You’ve reached that milestone so fast, but you my be wondering how to care for a 3 month old baby? Your newborn is growing up, and at three months you should be noticing some developmental changes already. You’re surely an expert at changing nappies and feeding by now, but you probably have some questions about the next stage. Put simply, how to care for a 3 month old baby? In this post we aim to help you recognise those baby milestones and care for your baby.
Baby’s Development & Milestones
At 3 months old you will already be noticing that your baby has grown, cries less and is more settled into a routine. Here we describe the development milestones you can expect:
Baby’s weight and size:
At 3 months your baby should be visibly bigger than at birth. The average weight of a 3 month old should be between 5 – 6kg’s. Remember this is an average, and all babies develop differently and boys will be slightly bigger than girls. If your baby weighs slightly more or less than this guideline don’t worry, as long as you can see that your baby has grown it’s OK.
Sleep patterns :
The good news is at 3 months your baby should now be sleeping for a longer, unbroken period. Yeah! 5-6 hours should be normal by this age which means more sleep for you! If your baby does wake in the middle of the night wait a little before rushing to feed them as they may fall asleep again in their own time. You don’t need to fuss too much; you don’t want your baby to develop an early age dependency on you to fall asleep.
At 3 months old you will notice that your baby is becoming more expressive. Crying should no longer be the primary way of communicating. They should be more aware and curious about their surroundings, and they should be starting to make cooing or simple noises. Talk to your baby, make silly sounds or play ‘peek-a-boo’ to encourage this. Hearing your voice will reassure your baby.
Motor skills :
Your little one will be developing independent movement by 3 months. They should be able to hold their head up with little support. Your baby should also be able to grasp things independently, and with hand-eye co-ordination starting, these items will go straight into their mouth. This is a normal development, but be careful to keep small objects (that they could easily choke on) out of their grasp!
At 3 months your baby’s vision and hearing will be improving. This is the age when they will start responding to a parents voice or to music. This is when you will see your baby smile! Bright colours, faces and their surroundings will become a curiosity to your baby. Stimulate this with brightly coloured toys, looking into his or her eyes, or even start taking them for a walk in the park.
Premature Babies Milestones (Summary):
Every baby is different so don’t panic if your baby hasn’t reached all of the above milestones at 3 months, especially if they were born prematurely. However if after 3 months your baby hasn’t smiled, tried to lift his or her head, is unresponsive to visual stimulation or your voice it’s time to call your doctor.
Feeding & Sleeping
The most important way to care for a 3 month old baby is to continue breastfeeding or formula feeding. You may feel they are ready to start solids but don’t, not yet! Your baby needs to be at least 4 months of age before starting solids and should have doubled their weight since birth. Your baby will be eating regularly and more efficiently at 3 months, and as long as they are gaining weight there is no need to add anything else to their diet.
If you have to go back to work, try expressing your breastmilk and storing it in special baby feeding bottles or breast milk storage bags. This will help you to always have breastmilk on hand for daycare, or even if you want a night off and dad can take over! Your baby will still not be sleeping through the whole night, but they should be sleeping 5-7 hours at a time, giving you some much needed rest.
And What About You?
Your new baby will be the centre of your world, but don’t forget to take care of you. Snacking may seem like an easy option, but you need to make sure you are getting a well balanced diet that will provide you with enough energy to take care of your little one.
Try and relax and enjoy your baby’s feeding times. It’s important to cuddle your baby, hold them close and take time to form that special emotional bond. When your baby is sleeping, try and take time to relax and rest yourself. Don’t see this as a time to catch up with all the chores around the house, you’re not superwoman! If you have a partner, or other family members, get them involved with doing things around the house. This is a great way to build family ties, and more importantly it will give more time for the family to do things together.
Make time for other ‘adult’ friendships so you don’t become isolated. Getting together with friends who have babies or making friends with other mothers at your daycare are easy ways to have some grown-up time. If you need a complete break now and again, don’t feel guilty, enjoy a yoga class for an hour or just go for a walk. It’s important to have that ‘me time’.
Some Final Tips About How To Care For A 3 Month Old Baby:
At 3 months your baby will be developing very quickly. Make sure you make the most of this time and interact with your baby by doing the following:
- Smile and make eye contact often;
- Speak, read and sing to your baby;
- Make sure your baby has plenty of stimulation using bright toys, rattles or even a hanging mobile above their crib;
- Keep small items, sharp objects and even medication far away. Remember at this age everything will go straight into their little mouths.
5 Useful Tips To Take Care Of Your Three Month Old Baby, Explore Parents Magazine, viewed at 09 Feb 2020, URL