It’s exciting to watch your child develop, but it can be difficult to really understand just how much they have to learn and how best to support your 3-month-old’s development. I spent the first year with my oldest son learning easy and fun activities that we could do to support him every step of the way. I ended up pulling them altogether in my Activities for Infants product. But also wanted to share some support for parents of three-month-olds!
How to Support Your 3-month-old’s Development
Those first three months are special. It’s during the first few months that a baby is discovering how to use the brand new body they have, trying to come to grips with the amazing things it can do. It’s a steep learning curve for them, but there are ways you can help them.
Gross motor skills
A three-month-old baby will be starting to develop their gross motor skills; they may be able to turn their head or push themselves up when they’re lying on their tummy and any diaper-changing parent can attest to the fact they can kick strongly. They’re also starting to be able to grip larger items, like a rattle or someone’s finger, although there won’t be much intention behind the act yet which can be disappointing for grandparents and older siblings when they realize this.
Fine motor skills
At this age, babies are still getting used to having fingers and don’t really understand that these flexible digits are theirs to control. They’ll be happily occupied just playing with these interestingly wiggly things. Don’t expect them the be able to pick up or hold anything much smaller than their fist with any degree of control or accuracy; the ability to pick up and manipulate smaller items comes later.
Get my free guide to supporting your baby’s first 12 months
This free guide to creating baby activity stations will show you how to take what you already have and create engaging activities that support your baby’s growth and development. You’ll love having this guide in your back pocket. And so will your baby!
Babies experience the world around them through their senses. Initially, this is mainly touching and, since a baby’s tongue is the most sensitive method they have, the obvious way to explore new objects is to put things in their mouth, especially their hands. Their eyesight is still relatively undeveloped and they may only be able to see objects within 30 centimeters. Their hearing is good and they’ll respond to noises, usually by turning their heads towards the sound. In order to best support your 3-month-old’s development, it’s worth noting that sometimes the volume of input can be overwhelming and a baby this young may respond by getting distressed or simply going to sleep to block it out.
How you can help
Giving your baby toys that give them new experiences to explore, through sound as well as touch, will help; bright colors, interesting noises, and different textures will all help your baby start to build their understanding of the world around them. You can also support your 3-month-old’s development by giving them the opportunity to develop the muscles they’ll need when they start to move independently by laying them on their tummies so they can practice pushing themselves up or letting them kick on their back at toys in the bath. Finger and hand games are also good for helping them to develop their fine motor skills. Perhaps the most important way you can support your 3-month-old’s development is by giving them emotional and physical support in coming to terms with this huge new world they find themselves in, especially since they don’t really understand they, or you, are a separate person in your own right yet.
Our favorite activities and toys to support your 3-month-old
It may just seem like you’re playing very simple games with your baby instead of providing support for your 3-month-old’s development, but there is so much for them to learn, and every activity you undertake with them is important in making sure they have a good start to becoming a happy, healthy, well-developed child. I shared my Baby Necessities in my Amazon Store, too! They helped us survive that first year.
Wondering what activities to do with your newborn once you get home?
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