Your Child's Development From Birth to 3 Months

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

Movement and Physical Development

  • When lying on tummy, can hold his or her head up.
  • Brings his or her hands to mouth or stomach.
  • Watches an object as it moves from side to side.
  • Kicks his or her legs.
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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.
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Learning, Thinking, and Problem Solving Skills

  • Responds to sounds and voices.
  • Shows interest in people.
  • Shows excitement.
  • Watches a person’s eyes and mouth when he or she speaks.
  • Begins to act bored (e.g., cries, acts fussy) if activity does not change.
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Speech, Language, and Communication Skills

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


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What You Can Do to Help Your Child’s Development

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. Here are some things you can do:

  • Make sure your child spends time on his or her tummy when he or she is awake.
  • Look at your child’s face and make eye contact.
  • Help your child play with their hands together.
  • Massage your child’s hands and feet.
  • Have your child play with toys that have sounds and lights.
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Call Your Child’s Doctor If Your Child:

  • Cannot lift his or her head when lying on his or her 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.
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Contact Information

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

MSK Physical and Occupational Therapy
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
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