Infant development begins at birth. Initially your baby will grow fast and learn a lot. At 1 month, cuddling, sleeping and feeding are all that really matters to your baby. The time you spend with them will help their brain to grow and develop as they start to experience the world.
Your baby will probably be crying a lot at the moment. It’s often because they’re hungry or have a dirty nappy, but often babies just cry for no apparent reason. Give them lots of cuddles to comfort them and remember that the crying will eventually pass.
At 6 to 8 weeks, your baby needs a full health review by a health professional such as child and family health nurse, midwife, GP or paediatrician.
All babies grow at different rates. But, on average, at 1 month they gain between 0.7 to 0.9 kg each month and grow 2.5 to 4 cm. Their head circumference will increase by about 1.25 cm each month.
All babies lose weight right after they are born. Healthy babies usually get back to their birth weight in about 2 to 3 weeks and will then continue to grow.
Your baby was weighed at birth and your doctor or maternal child health nurse will plot their growth regularly on a growth chart. Babies come in all different shapes and sizes, and your baby might be large or small. What matters is that they grow consistently over time. Try not to compare your baby’s weight gain with that of other babies.
Understanding baby growth charts
A growth chart helps you and your doctor keep track of how your baby is growing.
What can your baby do?
At 1 month, most of what babies do is still caused by reflexes. They aren’t thinking about their actions. They will be sucking, swallowing, searching for milk and grasping an object if you put it in the palm of their hand (although most of the time they’ll keep their hands clenched in tight little fists). They will also step one foot in front of the other if you put their feet on a flat surface.
They will start to focus with both eyes at 1 month and should be able to follow a moving object from side to side. They will probably prefer looking at a human face to looking at an object and will gaze deeply into your eyes if you hold them about 45 cm away. Most babies can recognise their parents by this age.
1-month-old babies love the sound of your voice, but they will get startled if they hear a loud noise. They might fall backward and throw their arms and legs out, blink their eyes and breathe faster.
By the end of the first month, most babies can raise their head when you lay them on their stomach, and they will turn their head to one side. As their neck muscles get stronger, they will be able to turn their head and lift it up when they’re in a car seat or carrier.
Your baby will cry loudly when they are hungry or uncomfortable. When they are happy and content, they usually make little gurgling noises. Respond to your baby’s sounds by gurgling and cooing back.
At 1 month, some babies will be learning how to soothe themselves, with a dummy or even by sucking their fingers or thumbs. Helping your baby to suck is a good way to calm them down.
How can I help my baby develop?
Spend as much time with your baby as possible. Looking deep into their eyes and smiling at them will help them to bond and to feel safe and secure.
Read and sing to your baby. Even though they can’t understand, they will enjoy hearing your voice. Music helps to stimulate their senses and will keep them amused. Playing with them will also strengthen your bond.
Help your baby to develop neck strength by putting them on their tummy for 1 to 5 minutes at a time. This is called tummy time. Always keep an eye on your baby during tummy time and always put them to sleep on their back.
Development problem signs
Babies develop at different rates. At 1 month, you will still be learning about your baby and their needs. But talk to your doctor or maternal child health nurse if:
they aren’t feeding well
they are regularly sleeping a lot more than 16 hours a day
they aren’t moving their arms or legs
they aren’t following your face with their eyes or responding when they see you
they aren’t making gurgling sounds
they don’t startle or seem not be hearing things
you are worried about your baby’s crying or sleeping
Where can I go for help?
If you are worried or would like to discuss any issues with your baby’s development, speak to your doctor or child health nurse.
Speak to a maternal child health nurse
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
Raising Children Network (0-1 month: newborn development), Kids Health (Your baby’s growth – 1 month), Victoria Government (Baby development stages), Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (Developmental milestones and the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards)
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: October 2020
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Bonding with your baby
How your baby learns - birth to 3 years
Your baby’s growth and development – first 12 months
Understanding baby growth charts
This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.
The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.
Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.
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Your Baby's Hearing, Vision, and Other Senses: 1 Month (for Parents)
Every minute that they're awake awake, babies take in the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the world around them.
Although it may take a while to understand what all this information means, your baby can still find joy and comfort in the familiar faces, voices, and sensations of everyday life.
What Can My Baby See?
Babies this age can focus on shapes that are close by, but see distant objects as blurry because they are nearsighted. As babies grow, eyesight improves. By the end of 3 months, they can follow a moving object, are more interested in shapes and patterns, and can spot familiar faces, even at a distance. Human faces are one of their favorite things to look at, especially their own or a parent's face. Install a baby-safe crib mirror at your baby's eye level and see how your baby watches himself or herself.
