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  • For Your 3-Month-Old Baby, Here Are Pedia-Recommended Developmental Activities

    You can help your baby achieve her developmental milestones.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
For Your 3-Month-Old Baby, Here Are Pedia-Recommended Developmental Activities
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  • At age 3 months old, your baby gains approximately 30 percent of his weight since birth and 20 percent of his length. Development is at its fastest during this first quarter of life compared to the succeeding months. You can help your baby achieve the expected milestones at this point with 3 months old developmental activities.

    Developmental milestones are "behavioral, functional or physical skills that most children of a certain age-group are able to do," says Dr. Joey Cuayo-Estanislao, a pediatrician at member of Smart Parenting Board of Experts. "They're a way for us to gauge that our kids are developing as expected."

    Dr. Cuayo-Estanislao explains, "Milestones are behaviors and skills that emerge over time, and they are the building blocks for your child’s growth, developmental and continued learning. It’s important to allow your child to practice these skills, explore their bodies and their environment, and engage and interact with them to help them achieve their milestones."

    The pediatrician, who's also called Doc Joey, has this to say for parents when tracking their children's developmental milestones: "While there is a typical age when most children are able to achieve a milestone, it’s good to remember that each child develops at their own pace. It’s important to always check in with your pediatrician so they can help you monitor your child’s development."

    3-month-old milestones

    At this point, according to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), the "totally dependent newborn" becomes an "active and responsive infant." You may notice that your baby doesn't react as fast because of the so-called newborn reflexes. She's now learning voluntary control of her body, that's why she focuses more on moving her hands.

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    Physical development

    1. Baby mini push-ups

    When baby's on her belly, like during tummy time, she can already raise her head and chest by pushing her arms and upper body up. She can also stretch her limbs to strengthen her muscles. But don't get too worried if your baby can't do this yet, as many others reach this milestone until 6 months old.

    2. Core and limb strength

    You may notice your baby stretching her legs when you try to make her stand. She also needs help when trying to sit while still gaining more her core muscles.

    3. Eye and hand control

    Baby's eye and hand gain coordination, that why she grabs anything that's offered to her or just within her grasp. She gets to exercise her grasp by doing the close-open hand routine. Meanwhile, her eyes tend to follow whatever catches her attention, thus she turns cross-eyed at time.

    Cognitive development

    1. Recognition of faces and voices

    Baby starts recognizing the people and things around her as she become curious of her environment. That's why she appears to be communicating with you through nodding, smiling, or just listening. She likes hearing your voice, but she gets startled with loud sounds.

    2. Imitation of sounds

    Baby makes sound using her mouth, or what's called babbling. She also imitates what she hears. That's why you should start teaching her words like "mama," "dada," ah," "mwah," and other simple words.

    Social and emotional development

    1. Enjoying play time and being more expressive

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    As baby gets to see more people, she learns to interact with them and actually likes the attention. She oftens smiles, laughs, and gets playful. But she tends to cry when you stop playing with her. In general, baby becomes more expressive. She uses her face and body to communicate, like she enjoys watching your face and moves.

    Developmental activities for 3 months old

    At three months, says Dr. Cuayo-Estanislao, "baby should hopefully be more comfortable with their tummy time (remember: you can start tummy time in short increments even as a newborn!). The muscles they use and hone, and the motions and positions they are able to use while prone are important to getting ready for other big motor milestones, such as rolling over and crawling."

    She adds, "Head and neck stability is also better developed when baby is allowed daily and frequent tummy time sessions. Remember that baby should only ever be tummy down when they are awake and alert. Back is safest and best when sleeping."

    Here are the pediatrician's recommendations:

    1. You can start trying to hand them toys that are large enough for them to grasp.

    2. You can also put toys within their area for them to try and reach for. Since we know they are already starting to build this skill of reaching and grasping, it would be good to be wary of the items in baby's area.

    3. Avoid strings, wires, heavy objects, etc that they might suddenly grab or pull down and cause injury.

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    4. Talk to your baby frequently, let her enjoy different environments and settings. 

    Doc Joey also points out, "At this age, they're also a lot more observant of their surroundings and a lot more engaged in their interactions with you.

    5. Build a routine for your baby's day, if you haven't yet at this point.

    The pediatrician explains on why this example of 3 months old developmental activities is recommended: "This is the time when they also start anticipating routines. A consistent and predictable routine gives your baby more security and also does have a positive impact in helping them with their sleep and nap schedules, down the line."

    Read here on baby milestones at 4 months.

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