Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Physical Development
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Child Development All Ages

Your child will grow and develop quickly during his early childhood. Some children develop larger or smaller than others. If you are concerned about your child’s development, talk with a healthcare provider. Please click on one of the icons below to get information about your child’s growth and development based on his age.

Child Development 0-3 Months

Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Physical Development

Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Physical DevelopmentYour baby:

  • may hold out his arms when you feed him
  • will learn to push his feet against your hand
  • will be able to open and close his hands into fists
  • will wave his arms and legs in the air when excited

By three months, your baby:

  • will hold his head up and move around when being bathed
  • may be able to roll from side to side and can roll off of high surfaces, like a bed or change table; always keep one hand on your baby when he is on a high surface
  • will be able to push himself up on his arms when he is lying on his stomach
  • will be able to bring his hands to his mouth and suck on his finger or thumb

Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Communication Development

Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Communication DevelopmentYour baby can:

  • gurgle and coo
  • make an alert face
  • make sounds that sound like vowels (aaaaa, eeeee, and ooooo)
  • respond to some sounds by looking toward the sound and listening
  • show awareness of the sounds she makes
  • take turns “talking” to you
  • giggle or laugh

Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Cognitive Development

Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Cognitive DevelopmentYour baby:

  • likes patterns
  • makes noises (vocalizes) to get your attention
  • looks forward to repetitive events, like feeding
  • will be able to look at an object
  • responds to textured items that are placed on his cheek, like a wash cloth
  • discovers his mouth and likes to watch his hands move
  • coos or gets excited when he sees or hears you
  • moves his eyes back and forth to follow a moving toy

Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Emotional Development

Birth to Three (0-3) Months: Emotional DevelopmentYour baby will:

  • turn towards sounds
  • become quiet and responsive to your voice
  • smile, kick, and wave when she sees your face
  • respond to warmth and affection
  • like or dislike her bath
  • be content when nursing or feeding
  • benefit from being around people

Child Development 3-6 Months

Three to Six (3-6) Months: Physical Development

Three to Six (3-6) Months: Physical DevelopmentYour baby:

  • is able to roll over from back to front
  • is able to hold a toy when it is placed in his hand
  • holds his head steady when he is sitting up
  • sits up with only a little bit of support
  • lifts his head, shoulders, and chest when he lies on his stomach or back
  • is showing the beginning stages of crawling by pushing on his hands and drawing up his knees
  • plays with his toes and fingers
  • is grasping and moving objects

Three to Six (3-6) Months: Communication Development

Three to Six (3-6) Months: Communication DevelopmentYour baby:

  • laughs out loud and squeals in delight
  • begins to “talk” to toys and people
  • looks around when she is feeding and will stop sucking to listen to voices and noises
  • is interested in the sounds she makes
  • takes turns making noises with you
  • recognizes and responds to your voice and other caregivers’ voices
  • makes eye contact with you

Three to Six (3-6) Months: Cognitive Development

Three to Six (3-6) Months: Cognitive DevelopmentYour baby:

  • watches his fingers, hands, and slow moving objects
  • explores objects by putting them in his mouth
  • reaches up for hanging objects
  • responds to sounds that are out of his line of sight
  • searches for objects when they are taken away

Three to Six (3-6) Months: Emotional Development

Three to Six (3-6) Months: Emotional DevelopmentYour baby:

  • interacts with you and others
  • is learning that she will be comforted when she is upset
  • is learning to trust you and other caregivers
  • uses gestures to show her dislikes
  • shows eagerness, pleasure, displeasure, and satisfaction
  • moves excitedly when she knows food is coming
  • likes attention
  • is beginning to react to strangers
  • becomes more interested in her surroundings and activities

Child Development 6-9 Months

Six to Nine (6-9) Months: Physical Development

Six to Nine (6-9) Months: Physical DevelopmentYour baby:

  • tries to crawl using both his arms and legs; he can move forward and backward moves around by himself by creeping, crawling, or pulling
  • rolls over, from front to back and back to front
  • sits by himself for short periods of time
  • reaches for objects
  • stands up by pulling himself up on furniture, e.g., the rail of his crib
  • picks up objects, such as larger blocks
  • moves objects from one hand to the other
  • puts everything in his mouth; this is his way of exploring the world

Six to Nine (6-9) Months: Communication Development

Your baby:

