After you survive the whirlwind of the first few weeks with a new baby, you may find yourself wondering what to do with your one month old baby all day long. This is especially true if it’s your first baby, but even seasoned moms can find themselves caught a little off guard starting all the way back at square one.
I have plenty of suggested activities to do with a one month old baby to pass the time in a meaningful (and not mind-numbing) way!
But first, a disclaimer: if your only goal for spending all day with your one-month-old is to simply survive until bedtime (or dinner time, or 3:00 PM…), that’s completely fine. Don’t let this post make you feel bad.
I can guarantee you’re already doing some of the things on this list with your baby. The last thing you need is another to-do item to make you feel guilty.
But for those of you looking for specific activities you can do with your one month old baby all day, here you go!
This may sound like a no-brainer, but there’s still SO many people who believe the myth that you can spoil a newborn. And let’s face it – a one-month-old baby is still a newborn, just a little bigger.
You can’t. Don’t believe me? Feel free to check out what Sanford Health had to say about taking care of your one month old!
So yes, hold your baby. Snuggle them tons. Rather than “spoiling” your baby, you’ll be further strengthening the bond you already share.
Plus, there’s the fact that tiny baby snuggles are magic. Even though it may not seem like it when you’re deep in the throes of sleeplessness and constant feeding, those snuggles seem to evaporate into thin air one day.
*And if you’re suffering from sleep deprivation (which, of course, you probably are) definitely check out these hysterical sleep deprivation stories from new parents for a well-deserved laugh!
Talk to your baby
One of the most important activities you can do with your one month old baby is talk to them all day long. This is how infants develop language skills. Make no mistake, while your one month old baby may not even be cooing yet, they are absorbing the language around them.
There’ve been plenty of fascinating studies about this. When moms talk to their babies, the speech and communication centers in baby’s brain light up with activity. Don’t neglect this critical time for language development.
For some parents, this one-way speech comes naturally. Other parents – especially some dads, in my experience – may find it awkward to talk to their babies at first.
This is perfectly normal and that uncomfortable feeling will subside as you get used to conducting these one-sided conversations with your one month old.
Plus, the conversations won’t stay one-sided for too long. In just another month or two, your baby will be cooing, gurgling, and smiling back at you. When that happens, it’ll be that much easier to continue talking to them.
Sing to them
Babies love the sounds of their parents’ voices, especially mom’s. This makes sense when you consider where your one-month-old baby was residing for nearly a year.
Singing is yet another way to expose your baby to language. It also has the added bonus of feeling less awkward than a conversation in which you have to play both parts.
As for what to sing, sing anything!
Sing the ABCs.
Sing the Backstreet Boys.
Sing Three Blind Mice (and suddenly realize just how creepy some of your childhood nursery songs are).
The best part is, if your singing voice is terrible, your baby is too young to know any better. So sing away!
Read to your baby
Are you sensing a theme here? Babies are little sponges, soaking up the environment around them. Filling that environment with language (conversation, singing, stories) helps set them up for communication success down the line.
Don’t let #s 3, 4, and 5 pressure you though. This doesn’t mean you have to speak, sing, and read to your one month old baby all day long. That would get old quickly and could easily send you to the asylum.
Just do the best you can. Setting up reading routines can be really helpful in laying the groundwork for the future—perhaps a story after breakfast, before naps, and before bed.
These touch-and-feel books are some of my favorite books for babies.A one month old baby obviously can’t fully utilize them, but once they can control their hands, touching all the textures on the animals becomes a favorite activity.
I definitely read to my oldest as a baby, but I won’t lie: a lot of what I read to him was whatever book I happened to be reading at the time. I figured, if I want to read my Jen Hatmaker book, so be it—two birds with one stone and all that. There’d be plenty of time in the future for children’s books.
By the time my youngest hit the scene, I hadn’t read an adult book in ages. He was treated to his siblings’ high-brow “literature” like Captain Underpants and Dog Man.
The point is: it doesn’t matter what you read. Reading anything is great for your baby –even a baby that’s only a month old!
Tummy time is really important for your baby’s gross motor development. It helps strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles.
While your one month old baby pretty much lies around all day, soon he or she will be doing so much more. In the coming months, your baby will easily support his or her own head, sit upright, and, eventually, scoot, crawl, and walk.
Tummy time is an important step in that process.
Giving your baby adequate tummy time can also help minimize plagiocephaly (basically, a flat head). One month old babies spend a lot of time on their backs—all day, all night–since they’re unable to sit unsupported or roll onto their stomachs.
