- Importance of this age
- Developmental Milestones Circle: Birth to 3 Months
- Points for Concern
- Intervention through Play
In the first three months infants learn to turn their head and move their arms about with increasing control. The early movements of the head and body show us that development is proceeding as it should – control of movement starting from the head and proceeding downward. These simple movements expand the infants’ universe, allowing them to react and respond to people and things in the near and distant environment - turning toward a flapping curtain or a voice near them. Even this little control over the head, helps babies respond to discomfort and give them their first lessons of control over themselves and the world. They begin to learn about their body, although at this point, they largely have awareness of their head and hands.
New born babies sleep a lot! In the first weeks, they are slowly becoming adjusted to the new world they find themselves in. Light, noise and activity around them can quickly get exhausting and overwhelming and sleep or crying is their best coping mechanism. Over the first three months, infants stay awake and alert for longer periods of time and slowly develop the capacity to enjoy the stimulation of ordinary life around them. The world around them is still very new and as their motor and sensory capacity develops, every day holds a new discovery – a lot of learning! Therefore, even at three months, infants still require frequent naps.
They find that the world is filled with interesting sounds, smells, colours and movement. During this period, infants learn to attend and take in sensory information, slowly developing increased capacity to stay awake, alert and attentive. By the end of this period, the increased capacity to move the head and lift the arms gives them the opportunity to respond to their environment by turning and looking at things that catch their attention. By the end of this period, they will be able to reach and touch what they are seeing. These early experiences and interactions with the environment lay the foundations for good sensory growth, and the ability to use their sense together.
Infants need constant attention and care, requiring frequent feeds, nappy changes and naps. They enjoy people and as long as they are held comfortably, will happily accept a cuddle from anyone. Babies respond with interest and attention to the human voice and face. They are calmed by being picked up, talked to gently, and held or rocked rhythmically. The quality of responses of those in the environment to the children, their attention to the child, how they touch, talk and play with their baby, their response to the child’s cries and actions – all these provide babies with the basis on which they begin to understand and respond to people.