Child Development at 1 Month

Posture & Large Movements

  • Lies back with head to one side; arm and leg on same side outstretched, or both arms flexed; knees apart, soles of feet turned inwards.
  • Large jerky movements of limbs, arms more active than legs.
  • At Rest, hands closed and thumb turned in.
  • Fingers and toes fan out during extensor movements of limbs.
  • When cheek touched, turns to same side; ear gently rubbed, turns head away.
  • When lifted or pulled to sit, head falls loosely backwards.
  • Held sitting, head falls forward, with back in one complete curve Placed downwards on face, head immediately turns to side; arms and legs flexed under body, buttocks humped up.
  • Held standing on hard surface, presses down feet, straightens body and often makes reflex ‘stepping’ movements.

Vision & Fine Movements

  • Turns head and eyes towards light.
  • Stares expressionlessly at brightness of window or blank wall.
  • Follows pencil flash-lamp briefly with eyes at one foot.
  • Shuts eyes tightly when pencil light shone directly into them at 1-2 inches.
  • Notices silent dangling toy shaken in line of vision at 6–8 inches and follows its slow movement with eyes from side towards mid-line on level with face through approximately quarter circle, before head falls back to side.
  • Gazes at mother’s nearby face when she feeds or talks to him with increasingly alert facial expression.

Hearing & Speech

  • Startled by sudden loud noises, stiffens, quivers, blinks, screws eyes up, extends limbs, fans out fingers and toes, and may cry.
  • Movements momentarily ‘frozen’, when small bell rung gently 3–5 inches from ear for 3–5 seconds, with 5 second pauses; may ‘corner’ eyes towards sound.
  • Stops whimpering to sound of nearby soothing human voice, but not when screaming or feeding.
  • Cries lustily when hungry or uncomfortable.
  • Utters little guttural noises when content.
  • Note:Deaf babies also cry and vocalise in this reflex way, but if very deaf do not usually show startle reflex to sudden noises. Blind babies may also move eyes towards a sound-making toy. Vision should always be checked separately.

Social Behaviour & Play

  • Sucks well.
  • Sleeps much of the time when not being fed or handled.
  • Expression still vague, but becoming more alert, progressing to social smiling about 5–6 weeks.
  • Hands normally closed, but if opened, grasps examiner’s finger when palm is touched.
  • Stops crying when picked up and spoken to.
  • Mother supports head when carrying, dressing and bathing.

Source: Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects No 102. HMSO 1960, revised 1975.