Baby Milestones: 3 Month-Old Baby Development

  • Ergobaby
  • Mar 14, 2024
Baby Tummy time

We’re back again with our blog series sharing baby milestones by month titled “Baby’s Developmental Milestones With Ergobaby: Baby’s First Year. Today is the third instalment with the 3 month-old baby development steps and milestones. So, what can a baby do when they have been in this world for a quarter of a year? Our midwife and expert Katrin shares more…

Are you ready for a little more action? Your baby definitely is. They are moving out of the period where they familiarise themselves with this big new world and the urge to explore is awakened. They have left the initial adjustment difficulties behind, and your little treasure is feeling more and more at home in this world. If they suffer from flatulence, for example, this should improve by the end of the third month. This is because the digestive tract has now adjusted to the new way of eating. And maybe your sleep-wake rhythm is already working for you? If so, enjoy it. And the fact that you are now more and more experienced in dealing with your newborn.

3 month-old baby development – these are the baby milestones to look for:

Symmetrical elbow support in the prone position

Symmetry is the big magic word in your three-month-old baby’s development. That’s why symmetrical elbow support is the hallmark of this developmental stage. The palms of the hands lie open on the surface and are initially used for support, not for playing.

Head control is increasing

With elbow support, head control also becomes increasingly secure. While the head was only lifted briefly and held in the centre in the prone position (on their tummy) during the last stage of development, it is now properly supported by the torso. The more interesting an object is that your baby wants to look at and discover from the prone position, the more it straightens up and must balance in this position. It’s a great workout for your little one. The best way for them to do this is in comfortable clothes on a blanket on the floor. This allows them to move freely in line with their development.

By the way: your baby should be able to rest their head loosely on both sides of the mat at this point. If they only do this on one side, there may be a risk of asymmetry. If this is the case, you should clarify this with your midwife or GP.

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3-month baby milestones in the supine position

By the end of the third month, your child will also be increasingly stable in the supine position (on their backs). The spine has now fully developed so that your baby can lie relatively straight. They can now stabilise their torso so that they can move their arms and legs freely. And they can do this more and more symmetrically and consciously. With activated abdominal muscles, your baby can now stretch both legs upwards at the same time. So much so that the hip and knee joints can easily form a 90-degree angle. They love this position because it allows them to watch their feet in peace.

Hands and feet open up

During this time, you will also notice that the grasping reflex is weakening more and more. In fact, your baby is now opening its hands. If it has a toy in its hand, it cannot yet consciously hold on to it. It will probably fall to the floor. If you place your baby in a baby bouncer with a play arch or under a mobile, for example, it will probably remain lying there quietly and only hit it with its hand by chance. Wait until the end of the fourth month so that your little one can see the toys and animals better and reach for them.

Their feet will also “open up” and become more mobile. This can be recognised by the fact that the soles of your little treasure’s feet move closer and closer together and touch each other slightly when kicking.

Their eyes track toys and faces

Your child is now able to bring their hands together in front of their face and then move them to their mouth. This trains hand-eye-mouth coordination. As a result, they will also learn to move their eyes better and in a more controlled way. For example, it can follow a toy that it finds interesting with its head and eyes or make eye contact with a parent and hold it for a while. This is the beginning of fine motor skills.

3-month baby milestones – important information

The fact that symmetrical elbow support is a milestone in the development of a three-month-old baby is not just something you say. You can recognise whether your baby’s motor development has got off to a good start. The ability to make and maintain eye contact is also a key feature at this stage. We would therefore like to remind you once again that you should see your paediatrician if your baby…

  • constantly holds their hands in a fist
  • shows excessive movements
  • does not lift their legs off the floor when lying on their back and crosses them at ankle level
  • does not fixate on faces
  • does not react to loud noises
  • overstretches and twists while lying on their stomach or leans on their outstretched arms while lying on their stomach, but makes fists at the same time

But don’t let the above worry you as most little ones do just fine! And please don’t worry if your little one doesn’t tick off all of the baby milestones above in one day. Every child is different and has their own pace of development. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned developmental stages are good guidelines.

3 month-old baby development – what they can already do!

It’s amazing, isn’t it? Only three months with you and your baby has already adapted so well to their new surroundings. Even if it only seems like small mini steps on the outside, they are huge for your little one. By the way, if you would like to continue reading about your baby’s progress on a regular basis, why not sign up for our Baby Steps newsletter? It will provide you with lots of interesting information about your little one’s developmental journey at exactly the right time. And, of course, keep checking back here regularly. You can find this blog article again, if you type “3 month-old baby development” or “baby milestones” in the blog search. And the next milestone blog will follow here soon. Things are progressing in small, big steps…