Print

Child Development Milestones - 3 months

This table shows the development milestones of an average child at 3 months of age and also lists the signs of possible problems to be aware of.

What to look for at 3 months of age

The majority of children will achieve these milestones by the time they turn 3 months. All children develop at different rates. Some children are slower than others (developmentally delayed) but catch up with time. Other children, however, may have an underlying problem that causes their delayed development, and they may not catch up. It is important for these children to get as much treatment (early intervention) as possible. So if you are concerned about any aspect of your child's development, see your child health nurse or doctor for help without delay. If in doubt, it is better to have your concerns checked than to 'wait and see'.

Gross motor

An average child can…

Signs of possible problems include…

Lift head when lying on tummy

Any differences between right and left sides of body (in strength, movement or muscle tone)

Lift head when pulled to sitting position

Head falls back when pulled to sitting position

Kick vigorously

 

Hold back firm when held in sitting position

 

Fine motor

An average child can…

Signs of possible problems include…

Follow objects from side to side with eyes

Doesn’t follow objects with eyes

Hold object briefly in hand

Persistent fisting of hands (doesn’t let go of objects)

Look at own hand

 

Talking and understanding

An average child can…

Signs of possible problems include…

Cry

No turn-taking or variety in sounds

Take turns in vocalising (making voice sounds)

 

Make two or more speech sounds

 

Laugh

 

Respond to sound

Poor or no response to sound

Search for sound with eyes

 

Respond to mother’s voice

 

Social

An average child can…

Signs of possible problems include…

Enjoy being touched or picked up

No preference of mother or other people

Smile

Doesn’t look directly at people’s eyes

Recognise mother

 

Intellectual

An average child can…

Signs of possible problems include…

Make active movements

Inactive, detached (limited display of emotions)

Put hands to mouth

 

Show an active, visual interest in the world and people

 

Have times of being alert

 

Note

If you have any concerns about your child's development, see your child health nurse or GP.

Copyright 2003 Child Development Network. Reproduced with permission.