Baby is now 3 months old! She is now showing changes both mentally and physically and is no longer the tiny baby who slept through most of the day, waking up only for milk. Changes are taking place every minute, making it difficult for mums or even dads to leave them even for a while for fear of missing a significant step in their development.
Baby, who appeared so fragile and helpless as a newborn, is now more aware of her surroundings. Her brain continues to undergo growth and myelination, a process where the nerves are covered with myelin. As a result, she acquires new skills and abilities which can be broadly classified as motor, vision, speech and hearing.
Watching the World Go By
Rather than lie passively when placed on a mattress or a bed, she is now able to lift her head up a few inches from the mattress. By the age of three months she is also able to support her weight on her forearms, allowing her to look at her surroundings. Her bedsheet or playmat is now a source of amusement to her. Her vision has also improved and she is now able to follow objects at 180 degress horizontally. She is thus able to watch people walking past her cot or playpen hile she lies on her tummy.
Some babies learn to roll over when they are about three months old. It is important not to leave them on a raised surface such as a bed or changing table as they could roll off and hurt themselves. If baby does not roll over at this stage, do not be alarmed as the normal range is up to six months.
Her fingers are also no longer held in a fist. Instead, they are open, ready to experience new sensations. Anything placed in the palm of the hand will be grasped although she is as yet unable to reach out for objects. One way of amusing her would be to place a soft rattle in her hand. Watch her shake the rattle!
Sights and Sounds
She is able to hear but is still not able to turn to the source of the sound. Very often, she will stop whimpering once she hears your voice or a voice that is familiar to her. She will also show a startled expression when there is sudden loud noise such as door banging or thunder.
Your little one is also learning to speak through listening to others. Speech at this point consists mainly of vowels and is known as cooing. Though her words are limited to “ooo”, “eeee” and “aaaaa”, her expression and intonation vary widely according to her mood. She is also very responsive and chuckles freely; in short, your house will be filled with laughter and chatter, none of which is understood by anyone.
Babies at this age enjoy colourful objects.You can stimulate her by placing colourful cot borders and
bedsheets. Baby gyms are also useful in helping her improve her eye-hand coordination and muscle power.
However, the most useful stimulus is still her parents. Smother her with kisses and give her lots of hugs. Speak and sing to her. The tactile, visual and auditory stimuli will let her know that she is loved. Studies have also shown that children thrive better in a loving environment. Do not feel bad if you cannot buy her expensive toys. Remember, you are the most precious developmental aid your child can have.