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The important developmental milestones at 0-3 months of age

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After birth, a lot happens in your baby’s life in the first three months. Baby’s start developing new skills that would help in adjusting to this new environment. Some changes or developments are well noticeable by parents, but there are also subtle developments that are very important. Here are some of the crucial milestones that lays the foundation for the development of higher and complex skills: 

 1. Eye contact is one of the first and very important milestones. Babies usually start looking at your eye or face when they are about 6 to 8 weeks old. This is a good indication that the baby is looking and recognizing your face. However, more importantly it indicates that the baby’s  brain development and neurological growth are on track.

If you are not confident about your baby’s eye contact by 2 months, you should discuss it with your doctor.

2. Social smile: This is another very important developmental milestone that indicates the maturing of different parts of baby’s brain. Social smile is not the reflexive smile which even newborns show when they pass gas or otherwise. The social smile is a reciprocal smile which means the baby starts to smile in response to someone else’s smile. This is one of the first ways that baby learns to communicate with you and strengthen the bond.  

If you don’t notice a social smile by 3 months, it is good idea to talk to your doctor

3. Cooing: During your baby’s initial weeks, the communication is mainly by crying. But around 8 weeks, there is lot of activity taking place in different parts of baby’s brain and  this helps baby to start communicating by making  “cooing” sounds.  

If there is no “cooing” sound or vocalisations by around 3 months, remember to talk to your doctor.

4. Hearing: Initially your baby will startle to loud sounds. But as they get adjusted to the environmental sounds, you might not see startle or clear responses to sounds. However, the hearing sensitivity keeps developing and they will begin responding to your voice by smiling and gurgling back at you. They will also try to begin turning toward the direction of sounds. Hearing plays a very important role in other developmental milestones like speech and language, cognition etc. Hence, if you don’t notice responses to loud sounds or to your voice, don’t hesitate to seek medical advise. Early identification of any hearing issue is crucial for early diagnosis and management.

5. Raising head:  In the first few weeks, your newborn’s head will be wobbly and movements will be jerky. But soon, around 8 weeks, the baby will be able to lift their head and then the chest while lying on the stomach, as well as stretch and kick his or her legs in that position. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor if your baby is unable to hold the head up when on tummy even at 3 months of age.

6. Bringing hand to mouth: This is also an important milestone at around 2 months of age as different parts of baby’s brain is developing. Initially, baby might not reach the mouth, but eventually they will reach the destination with practice.  It signals the beginning of skills required for co-ordinating movements.

Remember- It is normal for a baby to reach some developmental milestones ahead of the time or sometimes a bit later. However, it is a good idea to be aware of the normal developmental pattern so that you will be able to identify any delays or deviancy. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about your baby’s development or you notice any developmental delays.

To track your baby’s development from 0-5 years, check out the developmental tracker in Kuddls app

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