3 months old: Social development

3 months old: Social development

Your baby’s social development at 3 months old. Follow your baby’s milestones step-by-step.

Social development allows children to build harmonious, positive relationships with others. As kids develop socially, they learn how to communicate and manage their emotions, consider other points of view before acting, resolve conflicts, cooperate, and participate in society. A child’s temperament, primarily determined by genetics, influences how they interact with others from an early age. However, they continue to develop social skills as they grow, learning from personal experiences and the people around them—namely, their parents and family members.

Social development: 3 months old

At this age:

  • Your baby spontaneously and immediately smiles when they see a person’s face, regardless of who it is.
Remember that not all children develop the same skills at the same speed. The material on this website is for general information purposes only. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, speak with a doctor.
  • They wiggle when they’re happy and make noises when they’re around familiar people or objects.
  • They enjoy socializing and playing with others.
  • When someone speaks to your baby, they watch the person’s eyes and mouth.
  • They may stop suckling to listen to the sounds around them, then resume suckling while observing their environment.
  • Your baby turns their head to track moving objects or to locate voices or music.
  • When adults talk to or smile at your baby, they respond by making noises or smiling back.
  • Your baby sometimes bursts out laughing.

Over the next few weeks, your baby will begin to do the following:

  • Cry differently depending on what they’re trying to express.
  • Cry less often as they learn new ways to communicate and as you get better at recognizing their emotional cues.

How can you help your baby progress?

Every child is different and develops at their own pace. That said, you can help foster your baby’s development by adopting the Comfort, Play, and Teach parenting approach, which can easily be integrated into your daily routine. The table below outlines small, age-specific actions you can take that will benefit your baby’s social development.

When your baby smiles and you smile back,
they’re delighted by this interaction.
When you share close, intimate moments with your baby every day,
they like being with you and the adults who love them.
When you mimic and exaggerate your baby’s facial expressions,
they try to do the same and imitate you.
When you sit down and talk to your baby, read them a book, or sing them songs,
they enjoy spending time with you.
When you let your baby react before responding to them,
they learn to wait their turn during a conversation.
When you hang noise-making objects above your baby,
they learn to watch and listen to the sounds around them.


Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Annie Goulet, psychologist
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: March 2020


Photo: GettyImages/FluxFactory



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  • Université de Montréal. “Portail enfance et familles : Les étapes de développement de l’enfant de la naissance à l’adolescence.” www.portailenfance.ca