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Did You Know At 3 Months I Can...

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Publication Number: IS1604
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Language Development

  • Gurgle and coo in response to sounds

  • Make new sounds everyday

  • Cry differently depending on my need

You can play games that involve naming my body parts over and over. Repeating words such as “nose,” “eyes,” and “ears” helps me start learning right away!

Cognitive Development

  • Recognize and tell differences between family members

  • Turn my head toward sounds

Play peek-a-boo with me. Cover your face with your hands, then open them and say, “Boo!” Try moving to different parts of the room or hiding behind the furniture.

When I am awake, I am learning about the world around me. To help me learn, give me different safe objects that I can play with and inspect, such as colorful plastic bowls, measuring cups and spoons, boxes and plastic containers, and noisemakers. Place one or two of the items in a safe play area where I can reach them. I may get confused with more than two toys.

Begin to help me learn to pay attention. While I’m nursing or eating, put an object close to me to look at. Slowly move it away. This movement will make me stop sucking and “place-hold” until you put the object back. Place-holding is holding myself ready to continue an activity that has been interrupted. It allows me to learn something about the object that was so fascinating. I am taking in information from the object, and then I use my will to continue nursing.

Physical Development

  • Sit with support

  • Hold my head up while lying on my stomach

  • Turn my head, notice bright colors, and reach for objects

  • Take part of my weight on my own legs when held steady

  • Grasp a rattle placed in my fingers

  • Suck two kinds of ways while I am nursing— fast or in a slower way

I should be breastfed or using formula. To ensure proper development of my teeth and gums, make sure not to prop bottles during nap time, feeding time, or at night because the sugars in the milk and juice can ruin my baby teeth. Keep me up-to-date on my shots and check-ups.

Social/Emotional Development

  • Smile when I see my caregiver I am learning to trust my caregivers, so it is important to respond to my cries and cues. By responding to my cries, I trust that my needs will be met whether it is affection, a diaper change, or to be fed.

Even though I cannot talk yet, I love to be sung to. Sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to me.

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb, little lamb.
Mary had a little lamb,
Whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went Everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day,
School one day, school one day.
It followed her to school one day,
Which was against the rules.
It made the children laugh and play,
Laugh and play, laugh and play.
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school.

Play “This Little Piggy” with me:
(grab a toe for each line)

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy cried,
Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee
All the way home.

Here are some books that I may enjoy:

Baby Touch and Feel: Animals by Dorling Kindersly

Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Llama Llama Nighty-Night by Anna Dewdney

Give me a love message! Show me you love me by:

  • Touching me—hold me gently and securely.

  • Looking at me—look at me and smile.

  • Humming, whistling, or singing to me—if your voice is low, gentle, soothing, and full of joy and love, I will feel it!

  • Rock me—find a rocker and use it while you give me the “love messages” above.

Love messages help nurture me. This helps my brain to develop!

Each day, I should have supervised tummy time. Tummy time is important to help improve my motor skills and strengthen my muscles that are necessary to help me learn to crawl and walk. It also helps prevent flat spots from developing on the back of my head. Start out tummy time for about 5 minutes two or three times a day. During tummy time, you can place me on a soft blanket on the floor with one of my favorite toys.

Sleep helps me grow and develop. I should get 14–17 hours of sleep a day. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), place me on my back in an empty crib. An empty crib is important to prevent me from suffocating, so do not put bumper pads or stuffed animals in my crib.

Safety note: Any toys or materials that can fit inside a paper towel roll can be choking hazards for infants and toddlers. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, any object handled by young children should be at least 1.25 inch in diameter and 2.25 inches long.

Make sure all my toys have smooth edges and that toys are in good, working order. Avoid using foam or stuffed toys, because it is possible I can chew off some of the material and swallow it. Any toys with strings should be shorter than 12 inches long.

Remember that each child develops at his or her own rate, and this handout is meant only as a guide of what to expect of your child’s development at this age.

For more information about parenting and developmental milestones, contact your county Extension office or visit


American Academy of Pediatrics. (2010). Policy statement—prevention of choking among children. Retrieved from content/pediatrics/early/2010/02/22/peds.2009-2862. full.pdf

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Birth to one year: What should my child be able to do? Retrieved from speech/development/01/

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Your baby at 2 months. Retrieved from http://www.

National Sleep Foundation. (2015). How much sleep do we really need? Retrieved from

Safe to Sleep. (2015). Babies need tummy time! Retrieved from Pages/tummytime.aspx


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Portrait of Dr. Louise E. Davis
Extension Professor
Child and Family Development, Child and Family Well-Being, Child Care-Giver Training, Parenting Educ

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