The developmental characteristics at this stage

Video on development of newborn to one month

Development from birth to the 1 Month – Cantonese version with English subtitle only

Heading: Development from birth to the 1 Month

Scene: A newborn baby lies on the bed, moving his four limbs uncoordinatedly. At times, he thrusts his arms and kicks his legs. The baby is crying and keeping his hands fisted. The baby lies on the mother’s chest and grabs the mother’s clothe with his hand unintentionally.

Narrator: The movement of a newborn baby’s arms and legs is uncoordinated. He thrusts his arms, kicks his legs and keeps his hands fisted most of the time. He grasps reflexively whatever is placed in his hand.

Scene: A nearly one month old baby lies on his bed. The mother touches his face and he responds by looking at her.

Narrator: By the end of the first month, he becomes more alert and responsive,

Scene: The baby lies on his bed with his hands loosely closed. He stretches his arms and legs slowly and smoothly.

Narrator: He moves his limbs more smoothly,

Scene: The baby puts his hands to near his eyes and mouth.

Narrator: and sometimes brings his hands to his mouth and eyes.

Scene: The baby opens his eyes wide, following briefly his mother’s face. The baby sees a blurred image of his mother’s face. The baby looks at a moving mobile with highly contrasted colour hanging over his bed. The image he sees is also blurred.

Narrator: As for his vision, he shows preference for human faces and high-contrast patterns.

Scene: The baby stares at the mobile hanging over his bed. He sees a blurred moving mobile. The baby also moves his head to and fro trying to look for his mother nearby. He sees a blurred image of his mother coming towards him.

Narrator: He can focus best at near, and can follow human faces or large attractive objects briefly.

Scene: The baby lies on his bed. On hearing his mother’s voice, he blinks his eyes, moves his arms and legs then stops.

Narrator: As for hearing, he responds to sound by blinking, jerking his limbs or “freezing” his own activity.

Scene: The baby listen attentively to his mother while she talks to him and also the music from the mobile.

Narrator: He pays attention to human voice and is particularly fond of his mother’s voice and soft music.

Scene: Baby lies on his bed and smiles with no reason. He smiles even more when his mother comes and plays with him.

Narrator: With respect to social communication, your baby starts to smile, unselectively at first, but gradually in response to other’s stimulation.

Scene: The mother is holding her crying baby. She touches his head, cuddles him and rocks him lightly. The baby stops crying afterwards.

Narrator: Your baby likes being touched, cuddled and rocked slightly but dislikes rough and abrupt handling.

What you can do to help your baby’s development?

What babies can do

What you can do

I can move my arms and legs!

You can play with me tenderly

I thrust my arms and kick my legs with uncoordinated movements

A baby moving his arms and legs

You can do some light baby exercises with me, like stretching and bending my legs, move my body in different positions

I thrust my arms and kick my legs but not coordinated


I am not yet able to reach for objects and closing my palm is only my reflex. You can put your finger in my palm to play with me

My neck muscles are too weak to support the weight of my head


Remember to support my head and neck when taking a bath for me

Bathing a baby

I can see the world!

I like seeing your lively facial expressions.

I like seeing your face and patterns with contrasted outlines


Use different facial expressions to play with me and amuse me

Hang a mobile with contrasting patterns in front of me

A baby is lying in a crib with his parents standing aside and a colorful baby toy hanging in front of him

I can only focus on things within 20-25cm (8-10 inches)

A baby is fixing his eyes on his mother, distance is 20-25cm

Make eye contact with me within my sight

I can hear your voice!

I want to hear you talking to me

I like listening to interesting high-pitched voices

I am very sensitive to sounds. I will wink, open my eyes wide or jerk my limbs if I hear unexpected sounds. It doesn’t mean that I am scared as these are only my reflexes


Speak or hum to me tenderly

Play soft music or turn on a music box for me

An opened music box playing music

I have other senses, too!

You can touch me often

I am sensitive to your touch

A baby is being stroked by his mother

Touch, stroke, cuddle and rock me gently

Father is rocking baby gently

Swaddle me in a soft blanket. Cotton clothing are the best for me

I will open my arms and hands when I am suddenly moved. Don’t worry. These reactions are only my reflexes


Don’t be rough to me. I feel secure only if you are gentle to me

I have emotions, too!

Give attention to me promptly

As I don’t know how to speak, I can only express my emotions through crying

A crying baby

I may be hungry, have wet myself or feeling sick when I cry. Please check what I need as quickly as you can whenever I cry

Parents are paying attention to their baby