These skills tend to be quite variable. But at this age the typical child:
- Hold his/her head temporarily erect but unsteadily when held upright, until 3 months of age.
- Grasps a rattle when placed in their hand.
- Holds a rattle briefly.
- Exhibits a smile.
- Coos; reciprocally vocalizes.
- Watches one's face when it is in the direct line of vision; begins to distinguish and respond more to his parents than to others.
- Responds to loud sounds.
Injury prevention is proactive. Consider the following:
- Use car safety restraints.
- Do not place an infant seat on anything but the floor when the seat is in use outside of the car.
- Do not leave the baby unattended on a bed or table, as infants may begin to turn over in the third and fourth month.
- Do not hold the infant when drinking a hot beverage or smoking.
- Use a playpen after three months as an island of safety.
- Select toys that are unbreakable, contain no small detachable parts or sharp edges, and are too large to swallow.
These activities provide good examples for modeling important skills and encourage your child to grow in a healthy and happy way:
- It is important at this stage that you as parents have some time away from the baby by yourselves.
- It is normal to feel some guilt when you are separated from your baby the first one or two times.
- Encourage your spouse or significant other to take an active role in parenting.
- Spend individual time playing with or reading to other children in the family. Involve them in the care routines of the new baby.
Good nutrition is essential to a growing body. Tips include:
- Formula or breast feeding intervals are now from three to four hours during the day, with lengthened intervals at night.
- Ask your provider about the appropriate time for introduction of solids.
- If your child was premature, is being breastfed or not on formula ask about iron supplementation.
Childhood behavior may go from one extreme to another. This age is no exception:
- Most infants are still waking every three to four hours at night. The sleep patterns of the infant may be highly variable.
- The baby's duration of sleep is not related to the amount or kind of feeding.
- Over the next several months your baby may have an increase in smiling, laughing or squealing, and in the ability to hold his or her head steady.
The following items may be useful:
- Partners in Pediatrics
- Children's Physician Network
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age Five 4th edition. Bantam Books, 2004
- Caplan, Frank. The First Twelve Months of Life. Bantam, 1995.
- Einzig, Mitchell J. M.D. Baby and Child Emergency First Aid Handbook. Meadowbrook Press, Simon & Schuster, NY, 1992.
- Eisenberg, Arlene. What to Expect the First Year. 2004.