1 month old: Emotional development

1 month old: Emotional development

Your baby’s emotional development at 1 month old. Follow your baby’s milestones step-by-step.

Emotional development allows children to understand, express, and manage their emotions as they grow. Children also develop the ability to recognize and interpret the emotions of others, which helps them build relationships with those around them.

Emotional development: 1 month old

At this age:

  • Your baby enjoys being touched and seeks physical contact.
Remember that not all children develop the same skills at the same speed. The material on this website is for general information purposes only. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, speak with a doctor.
  • They’re reassured by the familiar voices and smells of their parents.
  • When they’re happy, they look and feel relaxed.
  • When they’re uncomfortable, in pain, or seeking affection, they tense up or cry.
  • Your baby can feel and express emotions like distress, disgust, interest, and contentment.
  • When they’re awake, they increasingly want to make eye contact.

Over the next few weeks, your baby will begin to do the following:

  • Smile intentionally when interacting with a familiar person.
  • Communicate their feelings (e.g., cooing if they’re happy, crying if they’re afraid).

How can you help your baby progress?

Every child is different and develops at their own pace. That said, you can help foster your baby’s development by adopting the Comfort, Play, and Teach parenting approach, which can easily be integrated into your daily routine. The table below outlines small, age-specific actions you can take that will benefit your child’s emotional development.

When you respond quickly and appropriately to your baby’s cries,
they feel safe and cared for. They’re reassured and can calm down more easily.
When you cuddle and talk to your baby affectionately,
they feel soothed.
When you carry your baby in your arms, in a sling, in a baby carrier, or skin-to-skin,
you’re helping them get to know you (e.g., your smell, your voice) and their surroundings in a safe environment.
When you play calming songs for your baby or sing them a lullaby,
they enjoy these new sounds. Over time, this music will become familiar and comforting.
When you allow your baby to grab your finger while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding,
you’re giving them a positive tactile experience.
By feeding your baby when they’re hungry,
you let them know that you can meet their needs.
When you smile at your baby,
they recognize you.
By learning how your baby likes to be held and soothed,
you help them feel calm in your presence.


Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Chloé Gaumont, M.Sc., psychoeducator
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: November 2020


Photo: GettyImages/Goodboy Picture Company



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