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Well Child Care at 1 Month

Feeding

At 1 month of age, your baby needs only breast milk or infant formula. Babies can get enough milk by feeding every 2 to 3 hours, including during the night. Breast-fed babies should usually feed about 10 minutes at each breast during each feeding. If you use formula, your baby should have about 2 to 3 ounces of formula every 2 to 3 hours. If your baby wants to feed more often, try a pacifier. Your baby may need to suck but not feed.

If you are giving formula to your baby, check formula to make sure that it’s warm and not hot.

If you are breast-feeding your baby, it’s a good idea to sometimes feed your baby with pumped breast milk in a bottle. This helps your baby learn another way to drink milk and allows other people to feed your baby.

When you feed your baby with a bottle, never prop the bottle. Always hold your baby during feedings.

It's not yet time to start cereal or baby food. Solid food can be started at 4 to 6 months of age.

Development

Your baby is continuing to learn how to use his eyes and ears. Your baby may start:

  • Lifting his head
  • Reaching for things with his hands
  • Smiling at faces
  • Making cooing sounds when people speak gently to him

Babies usually sleep 16 or more hours a day. Many babies wake up every 3 to 4 hours, while others may sleep longer during the night. Feeding your baby a lot just before bedtime doesn't have much to do with how long your baby will sleep. Place your baby in the crib on his back when he's drowsy but still awake. If you would like to see if you can get your baby to sleep longer at night, ask your healthcare provider for ideas about ways to keep your baby alert and awake during the day.

Most babies will strain to pass bowel movements. As long as the bowel movement is soft, there is no need to worry even if your baby has bowel movements just every few days. If your baby has bowel movements that are hard or difficult to pass, ask your healthcare provider about it.

Babies usually wet the diaper at least 6 times each day.

Safety Tips

Having a new baby is a major life change. Help from fathers, friends, and relatives is often very important. If you find yourself getting annoyed or angry with your baby, or if your baby is crying too much and you cannot cope with it, call a friend or relative for help. NEVER shake a baby.

Choking and Suffocation

  • Be sure to pick a safe location for your baby’s crib or bassinet. It should not be too near a heater. Make sure the sides are always completely up. Use a crib with slats not more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart. Babies can get hurt if crib slats are further apart than this.
  • Use a firm mattress that fits the crib snugly.
  • Place your baby in bed on his back. Sleeping on the back lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of a healthy baby.
  • Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby's crib. Also keep plastic bags, balloons, and baby powder out of reach.
  • Keep cords, ropes, or strings away from your baby, especially near the crib. Remove hanging mobiles or toys before your baby can reach them. Ropes and strings around your baby's neck can choke him.
  • Don’t let your baby sleep in a bed or on a couch, and don’t sleep with your baby.

Falls

  • Never leave your baby on a high place, like a changing table, bed, or couch. Your baby should never be left alone except in a bassinet or crib with the crib sides up.
  • Keep mesh netting of playpens in the upright position. The mesh should have openings of less than 1/4 inch.
  • Always buckle the safety belts or straps when your baby is in an infant carrier or shopping cart.

Car Safety

  • Car seats are the safest way for babies to travel in cars and are required by law. Place infant car seats in the back seat with your baby facing toward the back of the car. If you are not sure how to install the seat in your car, contact your local fire department.
  • Never leave children alone in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Children are at risk for heat illness and injury when left alone. Always check to make sure your child is not still in the car when you leave your car.

Water Safety

  • NEVER leave your baby or toddler in a bathtub or sink alone.

Fires and Burns

  • Never eat, drink, or carry anything hot while you are holding your baby or very near your baby.
  • Turn your water heater down to 120°F (49°C) or lower.
  • Install smoke detectors. Check your smoke detectors as often as recommended by the manufacturer or at least once a month to make sure they work. For all detectors that use batteries, replace batteries at least once a year or when they are low.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.

Smoking

  • Children who live in a house where someone smokes have more respiratory infections, like colds, flu, and throat infections. Their symptoms are also more severe and last longer than those of children who live in a smoke-free home.
  • If you smoke, set a quit date and stop. Ask your healthcare provider for help in quitting. If you cannot quit, do NOT smoke in the house or car or near children.

Immunizations

Immunizations protect your child against several serious, life-threatening diseases. At 1 month of age, your child may get a 2nd hepatitis B shot. Ask your healthcare provider what symptoms or problems you should watch for after your child gets the shot and what to do if your child has them.

Bring your child's shot record to all visits with your child’s healthcare provider.

Next Visit

Your baby's next routine visit will usually be at the age of 2 months.

Written by Robert M. Brayden, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Pediatric Advisor 2016.4 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2013-10-03
Last reviewed: 2016-05-11
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright © 2016 RelayHealth, a division of McKesson Technologies Inc. All rights reserved.
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