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Milestones: Newborn to 1 Month: Emotional Development

Even from the first days, babies can be surprisingly attuned to your emotional state and the beginnings of their unique personalities are evident from birth. At this age, your baby will be easily influenced by his or her caretakers. Your baby may become fussy when you\’re short-tempered or excited when you\’re mood is high. Don\’t be overly concerned if your newborn doesn\’t meet any of these early milestones, but do keep in mind that your child is already beginning to model an emotional life on your own behavior, so the calmer you are, the more reassured and calm your baby is likely to be.

By birth to one month, most babies will:

Make gurgling sounds when they\’re content.

Smile occasionally in their sleep.

Cry frequently (this is a reflex, not an expression of sadness!).

Enjoy looking at their parents\’ faces.

Be responsive to your own mood (i.e. irritable when you\’re irritable).

Calm down when you pick them up and when you speak in a slow, rhythmic, gentle voice.

By birth to one month, some babies may:

Begin to learn how to calm themselves (say, by sucking on their own hands).

By birth to one month, a few babies can:

Smile on purpose (at parents, caregivers, siblings, etc.).

Attempt to mimic your facial expressions.

More in milestones: 

Newborn to 1 Month: Physical Development

Newborn to 1 Month: Cognitive Development

Why developmental milestones will make you crazy

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, December 2018


  • Mayo Clinic
  • Infant Development: Birth to 3 Months.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Important Milestones: Your Baby at Two Months.

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