The first four weeks of sleepless nights, burping after meals, and milk warming during the wee hours of the morning will quickly turn into the second, third and fourth month of your baby’s life. It is during this period when you will witness your baby interacting with different people, sounds, and objects. She will become more interested in listening to your voice and playing with soft toys. She will still need a lot of sleep, but will be more alert when it comes to the new world around her.
You need to become familiar with these milestones. Knowledge about what your baby can and cannot do at certain points in her early life will help you prepare for special moments, and will also aid you in helping her get used to new experiences.
Second Month Milestones
At two months old, your baby is no longer a newborn. She will still cry for milk and attention, but she will also exhibit improved motor skills and senses. For instance, she will be able to see things from about 18 inches away. Her eyes will also be able to see the details of your face clearer than she was able to back in her first month.
Also, it is during this time when you can gradually teach her to fall asleep by herself. You will still have to wait for her permanent sleep cycles to become apparent, but you can already teach her how to fall asleep on her own by leaving her in the crib once she is drowsy.
Your baby will also be more attuned to your voice and gestures. She will be able to respond better to your attention. This is the month when you may get to see your baby smile back at you! By now, she will begin gurgling and cooing, aside from the usual expression of hunger and discomfort through crying.
She will also actively kick her feet every now and then, and her hands will now reach out to grab things, though her grasp must still be developed. Also, your baby should now be given enough tummy time for early posture health. She must also get used to the tummy-down position in preparation for another milestone later on: crawling.
When it comes to a scheduled doctor’s appointment, you can expect that your baby will be weighed, measured, and tested for normal eye reactions, as well as hand and feet movement. Since your baby is now more receptive to bolder, brighter colors, your doctor might wave a plastic or stuffed toy just to see how your child will respond.
Be prepared to answer questions about your child’s feeding and defecating routine. Some doctors also inquire about a baby’s sleep cycles and may be able to offer invaluable advice on the subject, especially if they are mothers themselves. Afterwards, your doctor may administer or schedule the next round of Hepatitis, and Polio vaccines among others.
Third Month Developments
The third month is a particularly special time for parents and babies alike. This is the period of fast and evident growth. By now, your baby will have developed a more or less predictable pattern of sleep. At this point, you will surely be able to identify her body cues with accuracy. You now know when she is crying for hunger, for attention, or because she soiled her diaper. Your baby will have certainly smiled or giggled at you several times already, and your relatives will have witnessed you telling countless stories about how she prefers her elephant stuffed toy to her pink blanket, and so on.
When you carry her in an upright position, she will most likely be able to hold up her head on her own. You still need to support her neck and back, of course, but you will also be able to count on her for some help in that department. More curious than ever, your baby will not only swing her fist at interesting objects, she will also try to grasp them in her fingers, or place that object into her mouth. Her kicks are stronger now, and they often accompany her giggling.
During tummy time, a 3-month old baby will make an effort to hold her head slightly upwards. This is a sure sign that she is transitioning from passively lying in the crib to crawling all over her pillows and blankets very soon. Some babies are even strong enough at this age to be held in a standing position. Their legs will bear a little weight, and might even show the kicking reflex that signals her muscles figuring out the basics of walking.
Another milestone for your baby in the physical and mental department is that, when placed in front of a mirror, she will gaze at her reflection intently, and perhaps make an attempt to touch it. It will not be long until she learns that what she is seeing in the mirror is, in fact, herself!
Fourth Month Markers
By the time she is four months old, your child will have grown from a fragile, helpless newborn to a strong, healthy, and infinitely curious baby. The fourth month of your baby’s life is just as exciting as the second and third.
During this period, your baby’s growth will focus on how she interacts with her environment. With heightened senses of sight and sound, she will begin showing interest in play gyms, different colored toys, and objects that emit music or sounds. It is also during this period that she will learn how to turn from lying on her back to lying on her stomach. Her tummy time can now be increased indefinitely because she will revert to a more comfortable position if she becomes tired of pushing herself up on her stomach.
She will also begin to show an interest in simple games such as clapping hands to a nursery rhyme, playing peek-a-boo, or laughing as you tickle her tummy. She will now be able to use both hands to grab at a toy, and hold on to it for a while. This means that she will also automatically put new objects into her mouth to see if they are going to give her milk.
Your feeding schedule and vaccination or check-up schedule with the doctor will be lessened by this time as well. Your baby will begin spending more time looking at and touching the world around her than feeding at your breast or bottle, or sleeping.
Watch baby grow, and be an active part of her life!
Continue feeding and bathing your baby as often as you see fit, or as your doctor prescribes. Aside from playing games and singing songs, or reading books to your baby, there is not much you will need to change. The main goal of the second, third and fourth months of babyhood is for your child to continue growing uninterrupted by stress or sickness. Allow her to learn that the people around her love her dearly, and that the world is a beautiful place to live in.