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Your Baby at the Third Month

Mental Development
Expect your baby's budding personality to manifest itself more obviously this month, enabling you to connect to it on a deeper level. Your little one will be able to pick you out of a crowd now as its recognition capabilities develop and it begins to sort people into categories of strangers and people it knows and likes. 

Go heavy on mental development by reading to your child if you haven't already started doing so; even if it doesn't understand anything yet, your baby will be able to develop an instinctive understanding of voice tones through listening to you read. Make sure to choose cardboard books with large and bright pictures and minimal text for this purpose.

Take your baby with you on your trip to the grocery store to teach it new things. While going down the isles point at different items and name them to your baby; your little one might not be able to repeat their names yet, but it will be storing all the information in its growing memory. 

If your child is growing up in a bilingual home and you want your baby to learn both languages, have each parent talk to the baby in a different language.

Physical Development
As its neck and back muscles strengthen, your child will be able to lift its head while on its back and will be better able to hold its head steady while sitting up. When placed on its stomach, your little one should be able to push itself up so that both its head and its chest are off the ground. It might also be able to roll over from its back to its stomach and vice versa. You can help it further strengthen its muscles by placing it on its stomach and holding a toy up in front of it. 

Also improving should be your child's eye-hand coordination and the strength of its arms and legs, both of which it will be waving and kicking this month. Give your baby a lightweight rattle, rubber ring, squeaky toy, or soft stuffed animal to hold and play with. 

While it's true that your baby is stronger and more active now, you still have to be careful when handling it during play. Roughhousing at this point could result in serious injuries to your still fragile child and may result in shaken-baby syndrome. Avoid rough play for a while longer until your baby is a bit older.

Eating Habits
Your baby's diet should continue to consist solely of breast milk or formula, which should be enough to meet your child's nutritional needs. If you haven't done so already, consider buying a breast pump to express milk as a supplement to your baby's diet. You can also introduce formula if you wish to, but hold off on the cow milk until your child is at least a year old. Your little one will be eating more at each feeding, which means it might need to be fed less frequently during the day. You can tell that your baby is getting enough to eat if it seems content, alert and active, and is steadily gaining weight. In general babies in their third month will need to be fed 6-8 times a day, and should wet and soil their diapers on a regular basis as a result.

Sleeping Habits
Your baby's sleeping patterns should be settling into something more manageable as it begins to sleep longer hours during the night and take fewer naps during the day. Some infants might even sleep through the night, but this isn't a rule of thumb. Look forward to spending more waking hours with your little one during the day to play and interact. To help your baby sleep longer hours during the night, make sure that the cumulative length of its morning naps does not exceed 3 1/2 hours per day.

Chubbier, more active and simply adorable, your baby will be expanding its scope of interest to include things other than eating, sleeping and crying this month, like playing with its hands and feet and keeping its mommy and daddy entertained with coos, smiles, gurgles and squeals. There'll be a lot going on with your infant this month, so read on to learn what surprises are in store for you!