Babies at three months old
Your three-month-old baby has made tremendous development since birth. By this age, your baby has more voluntary control of their body. Babies spend hours inspecting their hands and watching their movements and movements of those around them. Most babies reach the expected milestones at similar ages. However, some take their own sweet time and that is okay. Infant development is not a precise science. There are some common developmental milestones for a three-month-old baby.
Moving: Physical or motor development
- Lifts head and chest while lying on the abdomen.
- Holds up their upper body with their arms while lying on the abdomen.
- Stretches the legs out and kicks while lying on the abdomen or back.
- Makes a fist and opens it.
- Pushes down on legs when feet are placed on a firm surface.
- Brings hand to mouth.
- Swipes at colorful, dangling objects with hands.
- Grasps and shakes toys or rattles.
- Little to no head wobbling.
Talking: Communication and language development
- Begins to react and relate to the world around them.
- Communicates in other ways, such as cooing and gurgling.
- Listens attentively to the sound of your voice.
- Observes your facial expressions as you talk.
Interacting: Social and emotional development
- Begins to develop a social smile.
- Enjoys playing with other people and may cry at the end of playtime.
- Becomes more communicative and expressive with the face and body.
- Imitates your movements and facial expressions.
Thinking: Cognitive development
- Reacts to familiar sounds.
- Reacts to familiar faces.
- Responds to facial expressions of other people.
- Imitates facial expressions.
- Discovers their body by looking at hands, sucking on feet, arching back and trying to roll.
Visual and hearing
- Watches faces intently.
- Monitors moving objects.
- Recognizes familiar objects and people at a distance.
- Starts using hands and eyes in coordination.
- Smiles at the sound of your voice.
- Begins to babble.
- Begins to imitate some sounds.
- Turns head toward the direction of the sound.
- Sleeps for a stretch for six to seven hours at night.
- May wake up while sleeping.
How can I encourage my baby to achieve milestones?
As a parent, you can support and nurture the healthy development of the child during this time in the following ways:
- Respond to the coos and gurgling sound of your baby.
- Provide colorful toys of different shapes, textures and sizes for your baby to hold and explore.
- Introduce interesting objects that dangle for your baby.
- Gently clap your baby’s hands together or stretch their arms.
- Gently move your baby’s legs as if pedaling a bicycle.
- Make different facial expressions for your baby to imitate.
- Read and sing to your baby.
- Play peekaboo with your child.
- Talk to your baby and wait for your baby to respond.
- Comfort your baby when they cry.
- Imitate your baby’s sounds and act excited and smile when they make sounds.
When should I visit a doctor regarding my child’s developmental milestones?
You should visit a doctor if your child:
- Doesn’t seem to respond to loud sounds.
- Doesn’t follow moving objects with their eyes.
- Hasn’t shown any improvement in head control.
- Doesn’t notice their hands.
- Doesn’t grasp and hold objects.
- Doesn’t smile at people or the sound of your voice.
- Doesn’t hold their head on their own.
Parenting and Newborn Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Kids Health: "Learning, Play, and Your 1- to 3-Month-Old." https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/learn13m.html
American Academy of Pediatrics: "Developmental Milestones: 3 Months." https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-3-Months.aspx
Mayo Clinic: "Infant and Toddler Health." https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/infant-development/art-20048012