What You Need to Know About Newborn Development in the First Month of Life

Andre Peltier

From an Egg and Sperm to a Fetus

From an egg and sperm to a fetus, there’s no doubt that massive growth and development take place during a woman’s gestation period. There is, however, continued growth and development, particularly during the newborn’s first month of life.

It may seem like all your newborn does is eat and sleep, but in reality, there are massive physical, cognitive, emotional, sensory and language changes occurring. The following is a closer look at each of these major developmental areas, and how they change during a newborn’s first month.

Physical Development
Many newborns will lose a few ounces of weight in the first few days after birth, and this is normal. They will typically regain that weight within the first two weeks of birth. During the first month, the newborn will gain about 4 to 8 ounces per week, and they will grow 1 to 1.5 inches in length.

Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is the development of the newborn’s ability to learn, think and remember. Every time you interact with your newborn, you stimulate their brains and encourage them to learn. Every touch, sight, smell, and sound is stimulating the baby’s brain and increasing their cognitive awareness.

Emotional and Social Development
Every mother learns to interpret their infant’s sounds, from crying to gurgling. Newborns, however, are just learning how to communicate, though they do so very quickly. They want interaction with their parents, and they express themselves through facial expressions, physical movement and sounds. They will watch you move around the room, and they may smile or brighten when you talk with them. Soon they will begin to mimic simple actions such as clapping or sticking out your tongue

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