Birth to 3 Months: Your Baby’s Development
The first 3 months are all about babies learning to feel comfortable, safe, and secure in the world.
By responding to their signals and providing lots of love and comfort, you help them form a trusting bond with you. How are you helping your newborn learn to feel safe and secure during the first 3 months?
|What Your Baby Can Do||What You Can Do|
|I am getting to know you and the other people who love and care for me.||Engage with your baby through talking, singing, and cuddle time|
|I am learning how to tell you what I need.||Learn and respond to your baby’s signals.|
|I am beginning to use my body to make things happen.||Observe how your baby is discovering his body.|
|We are becoming closer every day.||Comfort your baby when he cries.|
Spotlight on Crying Between Birth and 3 Months
Crying, as hard as it is to hear, is a normal way babies communicate hunger, discomfort, distress, or a need for your attention.
- Most newborns reach a crying peak at about 6 weeks. Then their crying starts to decrease. By 3 months they typically cry for about an hour a day.
- Being with a crying baby who is hard to soothe can be exhausting, stressful, and frustrating. But keep in mind that just by being there—holding and comforting your baby—you are teaching him that he is not alone and that you will stick by him through thick and thin.
- While all babies cry, some babies cry much more than others. This is known as colic and it’s defined as crying that: begins and ends for no obvious reason, lasts at least 3 hours a day, happens at least 3 days a week, and continues for 3 weeks to 3 months.
What You Can Do
- Talk with your health care provider. Crying may have a medical cause—a food sensitivity, heartburn, or other physical condition.
- Try holding your baby more. Some babies cry less when they are held more. Wrap your baby snugly in a blanket—called “swaddling”—and rock her gently.
- Use soothing sounds. Talk or sing softly to your baby. Try running a fan or humidifier in your baby’s room. Sometimes babies are soothed by this background noise.
- Reduce stimulation. Lights, sights, sounds, and textures—for your baby. Sometimes less stimulation leads to less crying for babies with colic.
- Reach out for support. Extended families and friends may be able to step in to give you a needed break. Everyone needs support, and nobody needs it more than the parents of a crying baby.
- Stay calm. When you’re calm, it helps your baby calm down. If you find yourself feeling frustrated, put your baby on his back in a safe place—like the crib—and take a short break. Crying won’t hurt your baby, and taking a break will let you soothe another very important person…you!
- Don’t give up. Soothing your baby is a trial-and-error process. If one strategy doesn’t work, try another. Hang in there, and remember that the crying will get better.
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You can help babies and toddlers learn and grow by getting to know each child in your care and engaging in activities that match their individual skills, needs, and interests.
Developing self-control begins at birth and continues across our lives. Young children learn self-control through interactions with peers and guidance from parents and other loving adults.