Your baby's color vision is also developing, so brightly colored wall hangings or toys will help develop your little one's ability to distinguish color. Soft pastel colors, though, are hard for a baby to appreciate — something to keep in mind when buying toys and books.
What Can My Baby Hear?
Your baby has been hearing sounds since way back in the womb. Mother's heartbeat, the gurgles of her digestive system, and even the sounds of her voice and the voices of other family members are part of a baby's world before birth.
Once your baby is born, the sounds of the outside world come in loud and clear. Your baby may startle at the unexpected bark of a dog nearby or seem soothed by the gentle whirring of the clothes dryer or the hum of the vacuum cleaner.
Your baby loves to hear your voice, so talk, babble, sing, and coo away. Take special advantage of your baby's own "talking" to have a "conversation." If you hear your baby make a sound, repeat it and wait for him or her to make another. You are teaching your baby valuable lessons about tone, pacing, and taking turns when talking to someone else.
Babies this age seem to respond best to a higher-pitched voice, which is why most people naturally raise the pitch of their voices and exaggerate their speech when talking to a baby. This is fine — studies have shown that "baby talk" doesn't delay speech development. In fact, responding to your baby encourages speech. Feel free to mix in some regular adult words and tone with the baby talk. It may seem early, but you're setting the stage for your baby's first words.
Besides voices, your baby will probably enjoy listening to music (play a variety of styles) and may be fascinated by the routine sounds of life as well. Keep your baby nearby as you rattle pans while making dinner, and let him or her sit in a baby seat within earshot of older siblings laughing and playing. Baby rattles and musical mobiles and toys are other good ways to stimulate your baby's hearing.
Your newborn probably had a hearing screening before being released from the hospital (most states require this). If not, or if your baby was born at home or a birthing center, it's important to have a hearing screening as soon as possible. Most children who are born with a hearing loss can be diagnosed through a hearing screening.
What Can My Baby Taste and Smell?
Your baby can taste and smell and will favor sweet tastes over bitter ones. For example, a baby will choose to suck on a bottle of sweetened water, but will turn away or cry if given something bitter or sour to taste. Likewise, babies will turn toward smells they favor and turn away from bad odors.
Though sweetness is preferred, taste preferences will continue to develop during the first year. In fact, studies show that a mother's diet can affect the way her breast milk tastes. These first flavors can help shape flavor preferences later on. For example, a mother who ate spicy foods while nursing is likely to have a child who grows up to favor spicy foods.
For now, breast milk or formula will fully satisfy your baby.
Why Is Touch Important?
It won't be long before your baby will be reaching out and touching everything. But now, your baby depends on you to provide touch. Babies know they're loved and cared for when they're held, hugged, and kissed.
Make it fun, too. Your baby will respond joyfully to a game of "This Little Piggy" as you touch your baby's toes or fingers. Introduce different textures and temperatures: the softness of a feather, the hardness of a wooden block, the cool feel of a window in winter. When babies feel the world around them, they learn about life.
If You're Worried
If you want a little reassurance that your baby's senses are working well, you can do some unscientific testing for yourself.
For example, if you're worried about your baby's vision, notice if your baby watches your face closely. Does your baby watch moving objects? Your baby may appear cross-eyed when trying to look at something that is close. This is usually normal in the first few months. Let your doctor know if your child's eyes turn in or out.
If you're worried about your baby's hearing, ask yourself these questions:
Does the baby startle at an unexpected sound?
Does the baby respond to the sound of your voice, even if he or she cannot see you? (Your baby's response might be to turn toward your voice, stop crying, smile, or get excited and move his or her arms and legs.)
Does the baby respond to music and other sounds in your environment?
If you're still worried about your little one's hearing or vision, talk to your doctor. The earlier problems with seeing and hearing are found, the better they can be treated.
Article | How babies see
The way a baby sees the world around him depends on his parents. It is in your power to teach a child in his first months to look at life with "wide eyes".
Of the five senses that a person has, vision plays a leading role in his development. We receive most of the information about the world around us through our eyes. The visual system is laid down even in the prenatal period, but it is actively formed and "ripens" already after birth, in the first year of a baby's life. At this time, it is especially important to pay attention to the development of vision, since it is directly related to the development of the brain.
It is known that the efficiency of the brain is determined not by the number of neurons, but by the number of connections (synapses) between them. In the first year of a person's life, these connections are formed at an incredible rate. And the more visual information a child receives, the more actively the development of various structures of his brain will go.
