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Your Baby: A Developmental Checklist: The First Month

Remember that all babies are individuals and develop at their own pace. Premature infants, especially, reach many milestones later than their same-age peers. This checklist should be used only to get a general sense for where your baby is or where he is heading. If you have any concerns about your child's development, consult with your physician.

Physical Development

  • May lift head briefly, possibly to as much as 45 or 90 degrees, when placed on stomach.
  • Turns head to keep his nose off the mattress so he can breathe.
  • May roll part way to his side when on his back.
  • Held in a sitting position may keep head in line with his back.
  • May dig heels into the mattress and propel body the full length of cot when on his back.
  • Focuses on a face.
  • Sees bright and colourful objects.
  • Follows object moved in an arch about 6 inches above his face, and may clasp it with hands or feet.

Intellectual Development

  • Remembers objects for 2 1/2 seconds.
  • Can distinguish objects from people and even from other objects.
  • Senses changes in temperature.
  • Reacts to bad smells.
  • Can tell sweet from bitter tastes.
  • Anticipates feeding time.

Social And Emotional Development

  • Displays individual temperament in activity level, response to stimulation, ability to be soothed or quieted when crying.
  • Quiets when picked up.
  • May still be comforted by swaddling or being held upright, close to parent's shoulder.
  • May smile in response to your smile.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education