Infant development: Birth to 3 months

Infant development begins at birth. Consider major infant development milestones from birth to 3 months — and know what to do when something's not right.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A lot happens during your baby's first three months. Most babies reach certain milestones at similar ages, but infant development isn't an exact science. Expect your baby to grow and develop at his or her own pace. As you get to know your baby, consider these general infant development milestones.

What to expect

At first, caring for your baby might feel like an endless cycle of feeding, diapering and soothing. But soon, signs of your baby's growth and development will emerge.

  • Motor skills. Your newborn's head will be wobbly at first. But soon your baby will be able to lift his or her head and turn it from one side to the other while lying on his or her stomach. Your baby's stretching and kicking are likely to get more vigorous. If you offer a toy, your baby might grasp it and hold on tight for a few moments.
  • Hearing. Within a few weeks, your baby might respond to sounds by getting quiet or smiling. Expect your baby to respond to the sound of your voice.
  • Vision. Your baby will probably focus on your face during feedings. Soon your baby might begin to examine more-complex designs, along with various colors, sizes and shapes. You might notice your baby studying his or her hands and feet. By age 3 months, your baby might be easily distracted by an interesting sight or sound.
  • Communication. Newborns are sensitive to the way you hold, rock and feed them. By age 2 months, your baby might smile on purpose, blow bubbles and coo when you talk or gently play together. Your baby might even mimic your facial expressions. Soon your baby might reach for you when he or she needs attention, security or comfort.
June 25, 2014 See more In-depth