The third month is eventful as it marks a quarter into your baby’s first year. Here are some things you may want to know about, especially your child’s 3-month-old baby development milestones.
How Your Baby is Growing
For the past three months, your baby has been in what most people call the “fourth trimester” because so much physical growth occurs during this time. At this point, your baby has gained at least 30% of their body weight at birth and increased until 20% in height.
However, there is still a lot of growth waiting for your baby up ahead, just not at the same drastic rate you have been seeing for the past three months. That said, expect growing pains and a more holistic kind of growth. Here are some of the most significant 3-month-old baby development milestones.
The physical growth spurts are over so it is likely that growth, in this phase, is more focused on their personality and learning about themselves.
You may have noticed that they have stopped being fussy at night and that leaves you with a happier baby and lots of smiles.
Physically, they will develop the strength to hold their head up at a right angle by around the 12th week. They may also now be able to lift their chest in one of your tummy time sessions. They will also be able to sit and bear some weight on their legs with sufficient support.
As their focus gets better, they will have better vision and focusing or tracking. Their eyes will be crossed less. This is also the time that they will learn more about using their hands. They will be grasping or reaching for things and sucking their thumbs or fingers.
Their personalities also develop to the extent that they will have certain preferences regarding scents and textures they like and dislike. This also comes with their growing attachment to people whom they often interact with.
Feeding & Nutrition
At the three-month mark, 5 in 10 mothers will still be breastfeeding and that is a choice based on preference, capability, and resources. Challenges like having to go to work or lactation supply dropping or being unable to pump breastmilk are to be expected at this point. Be rest assured that other options are available. You can consult your doctor for a formula recommendation or seek help through a lactation consultant.
Baby Care Tips
Three months into changing diapers, you have probably turned into quite an expert. But at this point, it is important to observe the color of stool. Normal stool color ranges from green to yellow and anything outside of that like bright red, black, or clay would mean irregularities. You may need to call your doctor about this as soon as you see it.
Always make sure that your baby’s bottom is cleaned well and allowed to dry properly.
It would also be wise for you to invest in a few bibs since drooling is common from here on out, even before your baby starts teething. This is a good time to pick one up on your next diaper run.
This is a great time for sleep because babies tend to start sleeping for longer periods like 7 to 9 hours straight. This schedule will be pretty regular, unlike when they were younger. On top of this, they will have around three naps that will total 4 to 5 hours throughout the day. Be mindful of sleep cues like fussiness or wanting to nurse despite not being hungry or rubbing their eyes.
The American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends room-sharing but not bed-sharing within the first three months.
Baby Health & Safety
At this point, it is safe for you to take your baby with you when you go out for errands like going grocery shopping. But it is still important to take note of the safety guidelines when it comes to bringing your baby around.
Your safest bet is still to get a babysitter or have someone watch the baby, while you are out. But if you would rather not do that, the next best option is wearing your baby in a child carrier or a wrap, while you head out.
Make sure that you do not strap your baby’s car seat onto a shopping cart or anywhere that is not safe and secure. This puts your baby at risk of possible injuries.
What Can I Do to Help My Baby Grow?
You can help your child reach their 3-month-old baby development milestones, especially when it comes to language and communication. Although your baby cannot quite speak just yet, there is a way of helping encourage their language development, and that is using words to interact with your child. You can read, talk, or sing to your child to help them get used to using sounds to communicate.
Imitating the sounds that your baby makes helps encourage them to make more of these sounds as well. You can start to baby talk. Make sure to affirm your baby’s response by getting excited or encouraging this habit.
What to Watch Out for and When to See a Doctor
It is important to know that at this age, most milestones are developmental. The timing of these milestones will vary greatly. Your baby being a little early or a little late with these developmental milestones should not be a cause for alarm. But if you need to be reassured, there is no harm in calling your doctor.
If there is anything you should watch out for, it is seeing if your baby is able to focus better at this age. If your baby still has crossed eyes often or is unable to focus, this may be a sign to talk to your doctor.
Like the previous months, feeding issues are always worth bringing up with your doctor, especially if your baby is not being as receptive to nutrition as usual.
What to Discuss with Your Doctor
Serious cases like having odd stool colors need immediate medical attention. However, being late for milestone developments, although a valid concern, can wait until your next visit.
Here are some more things you might want to bring up with your doctor on your next visit:
- How can I safely shift from one feeding method to another?
- If I breastfeed, is it safe for me to take medication for other ailments?
- Is it safe to start testing the leg strength of my baby?
Enjoy your little bundle of joy and their developing personalities this month and maybe in the next couple of weeks, you’ll have yourself a talker!
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.