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Congratulations! Your baby is three months old now, and you should be able to enjoy life with your little bundle of joy even more at this stage. From sharing his or her first laugh to watching the baby try to grasp their favourite toys (or your face), there is a lot that is happening during this month. And while your baby is now more active, it also means that you will have to increase your engagement and make sure everything he or she needs for proper development is provided.

During this month, your baby’s feeding and sleep times will become more stable, and this means that you too will be able to get some more rest. But apart from making sure that your baby’s sleep, feeding and playtime is regulated, you also have to ensure that the environment in which your baby is growing is safe. As your baby grows up, he or she will be able to grasp objects, roll over and even push herself or himself forwards while lying on their tummy. 

This clearly means that you’ll have to gradually expand the radius of baby-proofed areas. Additionally, the baby should be taken for regular checkups, and all the vaccinations needed during this stage should be administered. A number of health issues can show up during these early infant development stages, including the fear of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), so you should reduce the risks factors around the baby.

While you are constantly taking care of your newborn, it’s important to remember that you too need postnatal care. Since you will be breastfeeding frequently at this stage, you should regulate your diet and if you are worried about postnatal weight, then you should also start an exercise or activity routine. Remember that if you are healthy and active, you will be able to take better care of your baby and enjoy his or her infancy even more. Here’s everything you need to know about your baby at three months.

  1. Your baby's bond with you
  2. Your baby has new ways to communicate
  3. Feeding your three month old baby
  4. Your three month old baby's sleep pattern
  5. Vaccinations for your three month old baby
  6. Safety precautions for your three month old baby
  7. Taking care of yourself with a three month old baby
  8. Developments in your three month old baby
  9. Your baby can hold the head up
  10. Your baby might start thumb sucking
  11. Your baby has better vision
  12. Your baby can grasp objects
  13. Your baby can roll over
  14. Doctors for Baby development three months after birth

You might have been told to initiate and maintain skin-to-skin contact with your baby since the first hour after birth. At three months of age, this initial bond between you and the baby will take a new form, especially since his or her temporal lobe is more developed now. Your baby will be able to recognise you by your sight, sound and smell - and probably even smile or laugh in reaction. Continue engaging with the baby to ensure that your bond strengthens as much as their muscles by the day.

Gone are the days when crying was your baby’s only way to communicate with you. Your growing baby has moved on to gurgles, coos and smiles to talk to you. As their brain develops, so will the speech. So make sure you talk to your baby properly throughout the day. You can talk about what you’re doing, read stories or just sing to him or her to develop communication through speech. You can also make reading to your baby a bedtime routine to regulate sleep patterns better.

Since solid foods cannot be introduced to the baby before he or she is six months old, you should be breastfeeding your baby at this time. There are a number of benefits of breastfeeding, both for you and for the baby. 

By the time your baby is three months old, he or she will have regularised feeding patterns. Every baby is different, but you will need to feed your baby once every three or four hours. During this month, you might have to feed the baby once or twice during the night. 

Breastfeeding mothers should also remember that they are essentially passing on nutrients and antibodies to the baby via feedings. So, in case you fall sick or have to go on any medications, do let your doctor know that you’re breastfeeding and ask for safe medication. If you have a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to breastfeed your baby, then you can switch to formula.

At three months, your baby would have developed a regularised sleep pattern and you too will be able to get enough rest because of it. Your baby might wake up once or twice in the night to feed during this stage, but this will soon stop being the norm. The baby will also sleep for 4-5 hours during the day, and you too should get some sleep while the baby is asleep.

Your baby will also develop sleeping cues by this time. He or she is likely to get fussy, rub their eyes, cry or even suck the thumb or a finger so that they can be nursed to sleep. Take note of these cues and make sure you dim or switch off the lights as soon as these signs appear. This will help regulate your baby’s sleeping pattern better. Do not wake your baby up while he or she is sleeping, and avoid loud noises around them.

The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is high up to the age of 12 months, so make sure your baby’s sleep environment is safe. Here are a few things you should remember while putting your baby to sleep:

  • Always put the baby to sleep on the back, never on the tummy.
  • Use safe bedding without toys, fluffy comforters and excess pillows or cushions around.
  • Make sure the baby sleeps in the same room as you, but do not share a bed. Adult beds are not safe for children.
  • Don’t overheat the sleeping area. It should be warm, but not stuffy or sweaty.
  • If you’re using pacifiers to help your baby sleep, then don’t tie the pacifier around the baby’s neck or to his or her clothing.
  • Check on your baby while he or she is sleeping, but don’t unnecessarily wake him or her up.

All the major vaccines are given to your baby in the first and second month, so the third month will be vaccination-free for your baby. However, you must be alert about your baby’s health and take him or her in for a checkup at least once during the month. You should take your baby to the doctor immediately if any of the following signs come up during the month:

  • Your baby has a dry cough or is sniffling occasionally
  • Your baby isn’t smiling by or after 8 weeks
  • Your baby isn’t feeding properly
  • Your baby is holding his or her fingers in a tight fist
  • Your baby isn’t startled by loud noises
  • Your baby isn’t calming down even if you comfort him or her for a long time

While you don’t need to baby-proof the entire house yet, all the areas where the baby is sleeping, resting or playing should be safe. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Now that your baby can roll over and grasp things, make sure the baby doesn’t fall off furniture, hit their head against anything, or catch hold of sharp or heavy objects that can poke, scratch or suffocate them. 
  • Make sure your baby is not left completely alone at any point.
  • While putting the baby to sleep, ensure that the sleep environment is safe and be present even if a nurse or relative is putting him or her to sleep.
  • If your baby has started thumb sucking then make sure his or her hands are clean to avoid germs getting transferred to the mouth.
  • Ensure that any changes in the baby’s health don’t go unnoticed or untreated. 
  • Make sure nobody smokes around your baby, and avoid lighting incense sticks around the baby too. These can cause suffocation and lead to lung diseases.

