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    Baby Development: Your 3-month-old

    Third Month Baby Milestones: The Senses

    Your 3-month-old’s hearing and vision are improving. Babies this age turn their heads and smile at the sound of their parents’ voices, and they love listening to all kinds of music.

    Your baby will still prefer to look at brightly colored toys. That’s because sharp contrasts are easier to see. Faces are absolutely fascinating to 3-month-old babies. Look at him and he will stare back into your eyes. Your infant will also gaze intently at his own reflection in a crib mirror.

    Third Month Baby Milestones: Communication

    At three months, your baby is becoming more of a unique human being. This is the stage that child psychiatrist Margaret Mahler referred to as ''hatching,'' when babies come out of their ''shells'' and begin to react and relate to the world around them. Part of this hatching process involves interacting with people and smiling for pleasure, otherwise known as social smiles.

    By the third month, crying is no longer your baby’s primary method of communication. In fact, 3-month-old babies should cry for no more than an hour each day. If the crying exceeds this, or seems excessive to you, schedule a visit with your pediatrician, because reflux or another medical problem may be behind the tears.

    Instead of crying, your baby is starting to communicate in other ways, such as cooing and making vowel sounds (''oh'' and ''ah,'' for example). Engage your little one in conversation by responding to these sounds and narrating what you are doing when you are together. Say, ''I’m going to change your diaper now,'' or, ''It’s time for lunch!'' Your baby will listen raptly to the sound of your voice and watch facial expressions as you talk. Eventually, he will start forming his own sounds and making his own gestures. Having conversations is also a great way to bond with your baby.

    Third Month Baby Milestones: Missed Milestones

    Every baby is a little different. Don’t be alarmed if your 3-month-old misses a milestone, especially if he was born prematurely. However, do call your pediatrician if your baby hasn’t done the following things by three months:

    • Responded to noises
    • Followed people or objects with his eyes
    • Smiled
    • Reached for objects

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