Month 3 With Your Baby!
Your baby is becoming much more active and expressive at 3 months old, giving lots of smiles to you but now also others as he has just discovered that smiling makes the people around him very happy indeed (and that means more cuddles for him!) At this age he is becoming more accustomed to cycles of day and night and as a result, he may just be sleeping better at night, for longer stretches. If not, we have some suggestions for you to think about below.
Month 3 Of What To Expect From Your Baby
Baby is still doing a lot of uncoordinated movements with his limbs, particularly his hands as he tries to bring these new ‘playthings’ towards himself to explore them more carefully. He probably fails more often than not though since his motor skills aren’t quite perfected yet but it is rather adorable to watch him try.
Tactile and sensory items are of particular interest to him now, as he notices the difference between soft and smooth, warm and cool or rough and hard. He loves spending time touching things and sensing how different they all seem.
Try this: baby is making a conscious effort to use his limbs and explore different sensations and you should encourage him by giving him differently textured objects or toys like terry cloth soft toys, plastic ones, etc to grab on to or pull at.
Baby’s strength is a whole lot better now. He can pack quite a powerful kick and if it is aimed in your direction you can immediately see how much better he can control his limbs now. It’s around this age that baby may start to roll over intentionally. He’ll practice first rolling from his stomach onto his side and then back onto his stomach again. He’ll perfect this manoeuvre before eventually rolling all the way from his tummy to his back. This little exercise is great for his tummy muscle development!
This month also marks the next round of vaccinations, and the good news is, if baby didn’t have a negative reaction to the first round, he’s less likely to after these ones too.
Crying is still common at this age, although colic should be tapering off now. There are many reasons for crying at night and night wakings. At this stage it can still be hunger, comfort needed, baby is uncomfortable (too hot or too cold), upset tummy, or even habit can be the reason now. What does your gut tell you it is? If you’re unsure, go through all the checkpoints and see if anything helps. Here’s a guide on room temperature and clothing for baby to use when it comes to getting the room comfort right:
The right temperature
Getting the correct temperature for your baby to sleep comfortably can be a tricky task! Many moms are worried about baby overheating, but it’s also important to keep baby warm enough. Here’s some really helpful tips to try.
- Firstly, only use breathable bedding and clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton, bamboo or wool. Avoid any synthetic material or lining such as polyester, and elastane. This will keep baby warm without overheating.
- A good place to start with room temperature is 18 degrees celsius or 65 degrees fahrenheit with a single sheet and two cellular blankets OR a 2.5 tog sleeping bag. The blankets should come no higher than baby’s shoulders. You can remove or add one if she feels too warm or cold. To check bay’s temperature properly, feel chest or stomach, not her hands. At 18 degrees celsius, baby can be dressed in a long sleeve onesie/jumpsuit.
- You will need to experiment with clothing layers and blankets depending on the temperature of the room and if your baby runs ‘hot’ or ‘colder’ – every baby is slightly different.
- We recommend sleeping bags and swaddles over blankets and sheets, particularly as baby starts to roll during sleep. This way, baby can’t get tangled up in blankets, or kick them off during sleep. You can get sleeping bags now that have arm sleeves as well, making them ideal for colder weather.
- Do not place baby next to a heater to try and keep warm. Instead use more layers if you feel they are cold, or gently heat the room with a reverse cycle air conditioner or oil heater that will not dry out the air. Adding a humidifier to the room can help add moisture back into the air if you do need to heat the room.
- Do remember that often the temperature outside dips at 4-5am so baby may need extra warmth at this time if they are waking.
” I used sleeping bags for my baby right up until he was 3. It was a sleep association for him and I didn’t have to worry about him being restricted getting tangled up in blankets, which happened whenever I tried to use them because he rolled around in bed so much. He hated bulky/thick bags though. I found the thinner bamboo or merino wool bags were perfect for him.” Andrea
Habit wake ups?
Sometimes it’s hard to know at this stage if your baby is waking out of habit or a true need. If you haven’t already, introducing a white noise machine in the background during sleep can be a good sleep association and it also introduces something constant for baby to focus on to help drift back into sleep when he transitions between sleep cycles. A pacifier or dummy could also be another sleep association or soother that technically does not require you, however keep in mind baby will need you to help him find it when it falls out of his mouth ( or later, when he throws it out because it’s fun to watch where it lands!).
Month 3 Of What To Expect From Yourself
If you’re breastfeeding your baby and you suspect she becomes more unsettled the day after or a few hours after you’ve eaten certain foods, check out some common foods to avoid during breastfeeding or at least not consume in excess while you’re breastfeeding. Try limiting these, keep a record of baby’s patterns and see if it makes a difference. If baby has an allergy, you will more than likely be seeing rashes, frothy stools, and baby may even be losing weight in extreme cases. Allergies can be identified by an immunologist or your healthcare provider can recommend further testing.
Keep spending time with baby held close to your body so that she can feel the warmth of your skin against hers. This is especially helpful when she is upset or crying and simply won’t calm down.
Do put him on his tummy for some time (maybe 5 to 15 minutes) every day to strengthen his neck muscles and encourage him to hold his head up on his own.