Find out how your 3-month-old baby’s senses are developing and how you can encourage his progress.
Your baby will become increasingly curious and fascinated by his hands, which will soon be able to grasp a rattle, if only for a brief second. Stimulate his hand-eye coordination by giving him a small, soft rattle and show him how to make noise.
Your baby's sensory development began in the womb and continues in the weeks after birth. These are the key milestones for your baby's five senses at this stage:
Taste: Newborn babies can already differentiate some flavours, like sweet and sour.
Smell: Your baby's sense of smell has been highly developed since your third trimester of pregnancy. Now he uses it to find nourishment and comfort in the familiar smells of Mom and Dad.
Sight: Skills such as hand-eye coordination are improving rapidly. He may be able to visually track an object moving slowly across the room or watch a mobile and try to reach for it. He can focus on high-contrast objects between 9 - 12 inches away.
Hearing: Your baby's hearing will be slightly muffled for the first few weeks of life. This will assist him to make a gradual transition from the predictable rhythms of the womb to the noise of the outside world. Your baby began to practice Habituation, or the ability to lessen response to repeated stimuli, while in the womb and continues to develop this skill now. Habituation to repeated stimuli is an early form of learning and one of the simplest forms of memory that consists of “tuning out” the surrounding environment, which will allow him to sleep through familiar noises, such as a fan or street noise.
Touch: Your baby's sense of touch began to develop in the womb. It starts with the mouth and spreads to include the whole body. This may explain his growing eagerness to put anything and everything into his mouth.
Why is Nutrition Important?
Important nutrients like DHA and ARA (sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats), found in breast milk and most formula are key factors in your baby's visual development. Ensure that he is getting enough, either by consuming DHA-rich foods yourself, if you are breastfeeding, or by choosing a DHA-enriched baby formula such as Enfamil A+®.