Now, this is just an example. This is not a schedule to follow to the minute. Your baby is a human, not a robot, and needs us to be flexible. To see how a day could play out with different nap lengths, wake windows, and feeding intervals check out my blog on Short Naps and Newborns.
When we talk about milestones, remember that some babies reach them sooner and other babies take a bit longer. Milestones happen in a range, and we aren’t going to compare your sweet baby to the baby next door. If you have any questions about your one month old’s development, please reach out to your pediatrician.
Here are a few things that you might start seeing your newborn do this month:
Bring his hands to his face
Begin to track with her eyes moving objects that are 8-12 inches away
Turn towards familiar voices
Briefly hold his head up from a flat surface or from being held
React to loud noises
Briefly grasp and hold objects with her hand
I know that it can be tricky to add active awake time for your one month old. It can feel like feeding takes up most of that time. I don’t want you to stress. Do you know the best toy for that baby? You! Babies love that face-to-face interaction and can learn so much from you talking, holding, and staring into their sweet little face. I’ve got even more tips for you in my blog on baby play for newborns.
We often think that babies will just sleep when they are tired and that sleep comes naturally to newborns. The truth is that sometimes we have to help newborns be successful little sleepers. My First Five Months Bundle will help you set your days and nights up for success, learn your baby’s cues, calm a fussy baby, and so much more. I want you to set a healthy sleep foundation for your baby and love the newborn stage.
At one month old, it is common for naps to be anywhere from 20 minutes to 120 minutes. I talk all about newborns and naps in my blog Short Naps and Newborns.
I know that you’ve probably heard the phrase “never wake a sleeping baby.” But, if your newborn is napping for two hours, we do want to wake them and offer a feeding. Prioritizing daytime calories helps babies to get on track with their days and nights, stay on their growth curve, and start working toward a longer stretch of sleep at night.
Rather than worrying about the perfect number of hours, we are going to follow your baby’s lead. Here are a few things to aim for:
We aren’t going to let any one nap go longer than two hours
You’ll want to aim for wake windows around 50-90 minutes.
I don’t recommend letting your baby’s night last any longer than 12-12.5 hours.
I love a bedtime between 7 and 8pm, but some one month olds just do better with a nap around that time and a later bedtime (8-10pm). It’s all about finding what works best for your baby. My blog on False Start Bedtimes is a great resource for helping you decide.
When we talk about regressions in baby sleep, what we are really talking about are progressions in development that make sleep tricky for a short period of time. At one month old, your baby is still learning about the world, and while we wouldn’t expect any regressions, I do want you to check out these blogs that can be so helpful in those common struggles the first few months:
Day-Night Confusion: When newborns first come home, they can sometimes experience day-night confusion where they want to sleep all day and be up all night. I know that this can be exhausting for new parents, and it doesn’t have to last forever.
Is your newborn feeding every hour and not sleeping?: When your baby is snacking all day, it can make nights tricky. We really want to be responsive to hunger cues and aim for feedings about every 2-3 hours throughout the day to help your baby get good, full feedings instead of snacking.
Active Sleep and Newborns: Newborns can be really active in their sleep. Sometimes we can be unintentionally waking our babies. We see them moving or even making noise and assume that they are awake, while they are actually sleeping.
Absolutely! The benefits of pacifiers are huge, and they can be such a great tool to help your baby sleep well. My blog on newborns sleeping with pacifiers covers everything you need to know from your concerns about breastfeeding and pacifiers to how to introduce them and even what to do if your baby becomes overly dependent on the pacifier for sleep.
Swaddling can be so helpful for babies. It mimics that warm, secure feeling that they had in the womb. I’ve compiled the research that shows that swaddling is safe and beneficial for newborns in this blog on Should I Swaddle My Baby?. It’s important to note that it’s time to stop swaddling when your baby shows signs of rolling (for most babies, that isn’t happening this month).
That depends on the temperature of your home and your climate. Overheating can be dangerous, and cold babies just don’t sleep well. We want your one month old to be at a comfortable temperature. The layers will depend on the temperature in your house. For some, a diaper and a swaddle is enough; for others, a diaper, onesie, and a swaddle is perfect; and for colder homes, perhaps a diaper, footie pajamas, and then a swaddle is just right. My blog on how to dress your baby for comfortable sleep goes into even more detail for you.
It’s never too early to start a bedtime routine. Even before your baby can recognize the routine, there is value in the calming impact of a bedtime routine. This sets the tone for everyone going into bedtime and avoids overstimulating your baby. For babies who experience the witching hour, this can be such a great tool. Bedtime routines don’t have to be complicated, so don’t feel like you need to add a lot of steps. A simple bedtime routine at one month old can be as easy as changing a diaper, lotion, pajamas, sing a lullaby, swaddle, lay down in the crib or bassinet.
I know that you want to hear a specific age for when babies start sleeping through the night. But, the truth is that it is different for every baby. Once your pediatrician has given you the clearance to no longer wake your baby for night feeds, the longest stretch that we want to see is their age in weeks plus one hour. So, for a 4 week old, we wouldn’t want their longest stretch to go any longer than 5 hours. Now, I want you to work closely with your pediatrician. Some babies DO need to get in those nighttime calories and be awakened much sooner.
Please know, you don’t have to do this alone. My newborn class will provide you with the tools you need to set your days and nights up for success, read your baby’s cues, work towards those longer stretches of night sleep, and love the newborn stage.