Developmental Milestones of 3-6 Months Old Baby and Activities
Baby develops the fastest from birth to 1 year old. These changes take place across various domains of development i.e.
2. Physical (Fine and Gross Motor)
3. Socio-emotional and
Most children follow a certain pattern of growth and development or achieve certain skills/abilities at a particular stage in developmental. These are called developmental milestones. However, it is important to note that every child grows and develops at their own pace, and might achieve a few milestones faster or slower than usual. If you feel concerned about your child not achieving a milestone, contact your paediatrician.
- Recognizes familiar people and objects.
- Might start to recognize their own name.
- Tracks/follows a moving object or person with their eyes.
- Uses hands to explore their body and things around (e.g. discovers the eyes, nose, etc.)
- Brings things to the mouth as part of exploration.
- Starts to grasp the concept of object permanence (i.e. just because an object can’t be seen, doesn’t mean it’s not there).
- Starts to understand cause and effect (e.g. shaking a rattle produces sound).
- Imitates simple actions (e.g. opening and closing eyes, waving, etc.)
- Repeats things that result in an interesting outcome.
- Pays attention to people’s conversations.
- Might begin to understand the meaning of the word “no”.
- Memory is gradually increasing.
- Attention span is starting to increase (can stay alert for almost 2 hours).
- Balances head well, when unsupported.
- Begins to sit with support.
- Begins to roll over (usually beginning from tummy to back)
- When placed on the tummy, lifts head and chest and begins to support self on forearms
- Brings hand to mouth (e.g. put toys or fingers in mouth, sucks fist, etc.)
- Tries to swing at dangling objects with hands
- Grasps objects using the outer side of the palm without using the thumb. This is called the Ulnar Palmar Grasp (usually seen at 3 months).
- Moves an object/toy from one hand to the other.
- Full-colour vision has developed. Sees/watches things at longer distances.
- Starts to develop hand-eye coordination (e.g. looks at a toy and then reaches for it).
- Reflexes such as the Grasp, Moro/Startle, Rooting and Tonic Neck reflexes begin to disappear.
- When held in standing position, begins to support the body with legs (starts lifting one foot after another).
- Grabs feet and toes when lying on the back.
- Begins to drool (might not be a sign of teething).
- Imitates some facial expressions.
- Laughs and smiles a lot, especially with familiar people.
- Takes pleasure in playing with people and might even cry when the playing stops.
- Smiles or frowns to show comfort or discomfort.
- Makes sounds, and moves arms and legs in response to caregivers.
- Might hold out arms, to be picked up.
- Enjoys looking at themself in the mirror (by 6 months).
- Begins listening to adult conversations and pays attention to the sounds of words.
- Imitates sounds.
- Begins to babble (i.e. baba, gaga, etc.) with expression.
- Makes different sounds (e.g. cooing, gurgling, squealing, growling, whingeing) when interacting with people or toys.
- Blows raspberries/bubbles (putting tongue between lips and blowing) and splutters loudly.
- By 6 months, makes monosyllabic sounds (e.g. da, ma).
- Displays a change in volume and tone when trying to communicate.
Feeding and Sleeping Information
- Feeds frequently (about 7 – 12 times a day) both during day and night.
- A routine for feeding might be developed.
- Naps for an average of one to three hours, at least 2 to 3 times a day.
- Night time sleep duration increases (about six to eight steady hours).
Activities for 3-6 Months Old Baby:
When your child is spending time inside the cradle or playpen, tie a bright colourful sock ball with a string on the cradle or playpen. First hang the ball at a reachable height and after couple of days, increase the height that takes little stretching effort to reach. This promotes hand-eye coordinate and muscle development. Observe if they try to catch/hit the ball. They may even try kicking the ball with their legs. Encourage every time they manage to make contact with it. This gives them confidence to keep trying. Your child also learns that their actions can cause things to happen (cause-effect relationship).
Allow your child to spend some time playing on their tummy (not more then 2-3 mins). You could place them on your chest/stomach or soft floor. Hold a sensory toy like a rattle a little to the side (left, right, up), and shake it. Tummy time is important to help strengthen and develop their upper body, neck and shoulder muscles. Strictly avoid immediately post feeding and before sleeping.
When it is Bed Time, lay your child down while they are awake. Start touching and naming different body parts and say “goodnight”. Do this in a sing-song way.
You could say: “It’s time to go to sleep now!
“Goodnight (child’s name)’s eyes” (touching the closed eyelids of the child)
“Goodnight (child’s name)’s nose” (touching the nose of the child)
and so on with ears, mouth, chin, cheek, neck, hand, legs, tummy etc.
Finally end with – “Goodnight, (child’s name)! Have sweet, sweet dreams!”
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