Now that your baby is 3-months old, you’ll start to notice some rapid development. By this stage, you’ve probably experienced your first smile, and your baby will be responding to different voices. Limb movements are beginning to be more fluid and they are gaining strength in their neck muscles every day.
After 3 months, you may find yourself asking questions like, “how much should a 3-month old eat?”, “what’s the average baby weight?”, or “how far can a 3-month baby see?”. These questions, and many more, are answered in this article.
Baby Development by Month: Third Month
This month, you will likely notice that your baby is becoming increasingly socially and physically active. Crying tends to reach its peak after 8 weeks, so it’s normal if they are crying less now. Everyday, your child is improving their motor skills and increasing their coordination, and it is probable that you will notice an improvement in the fluidity of your baby’s limb movement at this stage.
Average Baby Weight and Physical Changes
The average baby weight for a 3-month baby is around 14 pounds for a boy, and 13 pounds for a girl. The average length is 24 inches for a boy, and 23.5 inches for a girl. These measurements, however, fluctuate greatly from child to child, and it is not a good idea to get hung up on the average sizes.
Other physical changes to your baby will include the strengthening and straightening of their limbs and significant improvements in neck strength – soon they will be able to support the weight of their own head by themselves.
Baby Movement Milestones
At 3 months, your will be able to move in a variety of ways. They can probably open and close their hands, support their upper body and raise their head while lying on their stomach, stretch their legs and arms, and reach for objects in front of them.
As they continue to develop, they will start to enjoy toys more, too, especially ones that they can grasp and shake.
Baby Vision Development
If your baby is watching you intently at this stage, it means their eyesight is improving. As their vision increases, they will follow objects around with their eyes as they try to process the information that they are receiving to their eyes for the first time. Although your baby will recognize your scent and sound already, they may also begin to recognise your face this month. This can lead to some beautiful moments in which your baby responds with a smile upon recognizing your face.
Baby Hearing Development
At this stage, your baby will recognize the voices of their parents, they will also react to loud noises with a startled jump. Recognizing unfamiliar voices might be too difficult for your baby at this stage, though. If you are worried that your baby’s hearing is not hearing properly, they may be experiencing problems. You should seek medical advice if:
- Your baby has frequent ear infections.
- Your baby was born prematurely, or with complications, and has trouble hearing
- Your baby has had infections that can lead to hearing loss, such as meningitis.
Baby Sense of Smell Development
A 3-month baby already has an advanced sense of smell. Although it is still developing, they will be able to recognise more people from their scent and will even be able to detect strangers using their sense of smell. Unfamiliar smells may instigate a reaction, though, so don’t be surprised if your baby starts crying if it is exposed to a new fragrance.
3-Month-Old Baby Diet and Feeding Schedule
Most babies require around 5 to 6 ounces of breastmilk or formula when they are 3-months old. There stomachs are now substantially bigger than a few months ago and they have more capacity for food during each feeding session. Your baby is not ready for solid foods yet, and doctors usually recommend that they eat only breastmilk or formula until month 5 or 6.
You may notice that your baby is feeding at a faster rate now, too. This is because their sucking and feeding skills become more efficient as they get older. The intervals between feedings will also likely get longer, as your baby will be sated for longer after a bigger feed.
3-Month-Old Baby Sleep Schedule
A 3-month baby will sleep around 15 to 16 hours per day. Some babies may start to sleep throughout the whole night now, but this more commonly begins between month 4 and 6. You should continue to teach your baby the difference between night and day; maintain a quiet environment at night and stimulate your baby’s senses during the day.
How to Change Baby Sleep Schedule
From this month onwards, you can start a bedtime routine. Up until now, it has been better to take your baby’s lead on when and how much sleep they get, but now is a good time to start incorporating some nightly rituals into your routine. It can be as simple as bathing, feeding, story time, bedtime. Choose a routine that best suits your circumstance and try to stick with it, as it will help your baby develop their circadian rhythm.
Baby Emotional Development Milestones: Third Month
A 3-month old baby can display their emotions in numerous ways. By now, they are probably smiling and laughing sporadically, recognizing faces, crying when upset, and showing excitement by waving their limbs around. It’s possible that your baby will be able to differentiate between different people based on how they sound, smell, or look. Another milestone this month is that your baby may respond or pay attention to their own name.
Baby Daily Routine at Month Three
Now that your baby is a little older, your routine may become more flexible. There will still be lots of crying, feeding, sleeping, and playing, but you will have learned to read your baby’s cues by now, meaning that you can plan your daily routine to better suit their needs and the needs of your family.
When creating a daily routine for your baby, it’s important to keep in mind the following information about 3-month old babies:
- They require 6 to 7 ounces of formula or breast milk at every feeding session.
- They need 15 to 16 hours of sleep per day.
- Schedule sufficient time for playing with your baby, as it can improve bonding and motor skills.