While it’s critical to put baby to sleep on his or her back, you want to try to minimize other times when baby is lying flat on his or her back (within reason). Excess time in the car seat, the swing, or lying on their back on the floor can all put pressure on the back of their heads, resulting in a flat spot or overall flatness on the back of their head.
Of course, if your baby hates tummy time (like all four of mine did), don’t feel like you have to force the issue too much. My pediatrician initially set a goal for us of 20 minutes and told us to break it up throughout the day if the baby hated it that much (and they absolutely did hate it that much).
Try to do tummy time when baby is well fed and happy already. For most one month old babies, that’s going to be in the morning or right after their afternoon nap. Overall, the evening just tends to be a less happy time for many infants (and by extension, their parents).
Dance with your baby
Courtesy of their 40(ish) week stay on the inside, babies are used to being rocked and swayed. Anyone who’s spent hours bouncing, walking, or even driving around in an attempt to settle a needy, difficult baby can attest to that.
Dancing with your one-month-old baby is a great way to soothe fussiness. Many babies in the early months seem to have a built-in altimeter: they’re perfectly happy in your arms unless you try to sit down. Dancing can be a nice way to pass some of those upright hours.
It’s also not a bad way to lose some of the baby weight and get back into shape (this may not be a concern for you, but I gained way too much weight in several of my pregnancies, so… it was for me).
Wear Your Baby
I’ll start by saying: some parents don’t like to wear their babies and that’s totally fine. Do what works for you.
I didn’t wear my oldest until he was around six months old, and even then, it wasn’t often. Then I had a bajillion more babies and babywearing became essential.
Honestly, I wish I’d known about the Baby K’tan carrier before I had my second. My second-born would stay in there happily for hours –as in, practically all day long. My third loved it too.
So many people had recommended the Moby Wrap to me and I hated it. The baby liked it well enough, but it was like 10 feet of fabric, heavy, and a pain to put on without it dragging on the ground (the Boba Wrap has the same issues).
The Baby K’tan, on the other hand, holds/supports the baby in a similar manner. Like the Moby, there’s a few ways you can wear it, but it’s sized (S, M, L, XL, etc.), so you don’t have any excess fabric hanging down (or dragging on the ground in public—gross!).
The best thing about wearing your baby is you can do the things you would normally do WITH BOTH HANDS. This is especially awesome if your baby isn’t super at sleeping alone or is refluxy and needs to be elevated. Most babies love sleeping in a wrap/carrier.
(For older babies, I prefer the Ergo carrier. It’s really sturdy and the cushioning helps distribute the weight of a heavier baby more evenly. I think the Baby K’tan is best for the first six months.)
If you didn’t prepare or freeze meals before baby came, baby-wearing can help you prep a few dinners for the freezer for the coming months, when your baby will be more active.
Of course, don’t do any sautéing/boiling/anything else dangerous while wearing your baby, but you can assemble and package all of the (already cooked) ingredients or prep them for future cooking.
All this prep talk kind of assumes this one-month-old baby is your first. If it’s your second or beyond, you’re already chasing an active sibling (or more). In that case, it’s perfectly acceptable to order takeout until you feel you’ve got your sea legs.
(And if it takes months for your sea legs to develop, no judgment here. A few months of boxed mac and cheese and frozen Dino nuggets never killed anyone.)
Introduce your one month old baby to all their contraptions
By now you certainly know that babies get a lot of stuff. Between the baby shower and the general excitement after baby’s arrival, the baby’s belongings have probably taken over your house.
As a brand new newborn, your baby can’t really do anything, but you’re probably starting to notice that your one month old baby is a little more alert. This is a good time to start showing them some of their fancy new toys.
Although your baby likely won’t be able to hold a rattle, you can shake it for them. They’ll follow it with their eyes, and, as they get better head control in the coming weeks, they will start to follow the sound by turning their head.
They also make these cute little Velcro rattlers that attach to baby’s hands or feet. This can be fun for them as they start to wiggle around. If you have a toy that plays music or has lights, you may notice that your one month old starts to pay more attention to these things. My oldest really started to show an interest in both of these toys when he was one month old.
(The other kids probably did too, but they have subpar or nonexistent baby books because the multiple-kid struggle is real. The oldest is the only one for whom we reliably documented this information!)
As your baby begins to move his or her arms and legs more deliberately (instead of just flailing), this is also a great play toy for infants. As they kick their little feet, the piano makes music. When you’re home with a one month old baby all day, “playing” with the baby’s toys, even if it’s not a particularly active playtime, can be a nice way to break up the day.
Do your normal daily activities
The sooner you get comfortable going out and about with your baby, the better. It’ll help you stay on top of things you need to get done, like getting groceries or running errands.
