Your Baby's Development: Month Three
This month your baby may raise his or her head strongly when lying on their tummy - to at least 45, if not 90 degrees. They may also start bringing both hands together - often missing to begin with!
As their eyesight continues to develop, they should soon be able to keep watching an object passed in front of their face from one side to the other, without losing attention.
Social and Emotional Development
Your baby's smiles will be more frequent now, and they will soon start to laugh, giggle or squeal in delight, if they haven't begun doing so already! These first expressions of delight often come as a welcome relief to tired parents who have worked night and day for the last few months seeing to their baby's every need. Some people swear that the early smiles and giggles are nature's way of giving you a well-earned boost just when you need it most!
You will find that your baby's attention span is gradually increasing - the amount of time and interest that she shows in a cot mobile or a toy is noticeably longer. Babies this age are entertained by almost everything around them, from their own hands and feet to the tassels on the living room rug.
Speech and Communication
Listen to the sounds that your baby is making, you might notice that the range of vowel sounds that they are using is expanding. Always remind yourself to converse with them, not to talk at them all the time. Give them plenty of time to come back to you with their responses (even if that's just an 'ahh' sound!). Keep it simple too, babies take a long time to grasp the concept of pronouns such as 'me' 'you' and 'I'. Use their name, and refer to yourself in the third person 'Mummy is changing Charlie's nappy'.
Towards the end of this month another growth spurt might be on its way - even though the last one doesn't seem like long ago! Persevere with the more demanding feeding schedule - whether breast or bottle - and remember that it is normal and will only last a short while.
Use positive reinforcement when playing with your baby. Every time they manage to do something, whether it is shake a rattle or copy a sound, give them clear praise 'Well done Charlie! You shook the rattle!' They may not realise that shaking that rattle was the right thing to do, but your positive reaction will help them to understand, and encourage them to try again.
Be Careful Of...
...Overplaying your talented baby. Positive reinforcement is really important in helping your child learn when they are doing something correctly or something that makes you happy. However, there is a time and a place for everything and sometimes the clapping, cheering and 'Well done Olivia!' comments need to be reined in - particularly around families with similar aged babies. If your baby has started to laugh sooner than their baby or has learned to hold something before them, then your congratulatory cheering could be insensitive, so save it for when you get home and then you can go crazy with the applause!