Birth to 3 months

Development | Birth to 3 months

Developmental stage

This is the being stage, a time when it's important for your child to:

  • learn to trust—to know that good, dependable and loving care is always there
  • form a secure attachment—the close emotional bond between you and your child, and how you relate to each other

What to expect


  • kicks, grasps and sucks, based on reflexes
  • has weak neck muscles and a heavy head; at first can only turn head by reflex, then begins to gain control of and turn head with purpose
  • feeding/sleeping is unpredictable when newborn; more predictable over time
  • discovers hands and can bring them to mouth

Cognitive (learning and thinking)

  • learns from birth
  • is startled by loud noises
  • makes pleasure sounds (coos and goos)
  • prefers people to toys


  • cries to signal needs
  • crying increases at 2 weeks old, peaks around 2 months old and starts to decrease by 3–4 months old
  • generally quiets when comforted; may have times when can't stop crying
  • depends on parents and others to cope with emotions
  • feels safe when needs are met
  • begins to learn how to self-soothe


  •  smiles to show pleasure by 2 months
  • recognizes and prefers familiar faces and voices

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