Congratulations! your baby just turned one! The first month for many newborns is similar in many ways. As a new mom, you probably can’t wait to see your baby’s milestones already. In Kenya, most moms to girls are especially eager to pierce their ears and braid their hair. Dads, on the other hand, can’t wait to introduce their sons to their favorite barber. With such a long way ahead, let’s get into what you should expect during this life-changing month. 

Baby’s Development

The first month of any baby’s life is filled with feeding, cuddling, and sleeping.  Let’s look at some of the developments:

  • Head movement – Your baby might have minimal head movement but will try to turn its head to the side. 
  • Reflex – Your baby can express basic reflex movements (primitive reflexes) such that if for instance, you place a finger on their cheek, they will turn and try to suck it.
  • Brain development – Your baby’s brain is developing and growing as he learns to recognize things through touch, sight, and smell.
  • Vision – Baby easily gets attracted to light and you’ll notice him following it with their eyes. Their eye-sight is limited to about 30cm only, ideal enough to closely monitor the face of the person feeding him.
  • Sound – your baby can get easily startled by sounds and can stare after noisy sounds

Growth Chart (according to WHO)

Average weight – 9.2 kgs for girls and 4.2 kgs for boys

Average height – 21.5 in (54.7 cm) for boys and 21.25 in (53.7 cm) for girls

Average head circumference – 15 inches (38 cm)

How You Can Help

  • You can help your baby start to move his head around by moving your face or a shiny object in front of him.
  • Since your baby also easily recognizes your voice. This is the best time to read and talk to him. It helps him learn about the function and structure of language. Don’t be afraid to speak baby talk once in a while. Communication to you from your baby will mostly involve crying and a little bit of eye contact.

Sleep Schedule

You will hear the phrase “sleep when the baby sleeps” a lot during your first month as a mother. To some, this may work. However, most mothers (especially those who delivered normally) find it necessary to get things done when the baby’s asleep. It does not come as a surprise how as cultured Kenyans it expected that you will begin to host guests the minute your baby is delivered.

During the first month, your baby owns their sleep schedule and will spend most of their time asleep (as long as they are well fed). Expect also that he/ she will be experiencing day and night confusion. As the mother, it is your duty to clear up the confusion. For this to happen, consider the following:

  • Open all windows during the day to let in natural light
  • Turn on the lights during the day to keep the room bright. 
  • Try to keep him awake longer before his naps
  • Create a sleep schedule for every night that involves feeding, changing, and cuddling in a dark room to get him to sleep. 

Immunization and Vaccination

Vaccinations are as painful and overwhelming for the baby as they are on the mother. As much as they offer protection against serious illnesses, no parent wants to see their newborn baby go through pain. 

 Before your baby is two months old, you can expect the following shots:-

At birth 

  • BCG – for TB (tuberculosis)

At 1½ months (6 weeks) 

  • DPT – for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • HEP B – for Hepatitis B
  • HIB – for Hemophilia Influenza Type B
  • Oral Polio
  • Rota Virus – for Rota Virus
  • Pneumococcal – for Pneumonia

Read more on immunizations and vaccines here

Disclaimers:

#Please note that development differs from one child to another

# Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: e-cavi, raisingchildren, bounty, smartparenting

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