What's the baby up to?
Month 3 is an exciting month as your baby’s personality begins to show and she becomes more awake and
alert during the day. She’ll respond to familiar sounds and voices and show excitement when she sees
people or objects that she recognises.
Her movements are becoming more coordinated and she’ll have found her midline so she’s able to bring
her hands to her mouth to self-soothe and isn’t flailing around as much. She may even smile at you
when she wants to be picked up.
One of the best things about this month is that your baby will finally start sleeping in more settled
patterns with a possible six-hour stretch at night. Your baby may still wake for the occasional feed
but these times will be more predictable and will more than likely be in the early morning rather than
the middle of the night. She’s likely to have dropped her regular catnaps through the day and now has
two solid daytime naps.
Your baby’s digestive tract is still extremely immature and not ready to take in anything but breastmilk.
If you’re breastfeeding exclusively then make sure your baby is getting enough breastmilk by ensuring you
feed her at your breast until she stops drinking by herself.
You will know whether your baby is getting enough milk by the number of wet nappies she has in a day.
Less than 4 or 5 and infrequent stools mean she’s probably not getting enough.
Back to work
If you're concerned about having to go back to work, don't forget that you can express milk.
There are lots of fantastic products and articles to help moms express.
Expressing milk is an answer for working mothers who still want to breastfeed.
Express three times during the day e.g. at morning tea time, during lunch time and mid-afternoon.
Whatever was expressed on the Monday at work would be offered to the baby on the Tuesday.
Sterilise your breast pump at home and keep it in a closed container at work when you are not using it.
Note that breast pumps should never be reused, shared, hired or sold.
It is not necessary to refrigerate the expressed milk until you get home. However, breast milk for preterm
babies needs to be refrigerated within 6 - 8 hours. Using this method, you will be able to fully breastfeed
your baby for as long as you want to.
Stimulating your 3-month-old baby
You can extend the time your baby spends on her tummy as she’s getting ready to get mobile and will need a
great deal of muscle strength to achieve this. It’s a great game for her if you place a favourite toy just
out of her reach when she’s on her tummy. This way she has to work a little harder to grab at it and will
get an extra workout.
Your baby loves nothing more than gazing up into your face, but now she’s going to want to communicate with
you while she’s doing it. So start conversations with her where you both get a chance to talk.
You say something and wait for her to “coo” back at you.
Believe it or not, your baby is already learning about the structure of language and will begin to understand
what you are saying to her long before she is able to reply. Read, talk and sing to her whenever you can.
You can also play her music. Some believe in the "Mozart effect", that listening to Mozart (or certain other
classical music, like Bach) will stimulate brain development and ultimately make a child more intelligent.
The jury is still out on this, but there's nothing wrong with playing some Mozart, and any other kind of
music you enjoy, to your baby.
By now your baby has good head and neck control.
How to exercise your baby?
You can exercise your baby’s arms by gently pulling them across her chest, then stretching them above her
head and alternating both arms up and down. This crosses her midline and also teaches her coordination.
After her bath, place your baby onto her tummy and massage her back and bottom with baby oil, then turn her
over and massage her tummy – up, around and across her navel.
Now "march" her legs, extend them and press her knees into her tummy. Your baby will thoroughly enjoy these
physical exercises – and the quality time with you.
Go back to the complete list of Baby week-by-week updates.