A Journey through Infant Development: The Third Month
By: Michelle VanderHeide
I continue to be amazed by the huge strides that my little baby boy is making. Child development happens so quickly! When I see an infant who is younger than my little guy, I realize just how much he has grown in such a short time. He’s stronger, has better vision, and definitely knows when he’s been left alone! As you read through the new developments he has made, pay attention to whether these are things you see in your child. Are any of them missing?
- There is nothing cooler than when your daddy comes home. You’ll be sitting happily in your bouncy seat, and when your eyes catch your daddy your face brightens up like you just received the best gift ever. Your legs start kicking, your arms start flailing, and squeals begin to erupt out of your mouth. I don’t think you even realize you’re doing all these things, but you just can’t contain yourself when you see daddy.
- Your self-awareness has increased immensely. Suddenly you notice when you’ve been left alone in a room. You start off with a little squeal as if to say, “I’m still here, don’t forget about me”. Then the squeal turns into a little angrier vocalization: “Hey, where is everybody? I’m over here by myself!” If I continue to lignore you, the angry vocalization becomes a little more amplified like, “Hey, I want to join the party!” It doesn’t take long, and you are crying in complete disappointment that you’ve been left out of all the excitement. In the meantime I may have gotten half of the dishwasher emptied. As soon as I come to get you, as long as you can see all the activity going on, you are happy. You’ve gotten pretty used to your sisters entertaining you all the time!
- You are beginning to read and understand facial expressions. When I smile at you, you give me a beautiful smile back. If I ignore you for a moment or become very serious, then you withdraw from the interaction as well. It’s amazing to me that you already know whether or not I’m paying attention to you.
- If both of your sisters are playing with you, you are quickly able to shift your gaze between them to share your excitement (or sometimes distress when they are being a little obnoxious). They like to show you toys now because you are more interested in them. You will look between the toys and their faces to share your appreciation and receive feedback about what they are doing with you. It’s so fun to see you all play nicely together.
- The comments at the grocery store have changed from “Oh, a little newborn” or “That’s a new one!” to “Wow, every time I walk by he smiles at me. What a happy little guy!” I watch you as you follow the movements through the store, and remain constantly stimulated by all the activity. This doesn’t overwhelm you, though it tires you out as you process all the new information and you shift quietly into a refreshing little nap. I love taking you to the store alone so I can talk to you and pay attention to you. Your sisters tend to steal my attention if I bring you all along!
Watching a child develop along a neuro-typical pathway is an amazing journey. Daily s/he makes gains, and those gains can easily go unnoticed as quickly as life goes by. You may read these reflections and think that your child doesn’t do many of these things and/or your feelings toward your child aren’t the same. Does your child upset easily? Do you dread having alone time with him/her? Does your child fail to notice you and your facial expressions? If so, the Relationship Development Intervention (CORE Approach) program is what you need. CORE Approach begins by looking at these early milestones and helping you and your child fill in the gaps that were missed the first time.