Join Club Momme for exclusive access to giveaways, discounts and more!

Sign up

Your 3-Month-Old

Your baby's brain development is booming. You might feel at this point like your baby is truly "awake"—no longer a drowsy newborn but alert and ready to play. In some ways, it can feel like you've turned a corner and things are easier. Maybe life has a new balance or you're getting a golden 4-hour stretch of continuous sleep. On the other hand, there's more work involved in parenting your baby during the day, because she's so ready to learn and interact.

Eat

Suddenly, there's so much more to do and see, so babies can become more distracted and have a harder time concentrating for a full feeding session. If that's the case, try to feed your baby in a quiet, dark place if possible, or use a breastfeeding cover. Nursing babies at this age are still eating every 2–4 hours. At night, your baby may have dropped a feeding or two.

If your baby is taking formula, the rule of thumb is 2.5 ounces per pound after 3 months of age, says Yael Wapinkski, M.D. That's not an exact calculation, though. Watch your baby and try not to swoop in with milk for every fuss (maybe your baby is tired, needs company, needs space—try to tell the difference so you don't end up feeding at every peep).

For breastfeeding moms going back to work, Wendy Haldeman, one of Los Angeles' leading lactation consultants, recommends taking a "returning to work" breastfeeding class. Her best advice for a breastfeeding mom making the move back to the office: "Try and store up to 100 ounces of frozen milk prior to returning."

Sleep

If nighttime sleep has gotten better but daytime sleep is more difficult, you're not alone, says Los Angeles sleep consultant and author Heather Turgeon. Three-month-olds are famous for catnapping and they often sleep for 20–30 minutes at a stretch. "This can be so frustrating for parents," says Turgeon. "You barely have time to check your email and have a snack before your baby is awake again." The advice Turgeon gives her clients for this age is to note the time the baby woke up (in the morning or from a nap) and try to put her down again after 90 minutes. Whether a baby has slept for 20 minutes or 2 hours, Turgeon says they usually need another nap after 90 minutes of awake time. As long as you're practicing putting your baby down awake, she will eventually learn how to self-soothe and her naps will grow to more like an hour and a half.

Don't succumb to the sleeping-through-the-night competition, say Turgeon. Babies sleep through the night at all different ages, but at 6 months is when your baby's biology is on her side. That's when almost all babies are capable of sleeping 11–12 hours (even though it may include feedings).

Play

Forget the fancy toys and developmental gadgets. Your baby is a social creature, and she's learning all the time from her interactions with you. "Babies are working on establishing a strong relationship with caretakers, so just letting your baby listen to you talk or examining your face and expressions and intonations as you speak to him will engage him more than any gadget," says Wapinski.

Your baby is learning to control her hands, bring them together, and open and close her fingers to hold objects. Simple objects to pass between her hands and look at will do. Put a mirror in front of your baby and watch her expressions.

Milestones

  • Your baby may be able to laugh now, and make other sweet noises.
  • She knows your face and your voice well.
  • She's bringing her hands together. They may be able to meet in the middle, which gives her playtime lots of potential for passing objects between her

LOOK AHEAD: Your 4-Month-Old

Photograph by: Getty Images

Explore More: baby care, sleep, breastfeeding, milestones, baby feeding, Baby 101, Month by Month
More from baby