Three Months

Free, free to move at last. By around the third month many of the primitive reflexes have begun to integrate, which means that baby is now able to begin to move more freely. He still tends to move his whole body at the same time but is not so stuck. Some babies try to roll over at this age. Many get their hands together. You will see an interest in toys now. Baby will get excited and try to reach for them. Her vision is still not completely developed and she will not grasp the toy but will bat at a toy that is dangled over her and will hold a toy that is placed in her hands. Another big step by three months is that most babies have regular sleeping and eating patterns. Their pattern may not be the one you want but at least you will have an idea of when the baby will sleep and when he will eat.

MILESTONES (More or Less, milestones are a guideline. Each baby is unique and will reach these skills at their own pace. Milestones looks at the average.)

How your three month old moves:

1.       Baby will be able to hold head up when on tummy for a few minutes. Legs may still be flexed when on tummy. He might be able to get his chest off the ground for a few seconds and have his weight on his forearms.

2.       Baby is much less flexed and lies out flatter when on back.

3.       Head control is improved in all positions.

4.        If you hold babies shoulders and bring him to sitting, he keeps his head aligned with his body.

5.       He lifts his head up when held on your shoulder (burping position) and when you hold him sitting on your lap, he can hold his head up, though it may still be a little wobbly.

6.       You may see that your baby can move the arm and leg on one side, then the arm and leg on the other or moves arms only, then legs, instead of having the whole body move all together.

How your three month old uses hands:

1.       Hands are mostly open and the grasp reflex disappears. For a short period, baby may not maintain grasp but soon, will maintain an object placed in hands.

2.       Baby will get his hands together and may play with his fingers.

3.       You may see baby “batting” at an object that is dangled above her when she is lying on her back. She is trying to contact the object and in this way learning to direct her reach.
Your three month old’s senses:

1.       By three months, baby’s eye movements are smooth as he visually follows an object while lying on his back. He can track horizontally, vertically and in a circle.

2.       Focus is still about his arm length away.

3.       She will notice new objects and will maintain focus in objects of interest but will quickly look away if she has no interest.

4.       Babies will begin to look between two objects.

5.       She can recognize familiar objects and will maintain focus on familiar objects that she likes as well as expressing excitement by moving her arms and legs.

6.       Babies begin to get a sense that their arms and legs are part of themselves.

Thinking and Learning:
1.       Begins to remember and seems to anticipate feedings.

2.       Babies show boredom to repeated sights or sounds.

3.       May stay attentive for half an hour during interesting activity.

Three month old language skills:
1.       Babies recognize speech sounds as different from other sounds.

2.       The range of sounds a baby can make increases greatly at 3 months though most are still one syllable.

3.       If you touch your baby or smile at him when he is talking, he will talk more.

4.       If you respond positively to a certain sound, baby will repeat the sound to get a response.

5.       You may start to hear laughter.

6.       By three months your baby recognizes speech sound and responds differently to speech than to other sounds.

7.       Research shows that babies move in ways that show that they recognize the rhythm of speech.

Social skills at three months:

1.       Big news here is that babies sleep and eating patterns are more regulated than before.

2.       There is usually a decrease in crying. Baby has more options for communication and you have begun to recognize baby’s signals so there is less need to cry.

3.       Babies begin to differentiate people and respond differently to different people.

4.       Seem to recognize parents and to have a special response to them.

5.       Social stimulation becomes important to babies at this age.

1.       Playing with objects or toys starts at this age. Give baby toys that will make noise as they move their arms and legs. Baby will not grasp rattles or toys but may start to hold it if it is placed on the hands.

2.       Babies learn to direct their reach so holding an object or dangling an object about arms length above baby while she is on her back so that she can try to grab at it will help. Continue as long as baby is trying and seems happy. Place object in baby’s hands before she becomes frustrated.

3.       Ankle rattles are appropriate at this age. They make noise when babies kick their feet and baby will learn to trigger the sound if it is interesting.

4.       Safe baby toys placed around baby during tummy time will be of interest at this time.

Sensory, thinking and learning

1.       Play with baby’s feet and hands. Clap them together. Kiss them, tickle them. Name them. Gently massage them. This can be done during routine dressing and diapering activity.

2.       Tour baby around to see different things in the area, including the house, grandma and grandpa’s house and the park. Three month olds need variety of sights.

3.       Put a big picture frame on the wall at crib level so baby can see it if she turns her head. Change the picture every few days. “Pictures” can be photographs of family members, patterned wall paper squares, drawings done by older children that are brightly colored or drawings of different simple patterns.

4.       Demonstrate sound toys such as bells and rattles and squeak toys. Show baby as you make the sound, then move the toy to the side and make the sound so baby needs to turn his head to look for it. Be sure it is in his range.

5. Play "What's this?" Have some familiar, everyday objects near by while you are sitting with baby in your lap. Pick up one and place it in baby's vision. Say, "What's This?" then name the object. Use expression in your voice. If baby reaches towards it to touch it, repeat the name of the object. You can use keys, spoons, toys, socks, fruit pieces and any thing that you can hold in your hand.

Language and Social

1.       Start playing rhythm games such as “This little piggy” and “Pat-a-cake”

2.       Baby will talk to you. Talk back. Imitate sounds baby makes. Touch baby when he “talks” as it encourages him to talk more.

3.       Play “copy me”. Make a sound or facial expression that is in you know your baby can make and wait for imitation. Repeat it.  Sometimes, this game is better when you start with a sound baby makes. Imitation at this time is important to later communication. 

4.       Changing facial expressions can be fun for baby, even if there is no imitation.

5.       May be time to start simple anticipatory games like “Peek-a-boo” because babies start to remember