Click 'Back to Intro' to return to the beginning of this section.

The Growing Child: 1 to 3 Months

How much will my baby grow? 

All babies may grow at a different rate. But here is the average for boys and girls 1 to 3 months old:

  • Weight. Average gain of about 1½ to 2 pounds each month.

  • Height. Average growth of over 1 inch each month.

  • Head size. Average growth of about ½ inch each month.

What can my baby do at this age?

As your baby begins to grow, you will notice new and exciting abilities that develop. Babies at this age begin to relax the tight muscle tone of newborns and start extending their arms and legs more. Babies may progress at different rates. But here are some of the common milestones most babies reach in this age group:

  • Some of the newborn protective reflexes start to disappear

  • Neck muscles become stronger

  • Holds head up when placed on belly

  • Looks at your face

  • Follows light, faces, objects

  • Opens hands

  • Holds, then drops a rattle or other object

  • Active leg movements

At the end of 3 months:

  • Raises head and chest when placed on belly

  • Starts to reach hands to objects, may bat at hanging object with hands

  • Holds a toy when you put it in their hand

  • Brings hands to mouth

What can my baby say?

It's very exciting for parents to watch their babies become social beings who can interact with others. Every baby develops speech at their own rate. But these are some of the common milestones in this age group:

  • Makes sounds other than crying

  • Reacts to loud sounds

  • Cries become more purposeful and are different for hunger, severe tiredness (fatigue), and other needs

At the end of 3 months:

  • Starts to imitate some sounds (coos, vowel sounds)

  • Makes sounds back when you talk to them

  • Turns head toward the sound of your voice

What does my baby understand?

A baby's understanding and awareness of the world around them increases during this time. Babies may progress at different rates. But these are some of the common milestones in this age group:

  • Knows familiar voices, especially of parents or caregivers

  • Smiles in response to others

  • Responds to social contact, may coo

At the end of 3 months:

  • Looks at their hands with interest

  • If hungry, opens mouth when they see breast or bottle

  • Chuckles when you try to make them laugh

  • Smiles on their own to get your attention

How to help increase your baby's development and emotional security

Young babies need the security of a parent's arms, and they understand the reassurance and comfort of your voice, tone, and emotions. Here are some ways to foster your newborn's emotional security:

  • Hold your baby face to face and make eye contact.

  • Talk to your baby with a soothing, animated voice during the day while dressing, bathing, feeding, or playing with your baby.

  • Sing to your baby.

  • Give your baby rattles and soft toys with different sounds.

  • Let your baby hear different sounds (for example, wind chime, ticking clock, soft music, or music box).

  • Show your baby bright pictures of black and white images.

  • Hang a mobile with bright objects above your baby.

  • Call your baby by name.

  • Hold your baby during feedings and provide comfort when they are distressed and cuddling when happy.

Online Medical Reviewer: Dan Brennan MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Liora C Adler MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.