Any visual impairment in infancy often causes a significant lag in the development of the child, since the rest of the senses are not able to fully compensate for the lack of information.
Picture of the world
The very first visual images that a person perceives are faces. “We recognize the “nose-mouth” facial pattern innately - this is a species-specific signal,” says Vyacheslav Dubynin, Doctor of Biological Sciences, specialist in brain physiology. “Moreover, we now know that it’s not just the face pattern that is recognized, but the main facial expressions: grief, fear, rage, smile. The ancient Greek masks of tragedy and comedy, the emoticon - this innately affects our secondary visual cortex, it is innately significant. That is why it is so important for us and is also directly connected with the centers of positive and negative emotions.”
The main stimuli for the development of the baby's visual system are the faces of mom and dad. If so, communicate and talk with the child at any opportunity, as often as possible, "show yourself in front of him."
Seize the moment
The organs of vision of a newborn are already formed, but the work of the entire visual system will be "tuned" during the first six months of life. The kid needs to learn to fix his gaze, move both eyes at the same time (this is called “friendly movement”), determine the depth of space and establish a connection between vision and touch.
At this time, the eyeball enlarges, connections are formed with the parts of the brain responsible for receiving and processing visual information. From the point of view of psychophysiology, this period is a critical phase in the formation of the visual system. Moreover, the very act of “looking” serves as a stimulus for the development of vision. That is, the more images are projected onto the retina, the better the eye develops.
Black and white cinema
We have the ability to recognize colors from birth, but the newborn does not yet know how to use it. But he perceives well and looks at contrasting black-and-white images with clear contours with pleasure. You can make such pictures yourself and conduct "classes" with your baby with their help.
As a result of such exercises, the child will acquire two important skills in the first months of life: he will learn to fix an object and follow it with his eyes.
For classes, you can put the baby on any surface (changing table, crib, large bed), but so that the light source (window or lamp) is behind his head.
Newborn limited field of view — 30 degrees left and right, 10 degrees up and down, depth — no more than 90 cm from the face. Show your child images based on this data. Contrasting black and white patterns attract the attention of the baby, because during this period the rods (cells in the retina of the eye that distinguish between weak light, black and white colors) are better developed than cones (cells responsible for perceiving colors).
For the first lessons, you will need pictures with simple geometric shapes, checkers (like a chessboard), stripes, straight and broken lines.
Already at the age of 10 days, the baby is able to keep a moving object in the field of vision, and at 3 weeks old it can fixate on a stationary object and on the face of an adult who is talking to him.
By the end of the first month, he tries to follow a slowly moving black and white object or his mother's face at a distance of 20–30 cm.
To practice fixation : show your baby black and white drawings. They can also be attached to the sides of the crib.
Gradually replace simple pictures with more complex ones. So the baby will learn to focus his eyes. Among the pictures you can place black and white photos of mom and dad.
If you have attached a mobile above the crib, you can replace the colorful hanging toys with black and white ones for now.
For tracking exercise : show the picture to the baby at a distance of 30 cm from the eyes. After the child notices it and fixes their eyes on it, slowly start moving the picture to the right, then to the left. The second exercise: bring the drawing closer to the baby and remove it again (from 20 to 100 cm).
The baby can already clearly focus on the object, but it is still difficult for him to smoothly and continuously follow him if he moves in an arc. Tracking objects in a circle can be trained using a mobile, removing all toys from it, except for one.
At this age, the baby is already truly happy and smiles at the sight of something familiar. He follows with pleasure the face of an adult or an object moving in all directions, studies his hands with interest.
The baby still does not feel the volume of objects, so often he cannot grasp the object he is reaching for. This happens because the baby's world is still two-dimensional.
Binocular vision will develop later, and then the baby will learn to appreciate the depth of space.
Now you can place pictures in all the places where you can carry the baby in your arms. The baby is already able to visually focus while in an upright position.
Now the child may like more complex drawings, with curved and curved lines and shapes. The kid remembers what he saw, follows the moving object well.
During this period, the formation of color perception occurs, because the cones in the retina begin to work more actively. At first, the baby is able to perceive red and yellow colors, a little later - green and blue. The main thing is that the color is bright. Pastel shades, which parents usually prefer, will not impress the child.
To fix the color, show the baby alternately with an interval of 30 seconds two pictures, first with the same image, but different colors, and then vice versa - the same color, but with different patterns.
Take a white sheet and a picture. First, show the baby a picture at a distance of 30–50 cm. He must fix it. Then cover half of the image with a white sheet. After 30 seconds, show the entire drawing again. In the next exercise, cover the entire picture with a white sheet.
