Your baby's development - the first 3 months
ZP® - English, 21 March 2019 14:28Laatste update op: 21 March 2019 14:34
Your baby is developing extremely fast during the first year. Below you will find an overview of your baby’s development in a nutshell.
Keep in mind that an overview like this always talks about an ‘average’ baby. You baby can be quicker or slower and this is perfectly healthy. Don't worry too quickly and if in doubt, always contact an expert.
Baby one month old
Your baby is capable of doing quite some remarkable things; he or she
- looks at your face and that of others very attentively.
- listens to the sound of your voice.
- lifts its head for a short period when you lay it on its belly. Your baby can’t do this for a long time yet, but does enjoy practicing this.
- can turn its head from one side to the other, but the neck muscles are definitely not strong enough to keep the head upright. Continue to support your baby’s neck when picking it up.
Baby 2 months old
- now also supports itself by its arms when you put him or her on its belly. Your baby can keep this up much longer and can lie down in this position to look around.
- follows moving objects with the eyes and finds this very interesting.
- starts to babble, also as a reaction to your words.
- now also wants to be with other babies.
- stretches and bends its legs to kick when lying on its back.
Baby 3 months old
There are quite some changes happening with your baby.
- the first baby reflexes are now gradually disappearing.
- the first signs of hand-eye coordination can now be seen.
- the baby is old enough to receive more food and therefore also to sleep for seven hours nonstop. You can now look forward to normal nights.
- baby’s sight and hearing are increasingly improving and your baby is enjoying sounds, colors and movement.
- your baby is interacting more and more and will laugh out loud when seeing a friendly face.
Baby after 3 months old
When the day is calm, there is more chance of a quiet night. If your baby doesn’t have to process too many stimuli during the day and gets enough rest, he or she will also sleep better at night. It is a good idea to keep a routine so your baby can recognize what is going to happen. Always adapt a routine to your baby’s needs. Postponing of feedings because it doesn’t fit in a routine is not practical for anyone. It’s not about how much a baby drinks per feeding, but how much it drinks in a day.
Because babies often lie with their arms above the blankets, the cold often wakes them up. A sleeping bag with sleeves keeps your baby’s arms nice and warm. A fixed sleeping ritual is essential for young children. The repetition of the ritual makes their world safe and predictable. For example, you could read the same book or sing the same song every night.
Say goodnight when your baby is still awake. Then audibly stay present in the hallway for a while. The sound of your familiar voice makes it easier to fall asleep. Sometimes a baby needs your presence to give into sleep. If this is the case, stay in sight of your baby for a little while and gradually reduce this when things are going well. A baby can only learn that the bed is safe when it knows you are nearby. This is why many babies still wake up several times a night. This way your baby knows you are there, wants to feel you, smell you or wants another sip of milk.
As you may be going back to work around this time, it would be nice to get some more sleep. In order not to get too tired yourself, it is a good idea to go to bed a little earlier…
By playing peekaboo games often during the day, your baby learns that something that is gone, still continues to exist and comes back. We call this concept object permanence, a milestone in its development. In a few months your baby will understand that you still exist when you are out of sight, but you can already practice this by playing peekaboo. Because your baby doesn’t really understand this until around six months, it will be easier for him or her to sleep alone after this time.
In the first two years of its life, the first half of the brain cells are developed. Genetically, everyone is given a certain capacity of nerve cells in the brain. Eventually, the environment determines how the brain connections are refined. If you offer a baby a challenging environment, it will retain the area that is needed for it.
Language is an example of this. If a baby gets to hear many different sounds from a language during the first six months, then it will be capable later in life of distinguishing various subtle sounds. Because he or she will not hear Japanese sounds, for example, the connections in the brain that are needed for this will be removed. And with that, the possibility of learning to speak fluent Japanese.
During the first years, the brain is extremely flexible and therefore the growth and development options as well.
It may be a little early, but it is possible that your baby is already working hard on turning. A child that has learned to play on its belly, will first learn to roll on its back by lying on its belly and rolling over to its side, and through this rolling experience and playing with legs and knees, your baby will switch to learning to turn from back to belly. Ninety percent of children can do both of these by the age of nine months.
Perhaps an arm will get stuck at first. Do not immediately help your baby if he or she is struggling with that arm, but motivate him or her to get the arm to come forward. A little bit of frustration in attempting this can lead to progress. Don’t wait too long with this, but you will see that your baby can already solve a lot of things all by itself.