Milestones: 3 to 6 Months

Milestones: 3-6 MonthsWhen my daughter first smiled at me–a real, honest-to-goodness smile, not just gas–it melted my heart. Of course, I like to believe she’s far advanced above other children, and take pride that my third grader reads at a high-school level and has the math skills of an average fifth grader. Her cousin was born three months early and had cardiothoracic surgery at just 5 days old, and yet he is now academically on schedule if not ahead of the curve. That said, there are other areas of his development that did not fit within what most literature considers “normal.”

This is typical for most kids. They fit the curve in some areas, lag behind in others. What seems like a huge difference in abilities at a few months old is forgotten when they are 5. At 3 to 6 months, what is considered typical may depend on your child and the circumstances of their birth.

A good guide for typical developmental milestones for 3 to 6 month olds includes the following:

  • Startle reflex
  • Holding up head
  • Smiling
  • Verbalizing/Cooing
  • Raising head during tummy time
  • Gumming hands
  • Reaching/grabbing
  • Eyes follow people and objects
  • Sitting/Rolling over/Scooting
  • Raising to crawl position

For a child born with a serious health condition, like my nephew, speech may lag. If your baby isn’t cooing or smiling at 3 to 6 months, or is not responsive to loud noises a trip to the ENT may be in order. The development of the inner ear plays a vital role in forming sounds and eventually words. If your baby doesn’t support his head without assistance, or is difficult to soothe you might consider reporting these things to your pediatrician.

Your role as a parent is to identify instances of what might be considered atypical. You know your baby best and are your baby’s best advocate. Keep in mind not every baby develops at the same rate and what is right for one baby is not necessarily right for your baby. Trust your instincts and keep your camera handy. You won’t want to miss it when your little bundle of joy takes those first steps, which are just around the corner.

Gretchen Latham is a mother of one and lives and writes in Oklahoma City.

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