Milestones

By 6 weeks your baby may:

  • turn his head and eyes towards the light
  • watch your face and try to respond to speech
  • make cooing sounds
  • quieten at sound of your voice
  • smile at you
  • lift his head briefly without wobbling, when placed on his tummy
  • jump or blink if there is sudden loud noise, or stir in his sleep

You can encourage his development by:

  • holding objects close (20-35 cms) from his face, and he will stare intently as he tries to focus
  • letting him study your face as you talk to him, that will become his favourite object to look at!
  • hanging large black and white images, with stripes or circles to look at e.g. posters
  • singing, reading, playing music quietly to him while you feed him or are working round the house.  Babies learn through hearing speech, when people talk to them during the first year
  • cuddling him
  • hanging toys – mobiles, musical toys, rattles strung over the bassinette

All babies are very different and will develop at different rates.  That is normal – it is not a race. 

At about 2 months old your baby may:

  • start to hold onto a rattle.
  • have more control over jerky body movements.
  • focus on objects 17-20cm away.
  • enjoy watching mobiles.
  • respond to noises nearby.
  • At about 3 months old he may:

At about 3 months old he may:

  • bring his hands together.
  • laugh out loud.
  • coo or smile at you when you talk.
  • kick with more control and more forcefully.
  • lift his head 45-90 degrees when lying on his tummy.
  • stare at people’s faces when they are up close.
  • turn his eyes towards voices.
  • seem to know your voice.

You can encourage development by:

  • interacting with him.
  • holding out a toy and moving it up and down.
  • playing “Pat a cake” holding his hands.
  • playing with rattles and bright coloured soft toys.
  • laying him on a rug on the floor under a frame with dangling toys.
  • reading to him, singing to him (time for those nursery rhymes!).
  • putting him on his tummy to play.

Around 4 months – sociable time! Your baby may:

  • grab at a toy if it is held close.
  • smile at everyone, coo, laugh, especially for Mum or Dad.
  • squeal happily.
  • hold his head steadily when pulled into sitting position.

You can encourage development by:

  • propping him up to see what is going on.
  • sitting him in a bouncinette (not on a table or high surface).
  • giving him tummy time on the floor.
  • placing a plastic mirror in front of him.
  • talking to him while you are feeding and changing him.

Around 5 months — getting ready to move

Your baby may:

  • roll from front to back.
  • do “press ups” (pushing head and shoulders off the floor).
  • bounce up and down on your lap, starting to weight bear.
  • chew everything he can put in his mouth.
  • make da, ba sounds.
  • babble.
  • grizzle when you take a toy away from him.

If you have any concerns, especially if you think your child may not be seeing or hearing well, talk to your health professional. At around 3 months old there is usually another growth spurt, resulting in a hungry baby who wants more frequent feeding for a while.

Remember the 3 month and 5 month immunisations are due.

see full immunisation schedule here