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Your 3 month old baby's development

Advice on your three month old baby's development, with information on developmental stages, milestones and coordination of the senses.
This month your may really notice your baby's personality begin to develop. She may start to chat and coo in response to sounds and show excitement when she sees people or objects that she recognises. Your baby will also become a lot stronger and really start to move her arms, legs and head confidently as she explores her environment. If they haven't already, her sleep patterns may start to settle as she stays awake for longer periods of time.

Physical development

This month your baby will begin to gear herself up for her first developmental milestone - rolling over. Although she probably won't be ready to attempt this for a while yet, all the practicing she is doing will definitely help.

Her neck muscles are much stronger now and she may be able to hold her head straight while you support her body. When you lay her on her tummy she may begin to use her arms to push her whole chest off the floor and enjoy rocking backwards and forwards. She may also begin to start pushing off the floor with her legs as they become stronger and while this helps her prepare for crawling stance, it is unlikely that she'll coordinate the two movements for while.

As your baby gains more control over her arms and legs they become stronger; she may now be able to support some of her own weight when you hold her upright. You may notice that when you hold your baby in a standing position she lifts one leg into the air as if taking a step, this is known as the 'stepping reflex'.

This month she may learn to coordinate the movement of her hands and fingers a little better and enjoy clasping her hands together. You may also notice her making a lot more coordinated movement with her arms and legs.

Over the next month your baby may become a very social character and love to have 'conversations' with you. Speak slowly and give her time to coo a response after you've finished - she is learning about the structure of language all the time and will begin to understand what you are saying to her a long time before she is able to reply.

You may notice that your baby begins to show an obvious preference for her parents. She may begin to look around the room for you and then laugh, squeal and kick when she sees you. She may also begin holding her arms out as a sign that she wants to be hugged or picked up.

Development of the senses

Vision - When your baby discovers her fingers she becomes more interested in grabbing and exploring new objects with her hands and mouth. Her hand-eye coordination is developing all the time, so while her movements are becoming more precise it will take her a while to refine this skill. As her eyesight develops she will become more interested in looking at more complex patterns and will begin to clearly recognise more detailed characteristics. She will love to stare at the different contours of your face and will also enjoy seeing her reflection in the mirror. It is as a result of this development that your baby begins to recognise your face in more detail and becomes excited when she sees you.

Hearing - Your baby will become more proficient at localising sounds all around her and will begin to turn her head in the sources direction. Your baby may also start to 'answer' sounds by laughing, gurgling or cooing and will love being talked to. She will respond to sudden, loud sounds by going quiet or crying.

Touch - Your baby will really begin to explore objects with her hands and will enjoy holding toys and waving them around. Your baby may begin to explore her own face with her fingers so make sure you keep your nails short to avoid scratches. You may notice that your baby holds her hands more open and begins to practice grasping objects of interest.

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