Development at 0-3 months

Personal and Social Skills

  • Nurses at mother’s breast or sucks from a bottle
  • Comforts to soothing, gentle sounds
  • Smiles in response to adult’s smile
    Looks at face when spoken to
  • Tells primary caregiver from other adults
  • Startles or cries at sudden loud noises


  • Provide a safe, peaceful environment, now and always.
  • Nurse baby or hold baby close while bottle-feeding.
  • Hold baby often; cuddle and caress baby.
  • Respond quickly to baby’s cries by meeting baby’s needs.
  • Smile at baby. Make eye contact.
  • Hang a crib mobile. (Remove it before baby learns to sit alone.)
  • Softly sing lullabies to baby and play soothing music.
  • Speak in a calm, soothing voice.

Language and Understanding Skills

  • Expresses hunger or desire to suck with cues such as making eager sounds, sticking out tongue, pursing lips, or other mouth movement
  • Shows excitement before feeding and other familiar routines
  • Expresses demands with cries or other sounds
  • Gurgles and coos
  • Responds to sound of rattle


  • Talk or sing to baby during feeding, changing, and bathing-and throughout the day.
  • Provide many different sounds for baby (soft music, rattle, birds singing, radio, bell).
  • Imitate sounds baby makes.
  • When you talk or sing to baby, allow time for baby to respond.
  • Listen to and watch baby to get to know baby’s cues.
  • Respond to baby’s cues.

Small Muscles (Fine Motor) Skills

  • Follows bright objects with eyes
  • Looks at object held in own hand
  • Attempts to grasp adult’s finger
  • Holds objects for a few seconds
  • Sucks well


  • Gently dangle and move objects in front of baby for baby to watch and then reach for.
  • Provide various textures for baby to feel (terry cloth, stuffed and live animals, grass, carpet, smooth wood).
  • Place objects (your finger, rattle) in baby’s hand to stimulate grasp.

Large Muscle (Gross Motor) Skills

  • Lifts head while lying on stomach
  • Holds head up when held in sitting position
  • Begins to reach toward object
  • Automatically turns head to one side while lying down
  • Moves arms and legs


  • While baby is on stomach, dangle black and white or brightly colored objects in front of baby to encourage baby to lift head.
  • Do not place baby on stomach to sleep. Back sleeping is safest, even for naps.
  • Hold baby in a sitting position with head and neck supported as needed, so baby begins to hold head steady.
  • To encourage sitting, briefly prop baby in corner of couch (supervised).
  • Help baby splash and move arms and legs during bath time.
Babies Of The World