Baby Development Month by Month: Month 3

What to expect from your 3-month-old: development milestones, plus feeding and sleeping and playing.

Growing and developing

Your baby’s personality starts shining through at 3 months. They’ll be much more attentive when awake and able to communicate with you by smiling and gurgling. You may be able to tell when they like something or are excited by their waving arms.

Baby’s muscles are also getting significantly stronger and they may be able to support their own head. If you lay them on their tummy, they may push up using their arms or stretch and kick their legs.

Your baby’s hand-eye coordination will be starting to improve and they may reach out to try and grab or swipe things. Their hands will be a constant source of fascination and your baby may start to open and close their fists or play with their fingers.

This month, your baby’s hearing and sight will become much more developed. Over the coming weeks they may start to turn their head when they hear your voice and recognise familiar sights, like your face.


Your baby will probably be sleeping for around 15 hours a day – 12 hours at night and 2 or 3 naps during the day.

As your baby’s growing stomach can accommodate more milk, you may find they are sleeping up to 6 or 7 hours in a row. Now they are a bit older it’s a great time to start introducing a regular bedtime and scheduled naps.


Your baby should still only be drinking breast milk or formula. All the developmental changes they are going through may make them much hungrier some days. Don’t take it as a sign they are ready for weaning though – their digestive tract is still not fully developed so solid foods are off limits for a few more months.

Caring for your  3-month-old

As your baby’s hip, knee and elbow joints become stronger and more flexible they may start to roll over on their own. It’s likely to surprise you the first time they do it, so you should never leave babies unattended on a raised surface.

To help strengthen your baby’s neck muscles, try giving them regular ‘tummy time’ every day. Start with a few minutes at a time and build up to between 15 and 30 minutes.

As your baby’s senses develop, they’ll love the feel of your touch so try stroking, massaging or rocking them to help them relax. See how to give your baby a massage

Playing with your baby

Your baby is likely to be babbling away to you now. Encourage them by talking throughout the day, even if it’s only describing what you are doing. Reading is a great way to encourage language development. Try using different voices and singing to help keep baby’s interest.

You this month

As your baby develops it’s exciting to see them reaching the next milestone, but for many mums it’s an anxious time too. Remember, all babies develop at different rates so try to relax and don’t worry if your baby isn’t holding up their head or rolling yet.

Month 3 is often very rewarding for parents as you’ll find your baby is much more responsive to you. They may smile or wave their arms as you approach and stop crying if you pick them up.

Find out What to expect in month 4

Did you know..?

At 3 months your baby is developing a sense of humour. Tickle their tummy or a blow a raspberry to make them giggle.

How dads can help

As your baby’s bedtime routine develops, choose a part you want to help with like bath time or reading the bedtime story.

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