Is My Baby on Track? Spotting Developmental Delays
Month 3, Week 3
It’s normal for parents to watch, wonder, and maybe worry a little about whether their child is meeting milestones on target.
All babies are on their own timetable, and most differences are normal. But you should check with your doctor if, at this age:
- She can’t support her head well and doesn’t grasp at objects.
- She hasn’t begun to babble.
- She crosses her eyes most of the time. (eye crossing is normal in infants less than 3 months.)
- She doesn’t engage in social smiling.
Your Baby's Development This Week
As she nears her four-month birthday, your baby is developing muscles at the rate of a bodybuilder! By now, she’s getting much more control over her body.
You may recognize her newfound strength as she:
- Shows very good head control, although she may still wobble if you suddenly move her.
- Begins to master rolling from her stomach to her back, but she probably can’t roll from back to front yet.
- Raises her head and chest while lying on her stomach, and even supports her upper body by pushing up on her arms.
She may be reaching for her toys, batting them away, and even grasping her rattle. You might wonder about:
- How much she should be eating. By now, she should be taking in 4-6 ounces of formula per feeding. If she’s breastfed, she should be satisfied for at least 2-3 hours if she’s getting enough milk at a feeding. Your pediatrician will discuss starting solid foods at the 4 month checkup.
- How much she’s growing. Your baby is still in the rapid-growth newborn phase, growing about 1 to 1.5 inches and adding 1 to 1.5 pounds per month.
- What your baby can see. At this age, your baby is starting to notice differences in texture, and really enjoys bright colors.
Month 3, Week 3 Tips
- If your baby was a preemie, adjust your expectations: A baby born at 30 weeks will probably be meeting milestones 8-10 weeks after full-term babies born around the same time.
- Schedule your baby's 4-month checkup. She'll get the same vaccines that she did at her 2-month checkup.
- Your baby can't tell you if she feels sick, so watch for signs like sleeping more often than usual, being less alert when awake, being unusually fussy, and crying more often.
- Baby is growing! Stock up on diapers a size too big so you're not stuck with too-tight diapers later on.
- If you're concerned about the cost and environmental impact of disposables, consider switching to cloth diapers.
- Are you bathing your baby every day? Until she starts eating solids and crawling, she doesn't need it. If it has become part of your nightly routine, you don't have to use soap daily. Otherwise try 2-3 baths a week, and keep her carefully wiped down.
- Be very careful and supervise your baby when she is on a changing table, bed, or any above-floor surface. She loves to practice rolling, so keep her safe.