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 their head up.
  • Brings their hands to mouth or stomach.
  • Watches an object as it moves from side to side.
  • Kicks their 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 they speak.
  • Begins to act bored (such as cries or 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 their daily routine. Here are some things you can do:

  • Make sure your child spends time on their tummy when they are awake.
  • Look at your child’s face and make eye contact.
  • Help your child play with their hands together (such as clapping).
  • 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

  • Can’t lift their head when lying on their tummy.
  • Doesn’t kick their legs.
  • Keeps their hands in fists or doesn’t move arms.
  • Doesn’t respond to loud sounds.
  • Doesn’t watch things as they move from side to side.
  • Doesn’t 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 you need a referral to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s (MSK) Physical and Occupational Therapy

You can reach MSK’s Physical and Occupational Therapy Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm at 212-639-7833.

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