Your Baby: The Third Month

In the third month, you will start to see your baby’s personality emerging. Along with this new insight into who this little person is, you will also watch her strength and interaction with the world around her grow by leaps and bounds. As routines become established, the early sense of chaos a new baby brings will subside, and life with baby will become a little smoother.

Growth and Feeding

Rapid growth continues into the third month of life, but you may find that your baby isn’t waking as often at night wanting to eat. As your baby gains weight, she is able to sustain herself for longer periods of time without needing food. Night feedings will continue however, as she isn’t ready to go all night without eating yet.

Sleep Patterns

Your little one should have her days and nights straight by this point, and is starting to understand that night is for sleeping. Daytime sleep will settle into a routine in the third month as well, and you will be able to predict more accurately when your baby will need to take a nap, and when it’s safe to head out of the house. Encourage the sleep routine by sticking to the schedule as much as possible. You might find that disruptions to the routine will result in a very cranky baby.

Physical and Cognitive Development

In the third month your baby will gain muscle strength swiftly. He may be able to support his weight on his feet with your assistance, and will also be able to sit up with support. Neck control becomes much better; although when upright you will probably notice his head wobbling and when tired he may lose control and drop his head down on your chest or shoulder.

Your baby will discover a new favorite plaything sometime this month: his hands! You may see him waving them around before his eyes and putting them in his mouth. He will also use his newfound tools to hold objects and move them about. In the third month your baby will really start to enjoy brightly colored toys, especially if they make noises. Different textures will also fascinate him, and he may hold items and squeeze them, exploring the way they feel. Mirrors are another great toy at this age, as baby will be utterly fascinated by his own reflection.

Because your baby is able to stay more upright, he may show more interest in books at this age. Choose sturdy board or cloth books with contrasting patterns and large, colorful images. As you turn the pages, he may reach for the book or even vocalize in response to certain images. A familiar book will begin to elicit even more response. While the instinct might be to keep the book out of baby’s reach while you read, go ahead and let him touch and explore. You may never reach the end of the book, but he will be learning nonetheless.

Vocalizations will increase this month as baby adds new sounds to his repertoire. He may even try to imitate sounds that you make. At this point you may also be able to differentiate between different types of crying that indicate different needs. Your baby is beginning to understand better how to use his voice to communicate with you.

By the end of the third month, you may feel you don’t even recognize your baby anymore! The tiny newborn has been replaced with an active and interactive infant who is ready and willing to take on the world.

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