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3 Month Milestones: What To Expect & Activities To Encourage Development

 

From birth, infants make incredible development. For boys and girls alike, here's 3 month old milestones plus 5 learning activities and ideas for encouraging new development.

Now that you became a mother, your baby is your life! Each new development baby makes has you swelling with pride.

But how do you know if your baby is on the right developmental track? By making sure your newborn to 3 month old baby is reaching important milestones!

Not only is baby developing physically by three months, but socially as well. Physical, social, emotional and vision/hearing milestones let you know if your baby is on the right developmental track.

Here’s a list of 3 month milestones your baby should be or will be accomplishing.  Plus, developmental warning signs to watch out for and activities to encourage further development for the months to come!

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3 Month Milestones

Baby’s learn very quickly!  Before you know it, your baby will be walking and talking in no time at all.  But in the mean time, there are many milestones that need to be met from birth to 3 months.

By 3 months old your baby should accomplish the following developmental milestones:

Physical Developments

  • Is able to raise head and chest off floor when placed on stomach for short periods of time
  • Can support upper body with arms while doing tummy time
  • Bats with hands at objects near him/her
  • Opens and closes hands
  • Tries to bear weight on legs when placed in a standing position
  • Shakes toys in hand
  • Brings hands to mouth to chew or suck on hands
  • Able to stretch legs out
  • Is able to kick legs while on back or tummy
  • Follows moving objects with his/her eyes
  • Turns head toward sounds to see where they are coming from
  • Is able to recognize familiar objects and faces from a distance
  • Enhanced hand and eye coordination
  • Is able to smell pleasant and unpleasant smells and react to them (turning head away from unpleasant smell)

3 month old milestones include giggling and social smiling.

Social Developments

  • Recognizes the sound of your voice
  • Focuses intently on faces and facial expressions
  • Smiles when he/she hears your voice
  • Is starting to babble
  • Begins to imitate sounds you make
  • Is starting to imitate facial expressions
  • 93223Can imitate movements
  • Starting to enjoy playtime and may cry when playtime stops
  • Increased eye to eye coordination during feedings, changings, etc.

Between the 0 to 3 months there are many developmental milestones your baby will accomplish.  However, if your baby has not reach every milestones on the list above…  Don’t worry just yet!  Every baby develops at his or her own pace!  

Just because your baby hasn’t reach every 3 month milestone doesn’t mean the milestone will be reached shortly or your baby has a developmental delay.  If you’re concerned about your baby’s developments, talk to a pediatrician!

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Developmental Warning signs

If you’re baby has one or more of the following warning signs of a developmental delay, it’s important to consult a pediatrician.  While some of the above milestones may not all be reached by 3 months, there are some developmental warning signs that you need to not ignore.  

Overall, if your baby is not interacting socially, doesn’t make eye contact or doesn’t react to loud noises or your voice- These are major concerns.  They need to be addressed promptly by a doctor to rule out developmental disorders.

  • Does not respond to loud noises
  • Does not notice his or her hands
  • Does not bring hands or objects like toys to mouth
  • Inability to follow moving objects with eyes
  • Does not reach or grasp objects
  • Cannot move eyes in all directions
  • Does not babble
  • Does not socially smile
  • Moro reflex is still present
  • Eyes are crossed more often than not

Don’t worry if you don’t know if your baby still has the Moro reflex or not.  Many pediatricians check for the presence of this reflex themselves during the 3 month well-child checkup.

Make sure to watch for development warning signs if your child is not meeting 3 month milestones.

Activities To Encourage Development

Whether your baby is meeting 3 month milestones early or is a little behind, there’s always room for improvement!  I believe that much of babies development depends on their personality.  Some babies catch on quickly with new developments and other’s may have more of a stubborn personality.

Some babies tend to become overly stimulated quickly causing them to give up quicker than other babies when it comes to completing a new milestone.

My first son hated his tummy time from day one!  I was beginning to become concerned because every time I would roll him onto his tummy, he would just cry and scream.  His distressed causes a little delay in picking up his head and supporting his chest when it came to tummy time.

Thankfully, he finally caught on to what tummy time was all about…  Mainly because of my persistence in encouraging short periods of tummy time throughout the day.  

Needless to say, if your baby is not meeting certain developments… Try not to panic too much (I know that’s hard)!  Just keep a close eye on baby and keep working with him or her on the milestone you feel he/she is behind on.  

To help you and baby accomplish these 3 month milestones, here are fun activities to encourage new developments!

 1. Lots of tummy time!

Tummy time is essential for baby to strengthen the muscles for neck and truck/core control.  Without it baby could begin to fall behind when it comes to the physical development of holding his/her head up, sitting up, etc.  

For many babies, tummy time is not much fun at first.  It’s uncomfortable and baby doesn’t understand why it’s so hard to pick up that tiny head.  

The best way to help baby along with building muscles during tummy time is to make it fun!  

During tummy time try…

2. Talk about it

Talk to baby about everything!  I mean it, everything!  Just because your baby doesn’t understand you, doesn’t mean he or she is not listening.  

Try talking to your baby about what your plans are for the day; what your doing during diaper changes; things you see around the house and much more.  Basically, anything you’re thinking in your head, start saying out loud.

To encourage 3 month milestones and more to come read to your baby as often as possible.

3. Read

It’s never to early to create a love for reading.  While there’s plenty of baby board books you can buy, I’d personally read anything you can to baby.  Whether that be your favorite magazine or the book you recently dived into, it doesn’t matter.

Just read anything you can!

4. Sing a song

Similar to reading and talking, singing to baby will also encourage a variety of 3 month milestones like babbling, sound and facial imitation, and eye to eye coordination to name a few.

So go ahead and sing a Backstreet Boys medley to your baby!  I won’t judge!

5. Introduce textures

By 3 months of age baby is beginning to notice and explore the world around him/her.  Even though baby isn’t crawling yet to explore the world, he/she is watching everything intently.

Help your baby explore the world through textures.  Introduce baby to a variety of textures that are silky, fuzzy, cold, warm and much more to encourage development.  

Exploring different textures is also a perfect tummy time activity! 

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Final Thoughts

So much development takes place between birth and three months of age.  And to think your baby is just getting started!

While the above 3 month milestones are typically met by 3 months of age, those milestones are not set in stone.  Every child is different.  Therefore, every child develops at his or her own pace.  

Remember, there’s many factors that go into how soon a baby meets developmental milestones including a baby’s personality or temperament.  

While it is easy to become alarmed when your baby has not met a milestone, you don’t need to panic just yet!  Give baby a little more time to develop that particular developmental achievement.  

If you see your baby unable to reach 3 month milestones (even with extra activities to encourage development) and your baby displays multiple warning signs of a delay, it is time to speak up and say something about it to a pediatrician.  

The chances are you baby probably doesn’t have a developmental delay because of any serious issue, but you can never be too cautious when it comes to children.  It’s always best to be overly cautious, especially when it comes to your baby’s developmental track.  

 

Works Cited

Your 3 month old baby

Developmental milestones

Moro reflex

10 ways to promote baby development

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