and Suffocation

  • If you use a crib for your baby, be sure to pick a safe location. It should not be too near a heater. Make sure the sides are always completely up.
  • Use a crib with slats not more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart. Crib slats more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart can lead to injury.
  • Place your baby in bed on his back.
  • Use a mattress that fits the crib snugly.
  • Keep plastic bags, balloons, and baby powder out of reach.

Fires and Burns

  • Never eat, drink, or carry anything hot near the baby or while you are holding the baby.
  • Turn your water heater down to 120°F (50°C).
  • Install smoke detectors.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.

Falls

  • Never leave the baby alone except in a crib.
  • Keep mesh netting of playpens in the upright position.
  • Never step away when the baby is on a high place, such as on a changing table.
  • Keep the crib sides up.

Car Safety

  • Car seats are the safest way for babies to travel in cars and are required by law. Place Infant car seats in a back seat with the infant facing backwards. If you aren’t sure how to install the seat in your car, contact a local fire department.
  • Never leave your baby alone in a car or unsupervised with young brothers, sisters, or pets.
  • Parents should always wear seat belts.

Smoking

  • Infants who live in a house where someone smokes have more respiratory infections. Their symptoms are also more severe and last longer than those of children who live in a smoke-free home.
  • If you smoke, set a quit date and stop. Set a good example for your child. If you cannot quit, do NOT smoke in the house or near children.

Immunizations

Immunizations protect your child and persons around your child against serious, life-threatening diseases. At one month of age, there are no routine immunizations.

Next Visit

Your baby’s next appointment will usually be at the age of 2 months. At this time your child will get a set of immunizations. Bring your child’s shot card to all visits.

Written by Robert Brayden, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-11-29
Last reviewed: 2011-12-14
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

References
Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 Index