Baby Symptoms: Is My Baby Healthy
The most common concern for new parents is whether their baby is healthy or not. Also, as parents, it’s common to amplify all symptoms that your baby experiences. Most symptoms, such as coughing or congestion, are usually harmless, though. The following are some symptoms that your baby may experience, along with what they might indicate.
Constipation is hard to identify in babies; some breastfed infants can go days without a bowel movement in normal circumstances. Formula fed babies should have a bowel movement around once or twice a day, though. There are some signs that you can look out for to help constipation, you may need to get medical assistance if your baby:
- Doesn’t have a bowel movement for over 5 days.
- Has difficulty with bowel movements.
- Has black, bloody, or hard stools.
Coughing is a very normal symptom for 3-month old babies and is usually nothing to worry about. Coughing could indicate a cold, allergies, or an infection. If you notice that your baby’s cough is persistent and seems more intense than usual, you should seek advice from a doctor.
As with coughing, it is very normal for a baby to be congested at 3 months. A baby’s nasal passageways can become congested from an extra accumulation of fluids, leading to loud breathing or a blocked nose. Some signs of congestion include thick or discolored mucus, coughing, or loud breathing. A child with congestion may also have difficulty feeding.
Fever (No Longer a Cause for Concern On Its Own)
When your baby is 3 months old, having a fever with no other symptoms is usually not a cause for concern. It could mean that they have a cold, infection, or are simply wearing too many clothes.
However, if your baby has a fever in conjunction with other symptoms – such as intense congestion, difficulty breathing, or a refusal to eat – you should seek medical advice immediately.
Although rare, it’s not unusual for a 3-month baby to have teething symptoms. Signs of teething include excessive drooling, chewing, restlessness, and lack of sleep. Every baby will respond differently to teething – some will take it in their stride, while others will be in excessive pain.
An understandable concern for mothers who breastfeed their baby is that they will bite down. A natural reaction to this is perhaps the best remedy. If you feel your baby try to bite down on your nipple whilst feeding, a firm “no” might just do the trick. A 3-month old baby is learning all the time, so there is no time like the present to tell your baby when they are doing something inappropriate.
When to See a Doctor
Your baby’s immune system develops and improves as they get older and lesser symptoms, such as light congestion and coughing, will usually disappear by their own accord. Yet, there are some symptoms that may be of an increased cause for concern. The following is a list of signs to look out for in your baby, what they indicate, and whether it may require further medical attention.
Baby Not Responding to Sound
By now, your baby should recognize sounds and will go quiet when they hear a familiar noise. Soon, they will start searching for the source of the sound, too. Some babies, however, have hearing problems, with premature babies at increased likelihood of experiencing issues. You may need to visit an audiologist if your baby:
- Doesn’t respond to sounds.
- Doesn’t startle when hearing a loud noise.
- Isn’t soothed by familiar voices.
- Isn’t making vowel sounds, such as “ohh” or “ahh”.
Baby Not Tracking with Eyes
A 3-month baby should be starting to focus and track objects when placed within a short distance of them. They should also be able to track the objects as they move and might even use hand eye coordination to reach for it. Although babies develop at different speeds, you should visit a paediatrician if your baby is unable to do this.
Baby Not Smiling
Babies generally begin smiling when between 6 weeks to 3 months old. They are likely to smile when hearing a familiar voice, or sometimes they will laugh sporadically. Reflex smiles can occur during sleep, too. Some babies might not experience their first smile until later in their development, but if you are worried that there is something wrong with your child, you should visit a doctor, especially if they are experiencing other symptoms, too.
Baby Not Reaching Objects at 3 Months
Although many babies reach start to reach for objects as early as month 2, it is not unusual if your child doesn’t do this until month 5. Reaching for objects requires a high level of hand-eye coordination, which develops at different speeds for different babies.
Baby Checklist at Month Three
Having a checklist of what your baby can do by a certain age is a good way to monitor their progress. You can use the following checklist as a general guideline for your 3-month baby:
- Pushes up with arms and lifts head while lying on their front.
- Can open and close fists.
- Bring hands to mouth.
- Waves arms and legs when excited.
What do 3-month olds do?
A three-month-old will have enough upper body strength to support their weight while lying on their tummy. They are usually able to smile at this stage and will track objects that are placed at a close distance away from them.
How do I know if my baby is teething at 3 months?
If your baby is teething, they might show signs of restlessness, excessive chewing and drooling, or a lack of sleep.
How often should a 3-month-old feed?
A 3-month old should have around 6 to 7 ounces at each feeding, and usually will eat no more than 32 ounces in a day. This means that they can eat around 5 to 7 times per day, depending on the baby.
Should a 3-month-old have a schedule?
It is a good idea to start incorporating a loose schedule into your daily routine when your baby is 3-months old. This will enable them start learning the different patterns of the day.
Can babies swim at 3 months?
A baby is only ready to take baby swimming classes when they are able to hold their head up by themselves. Some babies can do this at 3 months, though it is more common during months 4 to 6.