At week 11, you are nearing the three-month mark with your baby. Your baby is continuing to develop coordination and motor skills, improving his or her coordination with each passing day. Toys are grabbed more accurately and perhaps even guided toward the mouth. Your baby can raise his or her head for longer periods, looking around and observing the environment. And best of all, your baby is very responsive now, especially to you.
This increase in responsiveness to stimulation, such as the sound of your voice, means it’s a great time to read aloud to your baby (if you haven’t been already!). The period from birth to age 3 is one of great learning and language development — reading aloud is such a positive thing during this time. Research has shown that babies who are read to have long-term improvement in their reading, math, and vocabulary skills.
The sweet sound of a laugh
If you haven’t heard it already, there’s another sound you can be listening for soon: laughter. This is right around the time many babies start laughing, and what sounds better to a parent than a happy, laughing baby? Some tricks to tickling your baby’s funny bone include:
Blowing lightly on the hair or ear
Kisses on the nose
Besides being fun, interacting with your baby like this actually helps strengthen the parent/child bond, which is great for development.
Making new friends
It’s understandable in the first few weeks of life that you’d like to keep your baby all to yourself and also protect him or her from the sniffles and sneezes of the outside world. Now, however, after your baby has received his or her two-month shots, it’s a good time to look for opportunities to introduce your baby to new babies and people (and give you a chance to meet some moms!).
Look for mommy and me classes, playgroups, or just stay in touch with friends who have newborns. This isn’t just good for your baby. Parenting a newborn is wonderful, but it can also be isolating and stressful. Keeping in touch with other new moms can help reduce your stress and give you a support network outside of your own family.
If you decide to pursue this, don’t be surprised if your baby doesn’t really interact with other babies, especially at first. This type of parallel play is common among young babies and lasts for a couple of years, but don’t worry: it’s still good for development. When venturing out together, recognize that your baby will have limits. Limit play dates and group dates to an hour or two. If your infant is a little “off” that day, skip the activity all together. Give your baby time to get used to the new activity levels and experiences.
Get the scoop on how a routine can help you and your baby with Bundoo Pediatrician, Dr. Sara Connolly.
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