Wondering how to play with your newborn? Check out this list of engaging activities for a 1 month old and ways to play and bond.
There is nothing quite as sweet as watching your new baby experience the world around them, especially in those first few months. Everything is brand new and exciting! And since your baby has been around for a whole month now, they’ll be starting to get a little more curious and alert than when they first entered the world!
Even though they might not be as expressive as older babies, there are still all sorts of activities you can do together! Their tiny brains are absorbing lots of new information and regular stimulation from mom and dad is a vital part of helping brain development!
This article was created by guest blogger Tyler Morrison, a stay at home mom and the owner of Growingintime.com. Growning In Time is a Christian lifestyle and motherhood blog dedicated to helping Moms and Christians navigate the daily trials and triumphs of life. Tyler blogs about all things faith, motherhood, home life and more!
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1-Month-Old Baby Developmental Milestones
Your one month old baby is changing so quickly. Those first four weeks are amazing, and it only gets better. Here are a few of the baby developmental milestones you’ll see after they turn one month old.
Senses are developing!
Sight: Your baby’s vision is starting to improve to notice things a little further away.
Smell: They are likely now able to notice the difference between sweet and sour!
Sound: They’re beginning to respond to different sounds and recognize your voice!
Touch: You’ll notice them developing their sense of touch and developing affinities for certain textures.
Their muscles are starting to work
When babies are freshly new, you may notice lots of involuntary muscle reflexes. But by the one-month marker, they’re starting to gain a little more control over their muscles.
They’re improving their communication skills
By one month, you’ve gotten to know each other pretty well! You’ll start to notice how your little one like to express themselves, their different moods, and how they communicate with you. Even though you’re dealing with lots of crying, they may start to give you the occasional coo of approval.
They’re starting to smile & laugh!
There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing your baby’s smiling face for the first time!
They’re making eye contact with you during feedings
Remember that all babies grow and develop at their own pace, so don’t stress if your baby hasn’t hit certain milestones yet!
1-Month-Old Baby Activities
One-month-olds have pretty simple needs. Of course, they require lots of milk, cuddles, sleep, diaper changes, and love…But as new parents, you may be wondering what you can do to play, bond, and help them grow at this stage!
Here are some fun and simple activities you can try with your one-month-old!
Watching a baby mobile
Since your sweet pea is beginning to see a little better, their eyes will naturally begin to track movement! Your baby may enjoy watching a mobile gently spin over their crib, or maybe even a ceiling fan!
Black and white
In the first few months of life, babies have the easiest time seeing high-contrast colors like black and white. Spending some time showing them toys or flashcards with high contrast will help stimulate brain growth and aid in visual & cognitive development.
Reflection in the mirror
Although It will be quite a while before your little one recognizes themselves in the mirror…Mirror play still holds lots of benefits for healthy development. It can help babies to learn how to focus their eyes, follow images, and explore all the different faces they can make!
Singing and dancing with your baby can be soothing to them. Show them your favorite songs and gently move their arms to the beat of the music!
The American Academy of Pediatrics says tummy time can be started right away when a newborn baby is home from the hospital! Just be sure to maintain close supervision at all times.
Tummy time can give your baby a different perspective, help with their development, and improve the strength of their neck muscles.
One great way to bond with your baby during tummy time is by lying down and placing them on your chest so they can see you up close! Be forewarned though, most babies aren’t the biggest fan of tummy time when they’re first starting out. But adding it into their daily routine through 3-5 minute intervals can go a long way for your newborn!
Ways To Bond & Play With Your Baby
Playing and bonding with your baby are wonderful ways to engage with them. In fact, some of the best activities for a 1 month old fall under this area.
Taking & Reading
Babies are like little sponges, and begin learning language skills right from birth! Although it will be a while before they actively start babbling, they are taking in lots of information from their environment and listening to their parents talk!
Spend time talking & reading to them to help them make great strides in their language development!
