May 17, 2023

0 to 3 Months: What to Expect

Sophie Allen
Sophie Allen
0 to 3 Months: What to Expect

Adjusting to a new life of parenting can be an incredibly exciting time for many, and watching your newborn grow and develop is fantastic to witness. As you're getting used to the nightly feeds and rearranging the daily routines that you had previously, understanding how your baby grows and their developmental milestones, is just as important.


One thing is definite, whether you are nursing, formula feeding, or utilising a combination, feeding your little one will be one of your most time-consuming jobs. Your baby will require regular feedings around the clock. At this stage, your little one has very little neck and head control. Their head needs to be supported while being fed milk or formula and they cannot digest any other types of food.


Every baby is unique, but at this age, you should expect your baby to get up during the night for feedings. Because their stomachs are still so small, they must feed frequently and in small amounts. Swaddling your little one may help soothe them. Your baby's sleeping habits will alter as they grow. If you require assistance, ask for it. It is critical that you try to sleep or rest whenever possible to help you cope with sleepless nights.

Personal, Social, and Emotional development

Making relationships

  • Your baby may be beginning to enjoy the company of others and seeks contact with others from birth.

  • Shows readiness to be social through using their sensory skills, following movement and gazing at faces intently.

  • Your baby may be moving their body, arms and legs and changing facial expression in response to others, e.g. sticking out tongue and opening mouth.

  • They may respond to what the carer is paying attention to, e.g. following their gaze.

  • Distinguishes between people, recognising the look, sound and smell.

Sense of Self

  • They may begin to learn about their physical self through exploratory play with their hands and feet and movement.

  • They may express awareness of their physical self through their own movements, gestures and expressions and by touching their own and other’s faces, eyes, and mouth in play and care events.

  • They may become more aware of self as they imitate sounds and expressions that are mirrored back to them by close adults.

Understanding Emotions

  • Your little one may communicate a range of emotions (e.g. pleasure, interest, fear, surprise, anger and excitement) through making sounds, facial expressions, and moving their bodies.

  • They may whimper, scream and cry if hurt or neglected.

  • Your baby may seek physical and emotional comfort by snuggling into trusted adults.

  • Your baby may react emotionally to other people’s emotions; smiling when smiled at and becoming distressed if they hear another child crying.

Physical development

Moving and Handling

  • They may gradually develop the ability to hold up their own head.

  • Your little one may make movements with arms and legs which gradually become more controlled - moves hands together/legs together.

  • They may follow and track a sound or moving object, moving head and eyes.

  • When lying on back, plays with hands and grasps feet, alternating mouthing hands/feet with focusing gaze on them, and vocalising.

  • Reaches out for, touches and begins to hold objects, developing later on into being able to release the grasp.

  • Rolls over from back to side, gradually spending longer on side waving upper leg before returning to back.

  • Explores objects with the mouth, often picking up an object and holding it to the mouth for lips and tongue to explore (mouthing).

  • When lying on their tummy, they may become able to lift first their head and then their chest, supporting themselves with forearms and then straight arms.

Health and Self care

  • Your little one may respond to and thrive on warm, sensitive physical contact and care e.g. being rocked as a means of soothing.

  • Your baby may become increasingly able to communicate, both expressing and responding through body movements, gestures, facial expressions and vocalisations.

  • Your little one may express discomfort, hunger or thirst, distress and need for holding or moving.

  • They may be alert for periods of increasing length, interspersed with naps.

  • They may anticipate food routines with interest.

  • Communicates discomfort or distress with wet or soiled nappy.

Baby girl sleeping

Communication and Language development

Listening and attention

  • Quiets or smiles in response to sound or voice.

  • Turns head towards sound or voice.

  • Shows interest in faces.

  • Makes eye contact.

  • Cries differently for different needs (e.g. hungry vs. tired).

  • Coos and smiles.

  • Looks intently at a person talking, but stops responding if the speaker turns away

  • Listens to familiar sounds, words, or finger plays.


  • They may practise and gradually develop speech sounds (babbling) to communicate with adults; says sounds like baba, nono, gogo.


  • Your little one may communicate needs and feelings in a variety of ways including crying, gurgling, babbling and squealing

  • They may turn when hears their own name

  • They may make own sounds in response when talked to by familiar adults.

What to look out for:

Remember that each child is unique, and they all develop at various times and at different rates. So, if your baby isn't doing the same things as your friend's kid, give your little one time! Your little one may be finding the following skills challenging:

  • Can’t latch while nursing or bottle feeding.

  • Loses a lot of breastmilk or formula out of the side of their mouth while feeding.

  • Won’t smile at people.

  • Doesn’t bring their hands to their mouth. 

  • Has no response to loud noises.

  • Doesn’t track people and objects as they move.

  • Is unable to hold his head up while on their tummy.

If you are concerned about your little one, seek help from your GP or health visitor. No matter how small your concern is don’t let it linger in your mind, ask for help.


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