Growth and development: Infants 0 to 3 months
Your new baby has arrived and an amazing new relationship has begun.
Over the past nine months, your baby has grown and developed within the womb. The growth and development continues long after the delivery of your baby. As a parent, you have the ability to help nurture your baby so that they reach their fullest potential.
Things to consider
You may have heard of the term skin-to-skin, but what does that mean? Skin-to-skin is when you hold your naked baby (or wearing only a diaper) on a mother or partner’s bare chest. There are many benefits both physically and emotionally for all. Making these early connections will build the foundation for a healthy attachment and bond with your infant. Hold and cuddle your new baby skin-to-skin as often as possible in the months after birth.
A baby’s language
When a baby cries, or sucks on their hands, these are some examples of “cues”. A baby’s cues are their own special language and way of communicating with the world around them. As you get to know your baby, you will start to notice that different cues mean different things. It takes time to learn this language, and by responding to your baby’s needs and cues early on, will helps your baby feel safe, secure and loved for a lifetime. Pick up your baby, rock them, sing, talk…this will not spoil them.
Playing with and talking to your baby
You can help build your baby’s brain and develop important language and communication skills by talking and playing with your infant. Take little moments; like a diaper change, or even bath time, to talk, sing and play. Playing and talking will not only build the brain, but it is also another way to help increase that special bond between you and your new baby.
Ways to encourage development
Tummy time is a benefit for physical and social growth for your baby. Tummy time will make the muscles in your baby’s upper body and neck stronger; prevent your baby from developing a flat head; and increase the connection and bond with your baby.
As soon as your baby is born, you can use these tummy time moves when your baby is awake, alert, and supervised. Place your baby on the tummy a few times a day.
Here are a few ways to try out tummy time:
- Start with short sessions then slowly increase tummy time to make sure baby feels safe in this position.
- You can also start by placing her on your chest or knees to get your baby used to the idea.
- Place a rolled up towel under baby’s chest to help support them
- If baby does not like being on their tummy, place interesting toys in front of them to distract them.
You can also get down on the floor with your baby to interact and to provide comfort.
Your child’s milestones
Physical development is important to monitor and measure. Keep in mind that every infant is unique and grow and develop at different rates. Monitoring your infant’s physical growth will help you to understand the realistic expectations according to their age. Check out your child’s 0 to 3 month milestones.
An infant’s physical development can be supported by healthy eating habits, healthy sleep routines, and physical literacy.
The Nipissing Developmental Screen is a tool you can use to track and monitor your baby’s growth and development. Visit the website and have the screen sent to you for a complete picture of the milestones according to age.
This item was last modified on June 4, 2018