Just as important –getting out will help keep you from being too isolated. If you’re afraid to go out with your young baby, you can quickly start to feel like a prisoner in your own home.
If you’re a mom struggling with some of the postpartum hormonal changes or even PPD, feeling trapped at home can worsen those battles.
Obviously consult with your doctor about when it’s safe to take baby out. Some will advise you to wait a few weeks (for example, if you have a preemie or you gave birth in the peak of flu season). Others are fine with you heading back out into the world as soon as you feel ready.
Either way – when the doctor gives you the okay, go! … Even if you have to force yourself at first. After a few times of navigating the public with your baby, you’ll start to feel much more confident.
Go for walks with your baby
Going for walks is the perfect activity to do with your one month old (or really, kids of any age). If you’ve felt a little trapped at home during the newborn haze, simply walking around your neighborhood can feel like a bit of an escape.
If you felt your fitness suffered during your pregnancy (I spent the last two months of my last two pregnancies lying down whenever possible), it can also help you get back into shape.
If you’re really suffering from sleep deprivation but can’t nap (either because you just can’t fall asleep that easily during the day or your kids won’t let it happen), a walk in the fresh air can help you wake up. I mean, don’t expect a miracle (I leave that to sleep and caffeine, if you can have it), but every little bit helps.
The fresh air often just agrees well with babies, even fussy ones. Our fourth child, who was extremely refluxy and just generally rage-y as an infant. We spent a ton of time on outside walks – even though I delivered him at the end of February.
Desperate times = desperate measures.
If your baby enjoys the swing, this can be a lifesaver. I had one baby who wanted to be held alllllll the time, unless he was in the swing, so in the swing he went. A lot.
We used the swing so much we literally wore it out. It barely limped through baby #3’s infancy. By Baby #4, we had to get a new one because the original had turned into The Little Engine That Couldn’t.
If your baby really likes the swing, you may even want a portable spare swing! We had this back-up swing to leave at my parents’ house. We also borrowed it from them anytime we went out of town. It was smaller and more portable than our regular, at-home mega swing.
If your baby likes the swing, use it! Bring it into the kitchen so you can cook. Drag it into the bathroom so you can have a more peaceful shower. Let baby swing while you pump or wash trash TV – survival is the name of the game!
(A neighbor also gave us this rocker as a hand-me-down, and it was really helpful too! It was lighter and even more portable than the mini-swing.)
Play “Baby Games”
When you’re home with a one month old baby all day, there can be a lot of time to fill. Playing “baby games” like Peek-a-boo or This Little Piggy is just another fun way to encourage different interactions with your baby.
If you have other children, they will enjoy doing these activities with their little sibling. It’s a great way to encourage bonding and also model appropriate, careful interactions with a fragile baby.
Bath Time (Anytime)
Many brand new newborns don’t like bath time. Somewhere around the one month or two month mark, that tends to change.
If your one-month-old baby loves the tub, bathe him or her as often as you need. And by “need,” I mean as often as baby needs to be cleaned up OR entertained and soothed. If you have a fussy baby who loves the tub, bathe them every day if need be.
In the months after we added my second son, I gave the two boys a bath in the middle of the day almost every day. For some reason, 12pm – 1 pm seemed to be when things were constantly coming off the rails. That became daily tub time and it was a lifesaver!
(If you end up bathing that often, you’ll probably want to avoid using soap or baby wash. Just a little warm water will do on most days. You don’t want to dry out baby’s sensitive skin).
(*It should go without saying that you can’t leave a one month old baby, or ANY baby, alone for even a second during bath time–but I’m saying it anyway. Even though the gross motor skills of a one month old baby are basically zilch, you still can’t take that chance, even for a second).
Take a nap!
Last, and I’m not sure if this really counts as an activity to do with your one month old all day, since there’s certainly a timeclock on these: don’t forget to take a nap. Or multiple naps.
Your one month old baby is probably still sleeping a lot during the day. You shouldn’t feel any guilt for trying to do the same.
If the house is a wreck and the laundry is taking over, oh well. Your rest is the most important.
If you can nap, at any time, you should. If you have an older kid (or kids), don’t feel bad turning on a cartoon or handing them an iPad and squeezing in a few winks.
What I said about the dino nuggets earlier in this post applies to screens too. A few months of excessive screen time never killed anyone!
The days with your one month old baby may pass in a blur.
The first few months with a new baby can feel a little fuzzy — and that’s okay. Some moms feel like themselves right away, but for most, it takes a few months for the fog to clear.
Having a list of activities to do with your one month old can be really helpful.
Pin this to your Pinterest baby boards to have handy when you start to feel a little overwhelmed — or possibly even a little bored — at home with your little one.
And hang in there — you’re doing great!