Getting used to motherhood is a lifestyle change that you should gradually ease into. While your focus will be on keeping your baby clean, fed, rested and happy, you shouldn’t forget to take ample care of yourself. After all, your baby depends on you for everything. So your mental and physical health has a great role to play here. The following are a few things you should do to make sure you get enough care and rest when your baby is three months old:

  • Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Yes, the baby is your responsibility, but some parts of it should be shared by your spouse and the baby’s relatives and grandparents if you need a break. Letting others change or play with the baby might give you some much-needed “me” time.
  • Eat healthy food. You are still breastfeeding, and that apart, you need ample nutrition to maintain energy levels and keep diseases away. Include whole grains, proteins, healthy carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables in your diet, and stay away from excess caffeine, alcohol and smoking.
  • While it’s likely you would have already lost a lot of your pregnancy weight by now, you should focus on maintaining an exercise or physical activity routine. This will help you stay fit and lose any excess weight that remains.
  • Indulge in activities like reading, watching light-hearted movies, and socialising with people on the phone if visiting friends is not an option. Motherhood during the early months can be isolating, especially for new mothers. Make sure you have a support group you can open up to about your feelings. This will help keep depression and mental health issues away.
  • Motherhood and childhood are unique experiences for every individual. Don’t take unnecessary pressure about your baby’s development as compared to other babies in your family or friend circle. Similarly, don’t get stressed out about not doing things the way your friends, relatives or parents did. This is not a race, and undue anxiety will only make it worse for you and your baby.

As your baby’s bones and muscles get stronger, his or her movements will also increase. Your baby will be able to hear and see better now and will learn to recognise familiar faces and sounds. There are a number of developments you can easily observe in your baby during this month, and the following are a few of them.

Since your baby’s back and neck muscles are getting stronger, you might observe him or her trying to lift up the head while lying back. If you let your baby sit up with support, he or she might be able to hold the head steady and erect for a few seconds. Give the baby enough support and chances to test out the developing neck muscles, especially while letting him or her play while lying on the tummy. Ensure there’s enough tummy time for the baby while he or she is awake since this will help the neck muscles develop faster than simply lying on the back.

Your baby is now able to recognize his or her own body and is fascinated by movements - especially of the hands. He or she will try to bring the hands closer to the mouth every now and then, and might even take to thumb sucking during sleep times. Thumb sucking at this stage is normal, so you need not worry about it becoming a bad habit. Most babies suck their thumb during early infancy and usually give up the habit naturally by the time they are 3 years old.

While newborns may not be able to focus on objects, by the time your baby hits the three-month mark, he or she will be able to see and identify objects close to the eyes. If your face, hands or soft toys are 8-15 inches away, then the baby will be able to recognise them and react accordingly. Their ability to focus has not developed yet though, so your baby might accidentally look cross-eyed at times.

With improved mobility in the arms and legs, your baby will now be able to reach out for things within his or her vision periphery. Your baby is quite likely to be able to grasp objects at 3 months, although his or her grip won’t be strong enough to hold onto or hold up toys. Make sure your baby tries grasping enough objects during his or her playtime to strengthen the muscles faster. Soft toys and rattles with bright colours should be included for their playtime.

If you lay your baby on their tummy, they might just surprise you by rolling over suddenly during their third month. This is because the elbow, hip and knee joints are also becoming stronger by the day. This helps the baby lever himself or herself up to roll over. You should make sure the baby doesn’t fall off or hurt themself while rolling over.

Dr. Yeeshu Singh Sudan

Dr. Yeeshu Singh Sudan

पीडियाट्रिक

Dr. Veena Raghunathan

Dr. Veena Raghunathan

पीडियाट्रिक

Dr. Sunit Chandra Singhi

Dr. Sunit Chandra Singhi

पीडियाट्रिक

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References

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  4. Lier, L. Mother-infant relationship in the first year of life.. Acta Paediatr Scand Suppl. 1988;344:31-42. PMID: 3227841
  5. Infant and Young Child Feeding: Model Chapter for Textbooks for Medical Students and Allied Health Professionals. SESSION 1, The importance of infant and young child feeding and recommended practices.. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2009.
  6. Winston, Robert and Chicot, Rebecca. The importance of early bonding on the long-term mental health and resilience of children. London J Prim Care (Abingdon). 2016; 8(1): 12–14. PMID: 28250823
  7. Setterberg, Simone. The Development of the Mind: A Three Month Old Infant. Shanghai Arch Psychiatry. 2017 Feb 25; 29(1): 51–54. PMID: 28769546
  8. Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care: A Guide for Essential Practice. 3rd edition. BREASTFEEDING, CARE, PREVENTIVE MEASURES AND TREATMENT FOR THE NEWBORN.. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015.
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