The first three months of a child’s life are a time of amazing growth. In addition to weight and height, the baby is gaining his or her first motor skills and beginning to recognize familiar faces and voices.
Help Me Grow suggests that parents and caregivers begin to track a child’s progress by using developmental milestones, starting when the child is 3 months old. While each child grows at his or her own rate, the following milestones are considered typical for 3 months, and can be used to measure a baby’s progress:
- Follows movement by turning head
- Lifts head and chest when lying on stomach
- Moves arms and legs easily
- Startles at loud noises
- Cries, smiles, coos
- Quiets to familiar voice or touch
- Shows improved head control
- Enjoys being hugged and cuddled
- Makes gurgling noises
Parents should share the information they gather with their baby’s health care provider during check-ups and well visits. Informing the provider of a baby’s progress helps create a baseline of knowledge, which can help to understand a child’s unique development.
Here are some ideas for parents and caregivers to encourage a baby’s development. For a 3-month-old, adults can:
- Provide interesting things to look at, such as a moving rattle or colorful toy
- Talk, sing and read to the baby
- Put the baby to sleep on their back
- Cuddle the baby and touch the baby gently
- Respond to the baby’s cries and coos
- Hold the baby when feeding
- Practice tummy time by putting the baby on his or her tummy on a blanket on the floor for short periods of time. Place interesting toys or a mirror nearby to encourage the baby to lift and turn his or her head.
Developmental milestones help you understand what’s typical in a child’s development. To learn more about these milestones and how to encourage a child’s progress at different ages, visit helpmegrowmn.org.