Now take two different pictures and a white sheet. Fold them like a deck: the first picture - a white sheet - the second picture. Show them in turn, making sure that the baby fixes the image. You will see how surprised he is when he sees another drawing after the white sheet!
At the age of 4 months, the child is able to predict events. He used to keep screaming from hunger until he grabs a nipple or gets a bottle. Now, when he sees his mother, he can either shut up or start screaming even louder. The child establishes a connection between visual impressions and consciousness.
By this age, the images transmitted from both eyes begin to connect, and thus binocular (stereoscopic) vision develops. Now the child is able to visually perceive the depth of space. The kid focuses well on both near and distant objects. Six-month-old babies are very fond of looking at more complex images, ornate ornaments and patterns. This is a great training for the visual system - in such pictures there is a certain rhythm, symmetrical and asymmetric areas, orderliness and structure.
Show your child two different pictures at the same time so that he can look at one and then the other.
Make a kind of screen out of a white sheet. Hold it in one hand. Take a picture or a toy in your other hand. Show it to your child, let him fix his eyes on her. Move the picture (toy) so that at some point it disappears behind the screen, and then appears on the other side.
The child should develop an understanding that an object that has disappeared from the field of vision does not cease to exist and continues to move. When the baby has mastered this skill, he will look to the place of the future appearance of the picture from behind the sheet.
Everything is good in moderation
Moderation and pleasure are the main things in activities with a baby. Both mother and baby should be in a good mood. Play with your child when he is happy, calm, not hungry or tired. You should not get carried away only with visual reactions and orientation. For harmonious development, it is important to use all the organs of perception: hearing, touch, smell, taste. And remember that the main stimulus for the development of the visual system is the smile on the mother’s face.
Family website 7ya.ru
Photo: Unsplash; blog "Bookcase of Katerina Taberko"
When a newborn begins to see
May 23, 2022
Many systems and organs of children differ from those of adults. Vision only confirms this rule. We understand how the eye of a child differs from the eye of an adult and at what age children begin to see well.
Features of the eye in children of the first year
Vision in newborns
What vision problems do children have?
How to stimulate the development of the vision of a newborn
Features of the eye in children of the first year
In the first years of life, children's visual analyzers grow and develop rapidly. Key changes occur in the first 3 years. The final formation of the eye is completed by 10–12 years. It completely stops growing only by the age of 18-20.
The main differences in the eye of a newborn:
The anteroposterior axis (an imaginary line from the tear film to the retina) of a newborn is shorter at 17–18 mm (in an adult with normal vision, 22–24.5 mm).
The diameter of the cornea is 8-9 mm (in an adult - about 12 mm). The radius of curvature is larger, flattening by the age of 7.
Iris and pupil
The iris contains little pigment. The pupil is narrow, as the muscles that regulate its work are poorly developed.
It has a spherical shape, the radius of curvature is less than in adults. The refractive power is 2 times higher than in adults (43D in infants versus 20D in adults).
It has more layers, which, 6 months after birth, begin to thin and stretch.
There are also some differences in the structure of the anterior chamber of the eye and the visual analyzer itself. Their final formation is completed by 10 years. The structural features of the eye also determine the features of the child's vision.
Vision in newborns
The eye of a newborn child sees the world differently than the eye of an adult. The main differences in vision in a newborn are as follows:
Can't distinguish colors, only shades of grey.
The maximum visual acuity is observed at a distance of about 25 cm from the eye.
Visual acuity itself is sharply reduced to 0.005–0.015 at a rate of 0.8–1.0.
Light sensitivity is reduced. The child reacts only to the light source, but does not form a visual image.
Contrary to popular myth, a child does not see the world upside down. He generally does not distinguish visual images very well, which for the baby look more like spots of different shades of gray.
However, the development of vision at this age goes very quickly, already a month old child begins to focus his eyes at a greater distance and sees the primary colors - red, green, orange. A week after birth, he learns to distinguish facial expressions of an adult.
By 4–6 weeks, the baby begins to look into the eyes and smile at the mother. By three months, the child can already follow objects, distinguish faces and their expressions, recognize those who care for them, distinguish geometric shapes and examine objects.
Important! The iris of young children contains a small amount of pigment, so the color of the eyes in newborns is always blue. The final color of the eyes is formed at 10-12 years.
What vision problems do children have
Babies have congenital farsightedness. This means that the baby sees better at a distance than at close range. This usually goes away by the age of 10. Visual acuity at this age is rarely checked. However, this does not mean that children at this age cannot have vision problems.
