Caring For Your 3 Month Old Baby
The first three months of a child’s life really fly by. If you have a 3 month old baby, you’re probably wondering where the time went. It feels like your newborn came into the world just last week, and now they’re fully alert, laughing, and moving around!
At this point, you might have a few questions about your little one’s development. In this post, the baby experts at Mustela will help you do a quick check-in with your 3 month old baby. We’ll cover all the topics you might be wondering about, including your baby’s:
- Motor skills
- Feeding schedule
- Sleeping habits
We’ll also provide a few general childcare tips and tell you some possible warning signs to keep an eye out for. Let’s get started with our guide to caring for your 3 month old baby!
Caring For Your 3 Month Old Baby
Parents have much to learn in the first few months of their newborn’s life. By the time your baby hits the three-month mark, you’ve undoubtedly become a pro at changing dirty diapers and cleaning your baby’s bottom. And you’ve definitely developed the perfect hygiene routine and mastered the practice of carrying your baby.
However, newborns grow at a staggering speed, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to expect. This guide will answer all the questions you may have.
Your 3 Month Old Baby’s Development
At three months of age, female babies, on average, weigh 12.8 pounds and are 23.5 inches in length (height). Male three month olds tend to be a bit larger, with an average weight of 13.8 pounds and an average length (height) of 24.25 inches.
It’s important to note that these are just averages. If your baby is bigger or smaller than the figures above, it’s nothing to worry about! Some babies grow quickly in the first few months of life, while others are late bloomers. Every child follows their own unique developmental path.
Your 3 Month Old Baby’s Senses
At the beginning of your baby’s life, their senses were not very sharp. Your newborn’s vision was still developing, they didn’t have the ability to tell different sounds apart, and they didn’t have the muscle strength to move their tiny baby body very much. Now, in just three short months, all of that has changed.
Your 3 month old baby can now see clearly several feet in front of them and can see objects and faces up to 15 feet away. That means your little one’s world is getting much bigger!
Your child can recognize familiar faces, like yours and your partner’s. They will still prefer to look at objects with bright colors, bold lines, basic shapes, and simple designs, but your baby’s vision is improving every day.
In addition to vision, your little one’s hearing is also developing rapidly. Your 3 month old baby is able to recognize familiar voices. The sound of your voice and your partner’s voice will often prompt a smile from your little one. This is because your baby knows it’s Mommy and Daddy talking and finds your voices soothing.
While they can’t respond with words just yet, your 3 month old baby can definitely make noises. Your infant will make cooing sounds and babble when you speak to them. They may also begin making vowel sounds, such as “ooh” and “aah.”
Lastly, your 3 month old baby has a keen sense of touch. They will enjoy feeling your skin touch theirs. Your baby will also enjoy feeling different surfaces and textures.
Your 3 Month Old Baby’s Motor Skills
There are a number of motor skill milestones you can expect around your baby’s three-month birthday. You will notice that your little one has the ability to:
- Lift and control their head
- Reach for and swipe at objects in front of them
- Open and close their hands
- Grasp objects and move them around (especially to their mouth!)
- Lift their shoulders and chest off the ground when they’re on their tummy
- Kick their feet when lying down or when being held
It’s incredible to think how much babies grow and develop in just three months!
Your 3 Month Old Baby’s Feeding Schedule
Many parents wonder whether or not it’s OK to give their 3 month old baby solid food. Not yet! The American Association of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding or bottle feeding exclusively for the first six months of your child’s life. If you’re eager to introduce solid foods to your child’s diet, you must wait until at least the four-month mark and until your baby has doubled in weight since birth.
Another common question is whether a 3 month old baby needs water. The answer, again, is not yet. A well-fed baby receives all the liquid and nutrition they need from a mother’s breast milk or from baby formula.
At three months old, your baby should be eating six to eight times a day. If you’re formula-feeding your baby, they should consume roughly five ounces of formula at each feeding. If you’re breastfeeding, simply allow your baby to nurse until they seem content.
Breastfeeding may go quicker now than it did when your baby was first born since both you and your child have had lots of practice. Just make sure that your little one is gaining weight properly, and it’s safe to assume that they’re getting plenty to eat.
Your 3 Month Old Baby’s Sleeping Habits
After the first three months of your child’s life, you’re probably feeling a little sleep-deprived. Well, we have good news for you! Around three months is when your baby will begin sleeping up to seven hours in a row at night, allowing you to get some much-needed rest.
On average, 3 month old babies sleep about 15 hours per day. It’s common for babies to sleep as much as 10 hours at night, normally in two large blocks of time. So your little one might sleep for six hours, wake up wanting to be fed, and then go back to sleep for another four hours. The remaining five hours of sleep will occur in one- to two-hour naps throughout the day.
It’s important to start developing healthy sleep habits for your little one now. Put your baby down to sleep at the same time every evening. Between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. is ideal. Always put your baby to sleep on their back, never on their stomach. This greatly reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Your 3 Month Old Baby’s Immunizations
More good news about your 3 month old baby! They will not need any new immunization shots when they hit the three-month mark.
However, your baby should have already received a number of immunizations, including:
- Two rounds of Hepatitis B vaccine.
- Polio vaccine (IPV).
- Rotavirus vaccine (RV).
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP).
- Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (HIB).
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
If you’ve missed any of these immunizations, now is the best time to get caught up.
General Childcare Tips
At this point in your child’s life, their brain is developing extremely quickly. This means one of the most important things you can do it provide lots of stimulation.
Speak, read, and sing to your baby often. Smile at your little one, make eye contact, allow them to examine your face, and try to have a conversation. They may even attempt to mimic the sounds you make.
Be sure your baby has plenty of toys, rattles, shakers, and bright blocks to keep their senses stimulated. A rotating mobile to hang above their crib is also beneficial. Keep your baby’s nursery full of stimulating objects.
In addition to providing your little one with plenty of interaction, always use baby-friendly skin care products, like Mustela’s. Our products are made from natural ingredients and are specially formulated for your baby’s delicate skin.
When To Be Concerned
Finally, let’s discuss some warning signs that your baby has a developmental delay. Take your little one to the pediatrician if they:
- Have not yet smiled
- Do not respond to loud noises or your and your partner’s voices
- Cannot track objects with their eyes
- Cannot lift or hold up their own head
- Cannot grasp and hold small objects in their hands
Remember the tips listed in this article and always use gentle, baby-safe products, and you and your little one will stay happy and healthy so that you can truly enjoy this time together!