Milestones & More: Baby’s First Months

Nora Hedgecock, OTR/L - May 6, 2020

Welcome to the world, baby! As you and your baby settle into a new routine, you may find yourself with a lot of questions about what you can expect to see in the first few months and how best to support your baby’s development. We are so excited to be able to answer some of these questions in our newest virtual newborn parenting class!

From birth to three, a child’s brain creates more than one million neural connections per second, so expect to see big changes in baby during these first three months!

Developmental milestones can be a great tool for anticipating and tracking your baby’s development. Babies and children develop at their own pace, but most babies develop certain skills around similar ages and in a similar progression. There is a big range of normal – so don’t worry if your baby reaches some milestones slightly earlier or slightly later.

Here are some of the major milestones you can expect to see from birth to three months:

Movement Milestones

  • Able to be on tummy for several minutes at a time – this is the best time to get your baby comfortable with tummy time and in the habit of practicing daily
  • Baby will begin to develop the head, neck, and back strength to lift head while lying on belly
  • While lying on tummy, baby will start to push up with arms
  • Baby will gain more control over arm and hand movements, bringing hands to mouth, opening and closing hands and starting to grasp toys

Sensory Milestones

  • While on back, baby visually tracks a moving object 
  • Hand-eye coordination emerges and baby will reach for a toy held above chest while lying on back
  • Turns head toward direction of sound
  • Tolerates most everyday sounds
  • As the vestibular system continues to develop, baby will start to enjoy a variety of movements
  • Tolerates diaper changes

Social and Emotional Milestones

  • Typically around 2 months, you will see baby’s first social smile – a delightful response to seeing your face and smile
  • Babies often prefer to look at faces and will begin to make eye contact
  • Becomes increasingly expressive with face and body, may begin to imitate facial expressions and simple movements
  • Coos during play, begins to babble
  • Cries differently to communicate different needs (e.g. uncomfortable, tired, hungry)

Every baby develops at his or her own pace, and development is not linear! However, difficulty reaching some milestones may be due to developmental challenges that require intervention. If you notice any of the delays listed below at 3 months, we recommend you check in with your pediatrician to monitor your baby’s development.

  • Difficulty lifting head
  • Not reaching for or grasping objects held within reach
  • Not following a moving toy with eyes
  • Doesn’t respond to loud noises
  • Won’t tolerate different types of movement
  • Not smiling or making eye contact with you

We are so grateful to be here with you as your family grows and are here for any and all questions that may come up during these first few months. For more information about your baby’s development and activities for home please join us for our virtual newborn parenting class!

We hope to “see” you soon!


Ayres, A. Jean, et al. Sensory Integration and the Child: Understanding Hidden Sensory Challenges. Western Psychological Services, 2018.

“Baby Milestones: 0-3 Month Developmental Milestones.”,

“Developmental Milestones: 3 Months.”, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009,