The main ones are:
Blockage of the lacrimal canal. This is due to the structural features of the anterior chamber of the eye. Normally, the film covering the lacrimal canal resolves itself. However, if this does not happen, the canal remains clogged, leading to dropsy and other eye problems.
Cataract. Occurs due to exposure to teratogenic factors and genetic abnormalities.
Increased eye pressure. Blockage of the lacrimal canal or its other pathologies lead to the fact that fluid is not drained from the eyeball. Because of this, eye pressure rises.
Retinopathy and other retinal problems. Often seen in premature babies. They are the result of violations of intrauterine development and genetic factors.
Eye motility disorder. These include strabismus, nystagmus, ptosis. The only pathologies that parents can notice almost immediately. They manifest as impaired eye movement, inability to focus, and drooping eyelids.
Violation of light and color perception. These problems also occur due to improper formation of the retina. They often result from genetic disorders. The most famous of these disorders are color blindness and "night blindness" (impaired night vision).
Many of these diseases do not manifest themselves in any way. They are discovered by an ophthalmologist during a routine examination of the vision of infants during a routine medical examination. The first visit to the optometrist takes place a month after birth. The doctor examines the shape and size of the eyes, checks the fundus and, if necessary, prescribes other examinations.
Eye problems in newborns can be congenital or acquired. Due to the lack of obvious symptoms, parents cannot independently understand how the baby actually sees. Our doctors will remotely consult on any questions about children's vision and tell you when you need to undergo an ophthalmological examination.
How to stimulate the development of vision in a newborn
The world of visual images appears in children as soon as they open their eyes. But this world is gray and consists mainly of blurry spots. By the month, these spots become colored, and visual acuity improves slightly. Of course, we cannot stimulate the development of the eye. However, it is in our power to help the baby see better.
What can be done for this?
Get your eyes checked in a timely manner. Many eye diseases are asymptomatic and are detected by an ophthalmologist during a dispensary examination. Healthy eyes and timely treatment of such diseases are the key to good vision in the future.
Stimulate the organs of vision. It must be remembered that at first the child can only distinguish saturated colors, so toys at this age should be bright and large. Shades and smaller toys can be added as it grows and develops.
Monitor your baby's diet. The normal development of the organs of vision directly depends on what the baby eats. Breast milk is considered the optimal nutrition for a child in the first year of life. However, if for some reason the mother cannot or does not want to breastfeed, you need to choose the mixture that is most adapted and suitable for the baby.
Stimulate other senses of the baby. The sense organs are interconnected, therefore it is very important to develop other organs - hearing, touch, smell, taste. For newborns, hearing and touch are key. Therefore, it is important to talk with the baby, turn on music and sounds of nature for him to hear different sounds, use different tactile stimuli to develop touch.
Harmonious development of the child
Read also How to check eyesight in children
How many months does it take for a baby to see well after birth?
Vision is fully formed only by 10 years. Prior to this, the child has some degree of farsightedness, which makes it difficult to focus near vision.
How do newborns see?
Children see the world in a black and white spectrum, and their visual acuity does not allow them to examine objects in detail. Color vision appears by the end of the first month of life, and he will begin to see more or less clearly by kindergarten.
Why do all newborns have blue eyes?
This is due to the amount of pigment in the iris. Newborns have too little of it, so all children of this age have gray-blue eyes. This is fine. The final color of the eyes is formed by 10 years.
What vision problems can a child have?
Newborns can have both congenital and acquired diseases. The main ones are cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy, impaired motility of the eye muscles, blockage of the lacrimal canal.
Is it possible to develop a baby's vision?
It will not work to improve the child's vision with training, but this does not mean that you do not need to train the baby's eye. Such activities strengthen muscles, aid sensory development, and help maintain eye health in the long run.
The vision of a child is very different from that of an adult. Young children have poorer vision, poorer color discrimination, and less reaction to light. The complete formation of visual analyzers is completed only with the completion of human growth, that is, at 18–20 years of age. However, already at 10, the child begins to see in the same way as an adult.
We publish only verified information
Pruzhinin Mark Yulievich pediatrician
Experience 30 years
An experienced pediatrician with extensive experience and clinical experience in various medical organizations in the field of general pediatrics, resuscitation-anesthesiology and neuroinfection. Works with leading experts, attends international and Russian conferences.
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... Eye diseases. Under the editorship of Professor V.G. Kopaeva Moscow "Medicine", 2002
. .. Ziangirova G.G., prof. Antonova O.V. Pathology of the outer parts of the retina in case of circulatory disorders in the choroidal basin.-M., 2006
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