Your baby between 9-12 weeks – what to expect

Nine week old baby has his nappy changed
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You’re into your third month of being a mum. You’re probably starting to relax a little more and have gotten to know your bub. But what’s your little one up to?

Nine weeks after bringing baby home, he’ll be getting into more of a routine and be awake for a good part of the day. He’ll still need his mid-morning and mid-afternoon naps though.

He’s getting heavier and longer too. During the first three months babies put on about 150-300g a week and by 12 weeks old the average baby weighs between 5.5kg and 6kg. 

His hip and knee joints are getting stronger meaning he’ll enjoy flexing his legs when he’s lying under his baby gym and also by pushing against the end of his cot with his feet.

If you support his weight by holding him under his arms when he’s on your lap, he’ll start to enjoy pushing his feet down against your legs. Just make sure his head is supported enough too by spreading your fingers up around the back of his neck as you hold him.

His bond with you and your partner is growing stronger by the day. He’ll recognise your faces, and may stop sucking his thumb or feeding when he hears your voices. It’s around now that he’ll first start to giggle and laugh out loud – a sound that makes every new parent melt!

Make the most of this amazing time by cuddling your baby as much as possible. Looking at your baby’s face while he’s gazing at you will help his brain development too.

“It’s also worth spending time getting to understand what your baby’s cries mean,” says Monica Hughes from Karitane Education and Research. “Babies cry because they need something. They may be hungry, tired, scared, sick, need to be held or need a nappy change. If you comfort them when they cry, they will learn that the world is safe and cry less.”

Your baby's early milestones

  • He’s more alert and now that he has greater control of his voice, he communicates through making noises, and ‘chatting’, including one syllable sounds such as ‘ah’.
  • He’ll follow people around the room with his eyes.
  • His focus and hand-eye co-ordination are improving.
  • He’s aware that his hands and feet actually belong to him (he’ll stare at them, fixated!). 
  • He’s starting to understand the concept of cause and effect. If he knocks over a toy, he will understand that he made it happen.
  • He can lift his head off the floor at tummy time and turn it side to side. He may be able to hold his head steady when he’s sitting on your lap.
  • He’ll let you know when he’s had enough milk by arching his back or pulling away.

Feeding and sleeping

By now, your baby will need approximately six feeds, every three to four hours. He’ll be awake for around 1.5 hours after a feed during the day before needing another nap.

He may even be sleeping for three to four hours at a time through the night. However, don’t be concerned if it happens one night and not the next. “If a baby does sleep through from a very young age, it’s just a fluke,” says Monica.

Continue to look for signs that your baby’s tired such as rubbing his eyes or ears or grizzling, as you want to avoid letting him drift into over-tired territory. This is a nice time to add a story time, a cuddle or a song to baby’s before-bed routine.

Fresh fact: Studies show that babies whose parents talk and sing to them a lot have much higher IQs and larger vocabularies. 

Fresh tip: Try to develop routines for bath and sleep about the same time every day. Between 6 and 7pm is a good benchmark for bedtime.

Started getting your baby into a daily routine, or struggling to stick to regular bath and bed times? Share tips and struggles with other Woolies mums on the baby club forums.

By Yvette Chegwidden, mum to a gorgeous girl and bouncing boy

The information on this site does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon in making, or refraining from making, any decision. The information on this site should not replace the expertise of qualified professionals, and if you have any concerns, you should always consult a qualified professional.

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