Although it might not seem like it, your baby is a cognitive sponge from birth. Beginning immediately, babies are soaking up information about this strange new world and the people in it. Your baby is constantly watching you, listening to what you say, and observing his or her surroundings. At this tender age, you shouldn’t be concerned with cognitive development, but it’s a good idea to pay attention to sight and hearing milestones. For instance, if your baby doesn’t track you with his or her eyes or respond to loud sounds, you should talk to your pediatrician about your concerns at the next visit.
By birth to one month, most babies will:
- Startle at loud sounds and notice when they start and stop (a vacuum cleaner, the ring of a telephone, etc.).
- Follow moving lights with their eyes.
- Prefer the faces of their parents to those of other people.
- Turn in the direction of sounds.
- Focus their eyes on objects up to a foot away.
- Constantly look around at various people and things.
By birth to one month, some babies may:
- Attempt to reach up to touch dangling objects (say, a mobile over their cribs).
- Become fussy or start crying if they’re feeling bored or not sufficiently stimulated.
By birth to one month, a few babies can:
- Closely examine complex and colorful designs, shapes, and colors.
- Recognize people and things from a longer distance away.
More in milestones:
- Newborn to 1 Month: Emotional Development
- Newborn to 1 Month: Physical Development
- Why developmental milestones will make you crazy
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019
- A newborn baby should be able to track you with his or her eyes and react to loud sounds.
- Babies are interested in colorful and interesting patterns.
- Your baby will prefer your face to the faces of other people.
- Most newborns notice the starting and stopping of sounds.