So, your baby has reached his or her third month of life. What is this going to mean for you? It probably means that your baby is spending a lot of time with a smile on his or her face. A baby at this age is also going to respond to speech, and may even coo or babble in response. The more you talk with your baby throughout the day, the more you are going to encourage this behavior. What else do you need to expect when they reach this stage of life? There are several milestones that you should watch for.
Your Baby’s Weight and Length
It is not unusual for babies to hit a bit of a growth spurt during this month. For example, the average boy at this age weighs just over 14 pounds at 3 months. The average girl at this stage weighs just under 13 pounds. You will also notice that your baby gets longer in their length. We are still measuring babies in length at this age because they are not able to stand up on their own yet. The average boy is just over 24 inches long. The average girl is between 23 and 24 inches long.
If your baby’s height or weight is outside these averages, this is not necessarily a reason to be concerned. The important thing is to take a look at how quickly they are growing. Most babies will gain approximately 1.5 and 2 pounds in between their second and third months of life. Your baby will probably grow between 1 and 2 inches as well.
Your Baby’s Senses
The senses begin to develop rapidly at this age. This means that they will probably be able to interact with you a lot more than he or she did before. For example, a lot of babies who are 3 months old are generally able to make eye contact with ease. You may even notice that they recognize familiar faces. Babies at this age also tend to recognize moving objects and will start following them with their eyes. Babies at 3 months also start to smile when they hear a voice they recognize. This is a sign that their senses are continuing to develop at a rapid rate.
The Developmental Milestones
There are a number of developmental milestones that babies tend to reach as well. For example, babies tend to mimic a lot of expressions, movements, and sounds. During tummy time, babies at this age will frequently raise their head and chest off the ground, reflecting that their neck and back muscles are getting stronger. Babies also learn how to open and close their hands. They may even reach for objects with their hands. If you reach for something, they may try to mimic what you are doing.
Of note, there are some chronic health conditions that are diagnosed around this age. Therefore, your pediatrician is going to want you to keep your eyes open for several common problems. If you notice that your baby does not smile in response to familiar faces, this is a cause for concern. If you notice that their eyes are still crossed, and they cannot follow objects across their faces, this is another issue. Finally, if you notice that your baby is not responding to loud noises and is not smiling at the sound of a familiar voice, this is another issue. Your doctor will also help you by testing these milestones at appointments.
Eating and Bathroom Habits
You have probably noticed that your baby has a much better appetite around 3 months of age. As his or her stomach continues to grow, your baby should be able to eat more during a single sitting. You probably realized that you can easily tell when they are hungry. In general, a baby that is bottle-feeding should eat approximately 5 oz between 6 and 8 times per day. If you are breastfeeding, these feedings should happen approximately every 4 hours; however, every baby is different.
If you are wondering if you are feeding them enough, you should take a look at how they are tracking with regard to his or her weight. If they are gaining weight, this is a sign that he or she is eating enough.
What about bathroom habits? Bathroom habits at this age are also going to be similar. A baby that is three months of age should make between 4 and 5 wet diapers every day. You will probably notice one poopy diaper per day as well. If your baby goes a few days without a poopy diaper, this is okay. If they go a week without having a bowel movement, then it may be time to call the pediatrician.
Sleeping Habits at 3 Months of Age
At three months of age, your baby should be sleeping approximately 15 hours per day. The vast majority of these hours should be taking place at night. It is common for babies that are three months of age to sleep approximately 10 hours every night. They may even be sleeping 6 hours in a row.
This means that your baby is still going to nap during the day. If your baby takes a couple of naps during the day, that is fine. If you are having trouble getting them to sleep through the night, you may want to cut back on the naps during the day. Or, you may want to try putting them down a bit earlier. If you cut out one of the naps and put them down earlier, he or she will probably sleep better at night.
Have Questions, or Need an Appointment for Your Baby? Contact North Texas Medical Center Today!
Ultimately, these are just a few of the most common developmental milestones you need to keep in mind if you have a baby that has reached 3 months of age. It is critically important for you to keep up with well-child checks for your baby, so you can trust that your baby is happy and healthy. Here at North Texas Medical Center, we are honored to work with some of the best pediatricians in the region to provide this type of care to parents like you. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child, please feel free to contact us today.