Your baby's first three months of life will be filled with lots of eating, sleeping, and crying… but you'll also see your baby grow and develop so much during this time! From your baby's first smile to coos and bubble blowing — all of this and more are in store for you during these first 12 weeks with your little one.
We understand how stressful these first few months with your newborn can be, so we wanted to help by providing a little insight into your baby's development during their first year of life.
Your baby's first month is all about adjusting to life outside the womb and learning how to communicate their needs to you while you adjust to your new parental role. Although your baby will likely lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight during the first week of life, they will quickly recover since newborns gain up to 1 ounce per day during their first month.
- Begin responding to loud sounds or familiar voices
- Turn or even lift their head briefly during tummy time
- Focus on faces and objects that catch their attention
Your newborn will enjoy any bonding experience you can provide during this first month, but try spending a few minutes each day moving the baby's body to help them develop muscle tone and dexterity. You can move their legs in a bicycling motion to help prepare their leg muscles for crawling and walking and clap their hands together or stretch their arms to help them learn basic motions they will soon utilize.
While your baby's first month of life is all about transitions, their second month is all about communication as they start using coos and cries to tell you what they need.
- Better head control when laying or sitting
- Smile when you touch or talk to them
- Turn their head and focus attention when someone speaks
- Communicate with coos and other sounds
- Start self-soothing when upset
By this point, you should provide your baby with daily tummy time so they can strengthen their muscles while you sing to them or move toys within their line of sight. Try to schedule 20 minutes of tummy time at least twice per day, and add more if your baby enjoys it. If tummy time upsets your baby, start with shorter intervals and rub their back during each session to help comfort them.
This month, you and your baby will start to finally settle into a consistent daily schedule. Your baby will also start moving a lot more during the day and at night, so you may want to stop swaddling your baby around this point.
- Opening and closing their hands
- Supporting themselves with their arms and lifting their chest/head during tummy time
- Kicking and stretching their legs
- Grasping and shaking toys
- Following moving objects with eyes
Now that your baby is awake more during the day, make sure you're interacting with them frequently to boost their language development. Sing to them, talk to them, and read them stories throughout the day. This age is also a great time to start playing games like peek-a-boo or making different sounds to see how your baby responds.
During their first few months of life, your baby will transform from a sleepy newborn to a highly active infant with their own unique personality. Enjoy every moment of this time, but plan ahead for what's in store during months four to six.
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