5 things you need to know about your 12-week-old
Only three months, and already she’s a huge personality! When people ask what your baby’s like, you can talk for hours. Tune in to her moods and what she’s ‘saying’-evidence suggests characteristics she displays now are a sign of her future personality.
1. She can anticipate what’s going to happen, so if you usually feed her in the same chair she’ll realise when you sit down in it she’s about to be fed. If she’s very hungry and has been crying, she’ll often quieten down, knowing she’s about to get some milk.
2. Her eyes will follow moving objects and people and she’ll hold her eyes on it when it stops. She’ll watch your face when you’re talking to her, and towards the end of this month she’ll watch her own hands as she’s playing. She can tell a human face from that of another species, proving she’s already making sophisticated use of the images she’s taking in.
3. She’ll turn her head when she hears a sound she’s interested in, and seem more receptive to outside stimuli. That’s because the temporal lobe, which assists with hearing, language and smell, has become more active by this stage. When your baby hears your voice she’ll be more likely to look at you, and may even start to babble or gurgle back when you talk to her.
4. She’ll bat at things over and over again if they’re near enough, and is now starting to develop hand-eye coordination. She’s able to make a decision about what she wants and will make attempts to pick it up or hold it.
5. When she’s lying on her front she’ll hold her chin and head off the floor for around 10 seconds. Soon, she’ll be holding her shoulders and then the top of her chest up, too, in a kind of mini press-up.
By three months, she’s much more of a character
Help them grow
There’s lots you can do to nurture and protect your baby
- This is the perfect time to start playing with rattles and other ‘noisy’ toys. Make the noise gently to one side of her so she has to turn to look at it.
- Lie your baby on her front at least once a day so she gets a chance to strengthen muscles and start to reach out for things. Research shows that babies who have ‘tummy time’ learn to crawl more quickly – and although putting her to sleep on her front isn’t recommended, it’s a good idea to let her play in that position.
- Buy or borrow some books and start reading them to your baby. Board books are good as she’ll soon want to start touching them for herself and they are more practical, but for now any books with bright colours are fine. Research shows babies who are read to at an early age grasp literacy skills earlier.
- She’s not too young for little rhymes and games like Pat A Cake or Round And Round The Garden. Repetition is crucial to a baby’s language development, and they thrive on rhyme and rhythm.
- Whisper in her ear. Studies show babies of this age are very receptive to what they hear – even though she can’t articulate many sounds herself yet, making her aware of the range of sounds your voice can produce is very important.
- If your baby’s just moved out of her Moses basket into a ‘big’ cot, make sure you follow the ‘feet to foot’ rule. Put her into her cot so her feet are at the bottom of the bed, with bedclothes tucked in no higher than her shoulders.
At three months old she’s ready to explore the different textures and colours of the world around her