Babies grow and learn and change constantly. This starts from the moment they’re born. Sometimes it happens quickly, while at other times, you may wonder if your baby is progressing properly. There’s also the dreaded comparison game, when parents notice how the children of their friends are progressing compared to their child.
The reality is: Every child is different, but there are certain milestones to reach within certain timeframes of their lives.
These are milestones that your pediatrician will ask you about at your baby’s appointments. Here’s what to expect in month 3.
Months 1 and 2 milestones
As a parent, you’ll mostly be doing everything for your baby for the first two months of life. But there are still milestones to watch for including proper sucking, latching, and taking in of milk. Their necks will also become stronger, and they’ll start being able to lift or turn their heads briefly.
This is a great time to sing, talk, or read out loud to your baby. Lots of holding and cuddling by you is also the focus in their lives at this point. Even though they aren’t moving around on their own yet, it’s still important to take them out to experience the world around them.
You should always look for signs that your baby has had enough sights and sounds, and is ready to rest. There’s a lot of new information going through their brains and they can get overloaded. Once they’ve rested, they’ll be ready to go again.
Months 1 and 2 development concerns
Be sure to notify your pediatrician if, by 1 month, your baby:
- has difficulty eating due to lack of sucking or other reasons
- doesn’t focus or watch moving objects
- doesn’t react to bright lights or loud noises
Talk to your pediatrician if by the end of 2 months, your baby:
- doesn’t smile at people
- doesn’t bring their hands to their mouth
- can’t hold their head up when pushing up on their tummy
Month 3 milestones
During month 3, your baby will start reaching some new and noticeable milestones. Many of these are extensions of the milestones they reached already, but they may have added on to them.
Follow this checklist for the main developmental milestones your baby should reach by the end of their third month.
How parents can help 3-month development
When feeding, your baby will now start to turn their head in the direction of the bottle or nipple. Their tongue will move noticeably while sucking.
At this stage, you should allow your baby time on their tummy every day — but of course only when you are right there with them. They will also be able to reach for and grab small toys.
This is a good time to start reading to your baby regularly and talking to them as you go through your day. Be sure to respond with encouragement to your baby’s “talking,” reaching, and any attempts to roll over.
Month 3 development concerns
Some developmental delays that should be red flags to tell your pediatrician include:
- baby’s unhappy with unfamiliar people or new surroundings
- baby’s unable to support their head
- not smiling
- not following objects with their eyes
- no reaction to loud noises
- not able to grasp items
Development delays to discuss with your pediatrician
Any time you have a concern about your child’s development, you should discuss it with your child’s doctor. If your baby doesn’t seem to be meeting milestones appropriate for their age, make sure you let your pediatrician know. The sooner a medical professional is made aware, the sooner they can take the necessary steps to help your child.
You should also make sure that your pediatrician is performing developmental screening at each visit. These are very simple tests the doctor does to ensure that your child is meeting developmental milestones.
3-month safety concerns
Based on the milestones, it may not seem like you need to worry too much about safety around your house at this age. But the reality is, your baby will start moving before you know it. And, if you haven’t baby-proofed your house yet, now is the time.
You never know exactly what day or moment your baby will learn to roll over. The ability to roll over can put them at risk for common household dangers, including falls.
It’s important to remember that every baby is unique. Not all of them will reach milestones at the same time. Some will reach them early, and some may reach them a little later. Premature babies or babies with certain medical conditions may follow a different schedule. If your baby is not reaching the above milestones by the end of month 3, discuss it with your pediatrician. They’ll know if there’s an issue that needs to be addressed or if your baby is just on a slightly different timeline.