What's your baby up to these days? Drooling, putting your
keys and any other item within reach in her mouth, smiling ear to ear when you
walk in the room? Your baby is a social creature—playing with her is just going
to get more and more fun.
Babies' growth booms in the first 3 months of life, so yours
will add weight more slowly now. At this point, the amount of milk a baby takes
in doesn't change very much. Breastfeeding newborns tend to increase their
consumption of milk until about 3 months, and then plateau, says Wendy Haldeman,
R.N., lactation consultant and co-founder of The Pump Station in Los Angeles.
"In the first three months, human babies need lots of energy to stay warm, but once
a baby has developed enough brown fat to stay warm, she can now use those
calories for growth."
Tempted to try solid foods? It's an exciting prospect and a
fun new chapter for you and your baby. Check with your pediatrician, as most
experts will recommend holding off another month or two. Your baby's
nourishment is fulfilled by breast milk or formula at this age.
Do you have a formerly good sleeper who now wakes up
multiple times a night? That's the dreaded "sleep regression," and it often
rears its head between 3–5 months. "When babies get a burst in cognition and
consciousness around this age, it's common for sleep to get very bumpy," says
sleep consultant and author Heather Turgeon. "In our practice, we hear parents
saying all the time, 'She thinks she's a newborn again!'" It's normal, and the
silver lining is that it means you have an aware and smart baby on your hands.
Try to ride the wave and avoid adding in lots of extra
bouncing, feeding, rocking and so forth, says Turgeon. The mistake many parents
understandably make is starting to do all these new habits and soothing tricks
they didn't need before—the baby gets quickly addicted. Of course you want to
help and soothe your baby, but the key is to help her just enough and gradually
fade that help so she can take over.
Should you "sleep train" your baby? Turgeon says that
depends on what you mean by sleep training. It's still very natural for babies
to wake up and feed at this age, so it's too early to think about weaning and
breastfeeding moms' milk supply can be seriously dented by too-early night
weaning. In her sleep consulting practice she likes for parents
to hold off on structured sleep plans until the baby is about 5 months old
(depending on the maturity of the baby), and even then babies can still keep
feedings in place while you're working on self-soothing skills to improve
The best place for Baby—when she's not in your arms or on
the go— is on the floor, and especially on her tummy.
It sounds silly to say this, but it's a good reminder: It's OK
to leave your baby to entertain herself if she's content. Working on shaking a
toy, rolling around or just watching a shadow on the wall—it's actually a good
idea to let your baby have some alone time (with you nearby).
Babies roll over at all different ages—just make sure yours is getting lots of
time on the floor to move and exercise.
Yourbaby's weighthas just about doubled.
Your baby'shead is
strongerand able to stay upright.
your baby starts to express himself verbally.