Your sweet bundle of joy has finally arrived and she is the apple of your eye. She keeps everyone on their toes with her constant feedings, diaper changes, naps and the occasional crying fits that tend to jolt you out of your partial sleep at 2 a.m. What you might not realize is she’s already developing new skills that she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.
Baby development happens so quickly, you tend to fly through milestones without even knowing you’ve hit them. This is especially true during her first year of life when newborn brain development and physical development occur at top speeds. Aside from eating, sleeping, (pooping!) and crying, what else is happening during the first three months? Let’s take a look:
Newborn Weight Gain
For the first three months of her life, you’ll be obsessed with her weight. Why? Because weight is one of the things pediatricians use to monitor her general health. Don’t be concerned if she loses a few pounds during the first week of life. A 5% weight loss is normal for formula-fed babies and a 7-10% weight loss is normal for breastfed babies. About 10-14 days after delivery she’ll start packing on the pounds and you’ll soon have a chubby cherub in the family.
Another thing you’ll hear about a lot as a new mom is “head circumference.” Yep, you will know the exact size of your peanut’s noggin. This is another way your pediatrician can monitor her growth and development. Head size is typically genetic, so there isn’t a magic number. It’s one of the things that will be measured during every newborn doctor’s visit.
As your baby grows, her muscles, nerves and reflexes become stronger and more coordinated. Those cute newborn dance moves she entertains you with will soon become fluid movements. Her rooting and baby fists will change into deliberate head turns and a pincer grip. But for now, she’s figuring out how to control her limbs! And she may even be able to hold a toy before she hits the 4-month-old mark.
As you can see, infant brain development is pretty amazing! Your baby’s brain is hard at work developing recognition and language. Your baby has all five senses that she’s quickly developing – sight, smell, hearing, vision and touch. Even though she can’t talk yet, she’s hearing voices and sounds that will help her develop language skills.
What Baby 0-3 Knows
When babies are first born, they don’t really understand anything that isn’t a survival reflex. Look at her now! She recognizes your smell and your voice. She knows you understand when she’s hungry. Most babies are babbling by 3-months-old! She’s also figuring out how to hold her head up, so she can figure out the colorful world around her. Plus, she’s flashing that adorable gummy smile and she knows everyone loves it.
What You’re Doing to Help
Bonding with your baby is doing tremendous things to help her reach all of these important baby development milestones. When you sing to her, cuddle with her and talk to her, she’s learning that people care for her. When she cries and you comfort her, you’re building her confidence and making her feel secure. When she smiles and you smile back, she’s learning how to communicate.