Your Baby at Three Months Old
At the end of the second month, your baby has learned to recognize faces, voices, hands, and familiar objects. Likewise, his or her growth has been phenomenal. Now, as you enter the start of the third month, you will notice even more changes in expression and abilities.
As cognitive development continues, your baby is likely to start increasing their communication skills, and their eyes continue to develop sharper focus. In some ways, this is the time that you might notice that your baby is lagging behind or forging ahead of other children. If you have concerns, always talk to your child’s physician.
Your baby will continue to communicate with you throughout the first few months in smiles, giggles, and silly faces. Not all communication will be happy either. Hunger, comfort, and fear begin to take shape as well. While your baby may not show fear in the same way that older children do, but they will shy away from strangers or things that they are unsure about being around.
Stronger Recognition Skills
While your baby may not spend time with many other people, when there are groups present, he or she will be able to find you visually. If he or she is in the cart at the grocery store, your face will be recognized even if a similar-looking person strolls by. You will also notice a stronger interest in what you are doing. Head-turning, eye movements, and concentration will all become common for your child.
As your child grows, the hand becomes much more fascinating. Textures and materials become much more critical. Your child will be much more interested in taggy blankets and sensory toys. Some tummy time mats have some great textures for tiny hands to explore. This one has many activities for your growing baby.
Tasting things is one way that your child learns what things are and how they feel. They use their senses through their tongues right now. The sweet or salty taste of their hand will be exhilarating. Likewise, toys, blankets, mom’s nose, dad’s chin, and a million other things will be licked, sucked, and tasted. This helps build synapses by teaching them what tastes like food and what isn’t edible. Of course, you want to ensure that these objects are clean, as it is a typical activity.
Like the other months, physical development is occurring rapidly. Growth seems like it happens overnight. Muscles, joints, and bones are growing and developing. Muscle tone is also improving. While most babies have relatively good tone at birth, it strengthens as they grow. Keep your baby active by offering physical activity.
Tummy time exhibits some of your baby’s new skills. Holding his or herself up by the arms is much easier at this stage. They will have trouble sustaining that at first, but as he or she develops more, it will get easier.
Holding his or her head up is a new feat. While it will be a bit unsteady at first, your baby’s neck strength is improving each day. He or she will also begin to look around more. Smiles and giggles will also happen more often.
While we have been talking about hand strength for many posts, this month shows the most strength improvement. Your baby has the most control over his or her hands yet. Tasting things also becomes more common. Be careful what things are in your baby’s reach as they can become choking hazards. This discovery pillow can help build hand and upper body strength during tummy time.
Sometime during the third month, you might start noticing areas that concern you. If your baby seems to be developing on a typical trajectory, do not worry about small delays. However, if the following are observed, you might want to discuss it with your doctor or pediatrician.
Lack of Facial Response
If your child doesn’t seem to be watching your face or looking for you, there may be a cognitive or visual delay. However, not all babies recognize others at the same rate. Do not be worried if he or she only recognizes parents and not other family members. He or she may be slower to recognize things, but that doesn’t mean it’s a significant problem.
Lack of Head Control
Head control will not be great at this point, but you should notice that your baby is able to hold his or her head at least for a minute or so during tummy time.
Your baby should have begun developing this social/ emotional skill at this point. A smile from mom or dad will likely bring on a sweet smile from your babe. If you have not noticed smiles or excitement when your baby looks at don’t panic. Spend some face time with your baby. The more they see you smiling, the more they will mimic it. If you are concerned about this, reach out to your pediatrician.
Limited Hand Movements
If your baby’s hand movements are still very jerky or limited, this is ok. Baby is still learning how these arms and hands work. Any concerns can be discussed with your doctor at the next appointments.
Notes for Mom and Dad
Don’t be afraid of your tiny explorer’s curiosity. Tasting, feeling, and watching are common activities. However, you need to be extremely careful with things that may be within their reach. Choking is a hazard at this age, especially because they put everything in their mouths. You are doing great.