3 months old
Your baby’s growing appetite
Three months in and you may notice some significant changes to the way your little baby sleeps, feeds and – most noticeably – interacts with you and the wide world around them.
Feeding your baby
You may notice that your baby’s appetite is increasing. Babies at this age typically want more feeds (especially during the day) and feed for longer. And no wonder: by 3 months, the average baby will have almost doubled in weight.
It’s common for parents to wonder whether this means their baby is ready for solid foods. Hold off: pediatric health experts don’t recommend introducing solids until around 6 months and not before 17 weeks, so stick exclusively with breast milk as the best option, or formula until then.
Sleep and settling
Sleep patterns are the subject of much conversation, especially at parents’ group. Some babies fall into a routine easily, while others can take much, much longer. As the word suggests, ‘routines’ should be consistent and predictable and focus more around the way you put baby to sleep rather than specific times of the day being a feed or a nap. And while it isn’t always possible to do the same things at the same time in the same place every night, there are benefits to setting up a set order to the bedtime routine.
So whether it’s gentle patting, a quiet song, a pre-bed massage, soothing music, or something else, choose things that help settle your baby and stick with them.
At this stage, baby’s hearing is improving, so loud noises might startle. Remember, your baby recognises your voice, so hearing you talk quietly will be soothing.
Time to play
Playtime is easy at this age, as your baby’s personality is starting to really emerge and develop. As your baby becomes more responsive to play, you can try introducing more baby-safe toys. It is important that you play with the toys with your baby too. You’ll find that your little one will still be fascinated with hands (yours and their own).
Keep up the tummy time too – 15 to 30 minutes a day is recommended to help develop coordination and muscle development. You can break this down throughout the day if needed.
Ensure that playtime still involves lots of touch. At this stage, touch makes your baby feel safe, and is a great way for the two of you to communicate with each other.
Baby’s developmental milestones
- Playing with sounds, especially letters like B, P and M
- Straightened spine; your baby should have completely uncurled by around this time
- Continuing to strengthen the neck, shoulders, chest and now arms too
- Stretching and reaching for objects, and swiping at them
- Following people and objects with their eyes and head
Check your calendar
- Keep attending council or community new parents’ groups if available; they typically cover topics ranging from baby development to maternal health, wellbeing, first aid and more
- Consider looking at baby sensory classes or coffee/parents groups where you can meet up and socialise with others. Baby will love the interaction and it’s a great place for support – just be cautious not to compare, every baby is different.
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Please note: These articles are meant to give you a general sense of the growth and development of your newborn baby. However, it’s important to remember that every baby grows and develops at their own pace.