Hello World: Baby's Third Month Guide
By Michelle Higgins
Remember how you wished your baby would learn there is more to life than crying, feeding and sleeping? Your wishes are coming true. Your baby's third month will see her become much more interactive. So much so with some babies, that parents secretly sigh, "Why doesn't she ever sleep?" Wonder what to expect in the third month?
Good night baby
Worried that your baby is still not sleeping through the night? Most three month-old babies need at least one feed in the middle of the night. You can try to shorten those night-time feedings by making sure baby's getting enough day long and cutting down the amount baby gets at night.
Co-sleeping is convenient for those nighttime feeds. But research has consistently shown that parents and babies both sleep less. The reason? Your baby's restlessness might prompt you to wake and feed him when he probably would have drifted off to sleep by himself.
More active and more interactive too
Exhausted after a long day of work? Trust baby's genuine smiles to cheer you. Your baby now probably recognizes her parents, whom she rewards with smiles, and sometimes even ah-goos and laughter. Talk to your baby whenever you are around her to hone her language skills. She loves it when you imitate her sounds.
Your baby can now perhaps raise her chest, supported by her arms, when she lies on her stomach. She can focus on objects and reach for them. A three-month old baby occasionally might able to roll over one way.
When you visit your doctor for baby's shots, it is a great idea to prepare a list of questions to ask. Babies reach developmental milestones at different ages, so desist the temptation to compare your baby with another.
Feeding on demand
Parenting on schedule is definitely easier on you than parenting on demand. But scheduling a baby must not be taken to an extreme. Denying a baby a feed because it is not time yet can diminish milk supply and lower weight gain. Parenting against your philosophy is never effective. As always, follow your instinct and baby's cues to set a successful yet flexible schedule.
Stimulating books, games and toys for baby
Every toy you buy for your three month-old baby does not have to bring out his Einstein factor. A mixture of fun and learning works best. Attractive colors, funny sounds, mobiles and rattles interest him. It is never too early to read to baby even though all he seems to want is to grab the book and chew on it.
Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
You can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS or cot death by putting baby to sleep on her back, using a firm mattress, and preventing overheating. It might be a good idea to learn infant CPR techniques if you are worried about SIDS.
Choosing a babysitter
It is a good idea to let baby get used to other people besides mom and dad. Even if you are not going back to work, an occasional night out will work wonders for your relationship with your spouse. There are several child-care alternatives you can choose from. Whatever you choose, watch out for any changes or signs of discomfort in your baby. Your baby's disposition is the best indicator of the quality of childcare he is getting.
In baby's third month, her horizons are slowly expanding. Entertain your baby and get entertained in return. You are just beginning to reap the rewards of parenting.