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Your Child's Development (Birth to 3 months)

This information describes skills your baby is likely to develop between birth and 3 months.

Movement and Physical Development

  • When lying on tummy, can hold his or her head up
  • Can bring his or her hands to mouth or stomach
  • Watches an object as it moves from side to side
  • Kicks his or her legs

Social-Emotional and Self-Help Skills

  • Welcomes physical contact and touching
  • Pays attention to faces
  • Makes eye contact
  • Makes noise when in pain
  • Naps often
  • Can suck, swallow, and breathe while being fed
  • Can briefly calm self
  • Tries to look at parent

Learning, Thinking, and Problem Solving Skills

  • Responds to sounds and voices
  • Shows interest in people
  • Shows excitement
  • Watches people's eyes and mouth when they speak
  • Begins to act bored (e.g., cries, acts fussy) if activity does not change

Speech, Language, and Communication Skills

  • Cries when hungry or uncomfortable
  • Makes sucking sounds
  • Coos

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

  • Make sure your baby spends time on their tummy when they are awake.
  • Look at your baby's face and make eye contact.
  • Help your baby play with their hands together.
  • Massage your baby's hands and feet.
  • Have your baby play with toys that have sounds and lights.
Talk to your baby's doctor if you notice that your baby:
  • Cannot lift his or her head when lying on their tummy
  • Does not kick his or her legs
  • Keeps his or her hands in fists or does not move arms
  • Does not respond to loud sounds
  • Does not watch things as they move from side to side
  • 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