Now that your baby is 3 months old, you are going to see a lot of changes in their development. This is a time when many babies achieve various milestones.
Whether or not this is your first baby, your life has settled down into a routine. You have pretty much recovered from the birth, and you are probably getting a little more sleep than you were at the beginning. Your little one is no longer simply a screaming little bundle that only eats, sleeps, and fills nappies. Your baby is starting to develop a more definite personality and is turning into a little person in their own right.
So let’s take a look at what your baby is either doing now or will be doing very soon.
During “tummy time,” you will notice your baby doing push-ups, lifting the head and some of the chest off the play mat. You might actually be quite surprised by the volume of exercise that gets done. Not only that, but while the baby is lying on their back, they will also start to lift their head. If you sit the baby up with a little support, they can also hold their head erect for a few minutes.
Now that your baby is 3 months, they are reaching a further stage in uncurling after nine months of being rolled up inside the womb. Babies at this age kick their legs and arms up and down. Their hands are starting to open, though the baby will still bat at objects of interest with a closed fist. You can help the baby develop even better hand-eye coordination by holding out soft, safe toys to see if they will try to reach out for them.
When a baby is 3 months, they start differentiating in a more distinct manner between the people they know and strangers. If you are sitting on the bus with your little one peeking over your shoulder at the passenger behind you, chances are that the baby will still bestow a gracious smile on the perfect stranger looking back and cooing at them. But when you look at your baby, you will get the most special smiles of all and your little one will probably start gurgling and cooing back to you. And when your baby hears your voice, this may produce an ecstatic reaction.
As we have mentioned previously, you should always talk to your baby. But now, as your baby is growing a little older, this is more important than ever. A three month baby might not be able to talk back to you, but all of the language information is getting stored inside their developing brain. Point out objects while you are walking along with the baby. You might not get a response now, but in a few months, your little one will start telling you, “Tree, dog, house,” just as you are doing now.
It can also be helpful to look at cloth or laminated baby books with colourful pictures for the same reason. It is advisable as the baby gets a little older to get books made from these materials so that they won’t get ripped by little grabbing hands. Don’t expect your baby’s attention to be held too long by this at this point. You could even leave a soft cloth book open in front of them during “tummy time”, pointing out some of the pictures and names as you go past.
Now that your baby is three months old, you will find that sleeping has become a lot more settled. Your little one will sleep for about 15 hours per day, and hopefully two-thirds of this will take place at night. During the day, the baby will take about two or three naps, and the night time sleep will last around 6 or 7 hours after a late night feed. You are probably much happier now that you have a sleeping baby during the night!
In fact, you can manage your baby’s sleep cycles to fit in with your needs a little better. For example, if the little one is sleeping a little too long during the day, they can be woken for a feed, a change, and a little bit of playtime. At night, you can also schedule the baby’s last feeding to fit a little better around the time that you would like to go to sleep yourself.
At this point, it is even more crucial to differentiate between night and day so that your baby will not develop negative sleeping habits.
These three months are a time of baby growth spurts. As you have been either breastfeeding or formula feeding your baby, you have probably seen how their demand has increased. They want more as they grow and more often. In another month or so, you will need to start giving your baby solids. But at this point, you should continue listening to your baby’s signals of being hungry or full and give your baby as much breast or bottle as they want.
During these first three months, you may find that your baby is spitting up after eating. Don’t worry too much about this if it is happening within an hour of the baby eating and if your little one does not seem too unsettled. If, however, it seems more like serious vomiting, the baby seems miserable, there is a fever and/or diarrhoea, or something does not seem quite right, you should consult your doctor.
If you are breastfeeding, you will probably find that your baby needs to eat around six to eight times a day. But in between, the baby is happy and contented, and they are starting to sleep through the night. A pattern has developed. Baby weight at 3 months is probably gaining steadily, and your little one is alert and growing nicely. You will be changing nappies regularly throughout the day.
If you are bottle feeding, your baby will need fewer feedings than a breastfed baby. Your little one will probably need one ounce more at each feeding than last month.
Three months is clearly a special time for your baby’s growth and development. Hopefully, you are keeping track with a photo album and scrapbook. In the section on “My baby is 3 months,” you can add many interesting photographs of their development – of smiles, of baby on the play mat. Your baby’s personality is, as we have said, coming to the fore, and now that you are getting some sleep and the baby’s colic is going away, you can really start to enjoy being a parent.