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3-6 Months: Physiological development

Damaria Senne


Between the three and six-month period, you will see rapid physical development in your baby. As she gains weight and grows stronger, her large muscles develop strength and coordination, enabling her to make deliberate movements rather than the initial automatic reflex movements of a newborn. She actively kicks and eventually rolls over from her back to her tummy. She increasingly controls the muscles in her trunk and lower back, allowing her to sit propped up in a chair and balance herself.

Her small muscles are developing, too. The movements of the muscles that control sucking and swallowing become more coordinated. At three months, her fingers are her toys and plays with them. She brings objects to her mouth. Eventually, she holds objects more securely, using her thumb.

With her small and large muscles working together, she can grab, hold, and transfer a toy from one hand to another.

"Your baby will benefit from many opportunities to safely move around and use his large muscles,' says zerotothree. 'Play with her on the floor so that she gets plenty of exercise and interaction with you."

You should also offer a few simple toys to help your baby practice her grasp and learn that her hands are useful tools. Good choices are a small rattle with a handle, a rubber ring, or a soft teddy. In the crib, hang objects for him to see, reach for, or touch lightly with her hand.

Your baby's vision also develops rapidly and by the fourth month, it's nearly as good as an adult's. She sees colour and tracks moving objects. She begins to combine what he sees with what he tastes, hears, and feels. This is called sensory integration.

Damaria Senne is a freelance writer based in Phokeng, South Africa. Her work has been published in regional and national magazines in South Africa, as well as online magazines. She writes about parenting, work-at-home, career and women's issues.

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Showing 1 - 2 out of 2 Comments
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Chrissy Mar 8, 2012 07:22:51 PM ET

Yes, as well as laughing and responding to you.

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carolyn Nov 8, 2011 07:22:38 PM ET

My grandchild baby is 5 1/2 months old should he be able to hold his head up good and also look into your face when you are talking to him?

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