keep in mind, that all babies are unique. Whether your baby
reaches milestones early or late, she has her own developmental
path to follow. The dividing lines between these months are
very fuzzy. If you have any concerns or questions about your
babyís development, please check with her health care provider.
Many believe the end of the third
month is a milestone for parents. Often baby has settled,
meaning she has developed a routine of sleep, feeding and
play. Baby is now very clear about her cues. You will probably
find yourself telling people all about how your babyís particular
habits, likes and dislikes. This knowledge is important for
all parents, including those thinking about childcare.
Clear communication with the childcare
provider is very important. You are the expert of your baby.
Establishing and maintaining a predictable schedule is especially
important for a baby in child care. Write down what you know
about your babyís schedule including sleeping and feeding
Does baby like to be sung a certain
lullaby when she is falling asleep? Does she only drink breast
milk or a particular formula? Does she like to go on a morning
walk? Does she like to be held a certain way? Does she need
to be burped right after she eats?
Explain these predictable parts
of babyís day for the sitter or nanny to continue. With such
a routine, when babies know what happens next, they feel secure
and safe. Having this security as a foundation is important
for baby to feel confident so she can stretch out, explore
her world and learn.
I know you!
At this age, babies can start to
recognize people and special objects. Some babies have a specific
blanket or soft toy that they regard as a lovie. If so, bring
it to the childcare setting for her to hold when she needs
to be comforted. You may even want to leave a photograph of
mommy and daddy and any other special members of the family,
such as a family pet, for baby to hold.
When baby misses mommy during the
day, having a photo to gaze at can be very comforting. She
may not make the connection yet, that the smiling woman in
the photo is mommy, but she will soon. These tools are also
helpful for the childcare provider when she needs to comfort
You may notice baby being able
to hold up her head steadily when upright. She also, when
on her tummy, may be holding herself up at 45 degrees, some
even at 90 degrees. Try holding her upright on her feet. Does
she bear some weight for fleeting moments on her feet? While
you are playing with baby, put in her in different positions
-- supporting her while sitting, standing against your chest,
on her back under a dangly set of toys and on her tummy. There
may be more positions that you know she likes. Each one gives
her a different vantage point on her world while helping her
grow and develop strong muscles.
The Real First Toys
A wonderful discovery for baby
this month are two very practical toys -- her hands. They
move, can be easily seen, have funny little fingers and easily
fit in her mouth. Baby will start out playing with her hands
by moving them, wiggling her fingers and watching them intently.
Bringing both hands to her midline
and clasping is another discovery. Soon after, baby realizes
her hands can be used as a tool. She can use them to touch
interesting objects. When mom and dad show her a toy, she
will discover that she can hold onto it with her hands. She
may move her hand while holding a rattle and hear the distinctive
sound. She may look at you as if to say, "Did I do that?"
This is the beginning of cause
and effect. She is developing that part of the brain where
she learns that she can make things happen. She will then
probably try to put the rattle in her mouth. This is all part
of exploring and learning what she can do.
For a real treat, prop baby in
front of the mirror. Some babies lie on the backs or tummies
and gaze for many minutes at their reflection. Others squeal
and laugh. Mirrors are a wonderful toy for babies to learn
about themselves. You can support her by talking to her about
what is seen. Point out her nose, head, eyes. She will love
the attention and will surely smile back at her beautiful