Helping your 3-month-old thrive: Tips + activities

Here’s what your social butterfly is up to this month.

Helping your 3-month-old thrive: Tips + activities

Getting out of the house with a baby in tow is no easy feat. But your tot is becoming more social and you’re probably desperate for some grown-up conversation (even if it’s about spit-up or sleep deprivation). At this fun stage, little explorers are busy discovering their world and “talking” through smiles, giggles, squeals and babbles.

Dr. Tovah Klein, head of the Toddler Center at Barnard College and author of How Toddlers Thrive, shares what your social butterfly is up to this month.

This month your baby is:

  • More awake and alert during the day (which hopefully means longer stretches of sleep at night).
  • Excited by others, especially when they talk and smile.
  • Spending a lot of time exploring: touching, grabbing, looking at and putting things in his mouth.
  • Attempting to talk by babbling sounds like “ooh” and “ah” then trying p, m and b sounds.
  • Holding up his own head to look around without as much help from you. Rolling over and tummy time are also great for seeing the environment and developing stronger muscles.
  • Smiling, laughing and squealing with delight to communicate. Positive attention from you (like talking, singing, smiling, saying how much you love him) helps him feel good about himself.
  • Learning about the back-and-forth of things or how things work. If he smiles at you, you smile back. If he shakes a rattle, it makes a noise.

When your baby has had enough, he may look away, turn his head or cry. So be on the lookout for these signs when it’s time for a break or downtime.

There are lots of interactive things you can do to encourage newfound social skills and milestones.

Child development psychologist Dr. Holly Ruhl has week-by-week tips for the coming month.

Week-by-week tips

Week 1

Craving adult interaction? Invite a few mamas and babies for a play date! Swap advice on breastfeeding, naps and balancing the needs of baby, partner and (of course) yourself. Or just giggle hysterically at babies’ attempts at social interaction. Smiling, gesturing or even laughing with pals is an enjoyable way to meet baby’s inherent need for social belonging.

Week 2

If your cutie seems antsy for more mobility, encourage baby to roll from front to back. During baby’s 20 minutes of daily tummy time, place a tempting toy just out of reach to coax a flip. If that doesn’t sway your tot, let baby experience the new sensation by gently placing baby’s elbow and arm under their chest and rolling baby in that arm’s direction onto the back.

Week 3

Time outside with your babe can provide bonding opportunities and promote physical and mental health. Get some fresh air with a daily walk in the stroller or carrier. On your jaunts, keep conversation flowing and focus on labeling a new outside object each day. “Motorcycle Monday,” “Tree Tuesday” or “Sky Saturday,” anyone?

Week 4

The foundations for understanding cause and effect begin early in infancy. Grasping cause and effect with daily experiments is a precursor to later mathematic and scientific reasoning. This week, enhance baby’s understanding of causality by helping those tiny fingers flip light switches on and off, shake a rattle to make noise and drop Rubber Ducky in the tub to make a splash!

A treat for baby: Lamaze Jacque the Peacock

This cute little guy covered in bright colors and textures is great “belly bait” for tummy time. It also has a clip for easy attachment to strollers, carriers and diaper bags. Don’t be surprised if you hear lots of babbling to Jacque on your afternoon walks.

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

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14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


In Montessori schools, parents are periodically invited to observe their children at work in the classroom. I have heard many parents express shock to see their 3- or 4-year-old putting away their own work when they finish—without even being asked!

"You should see his room at home!" or, "I ask him to put his toys away every day, and it's a battle every single time" were frequent comments.

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