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Your Child's Development (3 to 6 months)

This information describes skills your child is likely to develop between the ages of 3 and 6 months.

Movement and Physical Development

  • Bears weight through legs and can bounce up and down when held in standing position
  • When lying on tummy, will roll onto side or back
  • Can sit with or without support
  • Will reach for toys when lying on tummy
  • Can turn when lying on tummy
  • Can bring hands to knees and feet
  • Can hold a bottle

Social-Emotional and Self-Help Skills

  • Stops crying for no reason
  • Coos when being spoken to
  • Smiles
  • Likes to play with people and will cry when playing stops
  • Can swallow strained or pureed foods
  • Recognizes a baby bottle

Learning, Thinking, and Problem Solving Skills

  • Enjoys repeating activity
  • Begins to play with rattles
  • Can find an object that is partially hidden
  • Will respond to parent's voice

Speech, Language, and Communication Skills

  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or tiredness
  • Laughs, squeals, and coos
  • Makes open vowel sounds like “aah” and closed vowel sounds like “ee”
  • Will laugh when eyes are covered, for example during a game of peek-a-boo

What can I do to help with my child's development?

  • Make sure your child spends time on his or her tummy when they are awake.
  • Talk to your child by repeating sounds they have made.
  • Play peek-a-boo with your child.
  • Encourage your child to reach for nearby toys.
  • Encourage kicking by placing rattles or toys near his or her feet.
  • Play with your child while they are in a seated position.
  • Encourage your child to play with their hands together in front of their body.
  • Massage your child's hands and feet.
  • Encourage your child to play with toys that have sounds and lights.
Talk to your child's doctor if you notice that your child:
  • Has stiff legs
  • Does not push down with their legs when his or her feet touch a hard surface
  • Cannot look straight ahead when laying on back
  • Does not reach for toys
  • Does not roll
  • Has difficulty bringing things to his or her mouth
  • Does not like to change positions

Although your child is undergoing cancer treatment and may not feel energetic, it is still important to encourage movement, communication, and play as part of his or her daily routine.

If you have questions about your child's development, ask your child's doctor if a referral to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) Physical and Occupational Therapy team would be helpful.

MSKCC Physical and Occupational Therapy
(212) 639-7833
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm