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 and movements will be jerky. But soon your baby will be able to lift his or her head and chest while lying on his or her stomach, as well as stretch and kick his or her legs in that position. If you offer a toy, your baby might grasp it and hold on tight for a few moments.
  • Hearing. Your infant will be sensitive to noise levels. Expect your baby to begin responding to the sound of your voice by smiling and gurgling back at you. He or she will also begin turning toward the direction of sounds.
  • Vision. Your baby will probably focus on your face, particularly your eyes, during feedings. At age 1 month, your baby will prefer to look at bold patterns in sharply contrasting colors or black-and-white. By around age 2 months, your baby's eyes will become more coordinated, allowing for tracking an object. Soon your baby will begin to recognize familiar objects and people at a distance.
  • Communication. By age 2 months, your baby might coo and repeat vowel sounds when you talk or gently play together.
June 29, 2017 See more In-depth