Infant Development: Your Baby's Third Month

You have just hit the beginning of the third month with your newborn baby. What sorts of exciting developments can you expect during this month?

Now that you, your partner and your newborn baby have made it through the first exciting two months together, you are prepared and anxious for the third month to see what exciting new things your baby will learn. After the first few weeks when you felt like changing a diaper was the hardest thing to do, by now you are probably an old pro at changing her diaper with one hand while mixing a bottle of formula for her with the other hand. Meanwhile, you have also probably seen her first smile and noticed that she recognizes you when you walk into a room. As you enter the third month, what should you expect?

One of the biggest changes will be in the way your baby uses her hands. During the first two months of life, your baby probably had her hands continually clenched. By now, she will usually keep her little hands open as she begins to notice they exist and starts to stare and play with them. Around this time, she might start to hold onto her little baby toys (like her play rattles), although she may frequently drop them.

As far as sleep is concerned, you can be rest assured that by the third month, your baby will sleep a little more soundly. Instead of waking up every two to three hours, she will be able to sleep up to six hours undisturbed. In order for her to maintain this sleep pattern, however, you must follow a few simple rules. If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night (after having only been asleep for a few hours) and begins to whine or cry, this does not mean you need to quickly scoop her up and feed her or play with her. This will break her new sleeping pattern. If she does not fall back to sleep right away, check to see if her diaper is wet or soiled. If it is, change her and let her get back to sleep. If she seems to simply be fussy, help her to calm down a little bit by rocking her back and forth and singing to her. She should fall back to sleep right away.

By the third month, your baby will be able to spend a lot of her time sitting on your lap, although she is not yet strong enough to sit up on her own. Hold her at all times, so she does not tip over. She will love looking around at her new surroundings. Instead of staying cooped up inside the house all day, why not take her for a stroll around the neighborhood or at a local park so she can smell new smells and see new sights. By this time, she will be able to hold her head up, but she may not be big enough to sit up in a stroller so play it by ear.

One of the biggest developments your baby will make this month is talking. No, she will not start forming complete sentences or say her first word yet, but she will "goo" your ear off and say "ga" until the cows come home. Her voice patterns, although full of "goos" and "gas" will sound as if she is trying to form a sentence. She may even mimic a sentence you her own baby language, of course.

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