Babies LOVE to look at faces; especially their Mom and Dad’s! Make silly faces when you’re up close with them and watch to see how they react. Eventually, they will begin to imitate which is a big skill in a baby’s development!
Using finger puppets is another extra fun way to engage in play with your little one. Slowly move the finger puppets into their line of vision and wait for them to focus. You can also play with different voices and lightly tickle your baby to see if you can score a smile!
Place things in your baby’s hand
Babies have an innate ability to grasp objects. This is why they wrap their itty-bitty hand around your finger!
Initially, your baby’s hands will mostly be clenched up in a fist. But eventually, they’ll start to open up their hands, check them out, and grasp for stuffed animals or small toys.
Grasping is a great activity to develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, and is the entryway into the world of play! My daughter used to love to hold a baby-safe object like measuring spoons! Introducing them to different textures can be stimulating for your little one.
You can gently exercise your baby by helping them to move around their arms and legs. This can help familiarize them with their tiny bodies and show them different ways they’re able to move (after all they were scrunched up in the womb for 9 months!)
Bicycle their legs
One way to strengthen your baby’s abdominals (and maybe even help them pass wind) is by gently cycling your baby’s legs. This helps them develop body awareness and introduces the idea of alternating their legs which will be needed for crawling and walking!
Getting outside for some fresh air is always beneficial for both mom and baby. Just make sure you’re dressed for the weather! Your little one will have a great time feeling the breeze on their face, the change of scenery, and the different sounds the outside world has to offer!
Once your baby gets over their (possible) initial aversion to water…There are lots of ways you can water play! Try gently pouring water over your baby’s belly, tracing their skin with your finger, or tickling them!
You May Also Enjoy These Baby Articles:
What Toys Can a 1-Month-Old Play With?
Here are some adorable baby toys your one-month-old will love!
The Award-winning Lovevery Stage-Based Developmental Activity Gym provides stage-based activities as your baby grows from newborn to toddler. It features 5 “development zones” designed to encourage your baby’s physical, cognitive, visual and motor learning skills!
For your one-month-old, there are lots of high-contrast toys to choose from, and it can double as the perfect tummy time play mat! Check out this detailed Lovevery Play Gym Review, too.
Tummy time is the perfect opportunity to introduce a mirror to your babe. And give them something to focus on and reach for with their hands. This Montessori Baby Mirror For Tummy Time also doubles as a high contrast, sensory, crinkle book for loads of stimulation all in one convenient place.
This Bright Starts Oball Rattle is perfect for little fingers first starting out with grasping. With the many openings, it’s easy for them to pick up and set down, all while being able to enjoy the subtle bead sounds from inside!
These Bloobloomax Hand & Feet Baby Rattles are made to velcro to your little ones’ wrists and ankles for them to shake and jingle around as they kick and play!
I got this Itzy-Ritzy Clementine-Shaped Teething ball for my daughter really early on and it was her absolute favorite toy to grasp for most of her baby days! The open silicone makes it super easy for tiny hands to hold!
If there’s one thing babies love, it’s crinkle sounds! If you need a good toy to keep your sweet pea entertained at restaurants, this Original Baby Paper – Crinkle Teether and Sensory Toy for Babies and Infants worked wonders for us!
This Skip Hop Bandana Buddies Elephant Baby Activity has lots of patterns, textures, and sounds for babies to explore! It’s perfect for play at home or to entertain babies on the go.
Final Thoughts on Activities for a One Month Old Baby
At one-month-old, your little love will spend most of their time catching Zzz’s. But during those awake windows, it can be exciting to watch them process the new and exciting world around them! I hope this post has given you some helpful ideas and activities you can try out with your little one! Which were your favorite activities for a 1 month old on this list?
A big thank you to our guest blogger, Tyler Morrison of Growingintime.com, a Christian lifestyle & motherhood blog dedicated to helping moms and Christians navigate the daily trials and triumphs of life. She blogs about all things faith, motherhood, home life and more!