  • enjoys making sounds, verbally, and by banging objects together
  • is beginning to put vowels and consonants together, e.g., “mum” or “dada”
  • might say words, like mama, but doesn’t know what it means yet
  • is learning to make sounds based on how you respond
  • tries out lots of other sounds, like coughing, growling, clicking, and lip bubbles
  • listens to you closely when you speak
  • responds when you talk to her
  • starts simple games, like peek-a-boo
  • points to get what she wants
  • recognizes her name

Six to Nine (6-9) Months: Cognitive Development

Six to Nine (6-9) Months: Cognitive DevelopmentYour baby:

  • explores his world using all of her senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste
  • inspects objects in his hands
  • learns about objects by reaching, grasping, throwing, banging, pounding, and splashing
  • is beginning to understand the concepts of in and out
  • searches for partly hidden objects
  • anticipates the reappearance of an object
  • follows the path of a falling object with his eyes
  • is beginning to understand height; he may be afraid of falling

Six to Nine (6-9) Months: Emotional Development

Six to Nine (6-9) Months: Emotional DevelopmentYour baby:

  • responds playfully to herself in the mirror
  • plays peek-a-boo
  • enjoys being sung and talked to
  • shows an attachment to familiar people and a fear of strangers
  • initiates play with other people
  • likes games and songs that have movement and rhythm
  • shows she likes and dislikes people, places, and objects

Child Development 9-12 Months

Nine to Twelve (9-12) Months: Physical Development

Nine to Twelve (9-12) Months: Physical DevelopmentYour baby:

  • puts objects into containers
  • pats or claps his hands
  • picks up small things with his forefinger and thumb
  • rolls and pushes objects
  • crawls across floors and up the stairs
  • stands up by holding onto furniture
  • side steps around furniture
  • sits in a chair; but needs supervision to prevent falls
  • may be able to walk; but this can also take several more months
  • may not have enough fine muscle development to put down objects and may drop them

Nine to Twelve (9-12) Months: Communication Development

Nine to Twelve (9-12) Months: Communication DevelopmentYour baby:

  • makes word-like sounds
  • combines some vowels and consonants, for example da
  • can say a few simple words, for example, mama, dada, or no
  • imitates new words that you say
  • talks to herself when she plays
  • can carry out simple requests or instructions
  • has a longer attention span when she is interacting with you and other people
  • recognizes several words and some directions
  • stops an activity if you tell her to
  • enjoys repetition, rhythm, and rhyme, like “pat a cake”

Nine to Twelve (9-12) Months: Cognitive Development

Nine to Twelve (9-12) Months: Cognitive DevelopmentYour baby:

  • uncovers hidden objects
  • searches for objects or people that are out of sight
  • explores his environment using his five senses
  • starts to choose what he wants to play with; he will change activities by himself when he wants to
  • begins to develop problem solving skills, like pulling a string to move a toy or pressing a button to make a noise
  • is developing his sense of curiosity
  • will try to draw; big toddler crayons will be easier for him to use
  • will enjoy looking at pictures in a book

Nine to Twelve (9-12) Months: Emotional Development

Nine to Twelve (9-12) Months: Emotional DevelopmentYour baby:

  • likes your praise and does things that will get her more praise
  • starts to play games with other people, like rolling a ball back and forth
  • begins to show affection by hugging both people and toys
  • begins to help when getting dressed
  • wants to do things for herself; she will still need your help to do the things that she cannot do
  • may kick and hit to resist change and other restrictions to her freedom
  • shows physical signs of her frustration
  • starts to understand that when you go away, you will come back
  • learns she is a separate person from you
  • recognizes herself in the mirror
  • may be upset by strangers or may be timid around them

Child Development 12-18 Months

Twelve to Eighteen (12-18) Months: Physical Development

Your baby:

  • wants to move all the time
  • stands alone and may walk alone
  • likes to climb, throw, push, and pull things
  • scribbles with a large crayon
  • stacks and balances small blocks
  • turns two or three pages at a time in a book or magazine
  • squats when playing

Twelve to Eighteen (12-18) Months: Communication Development

Twelve to Eighteen (12-18) Months: Communication DevelopmentYour baby:

  • uses a few words to communicate, like “more drink”
  • hums and responds to music
  • looks at a picture book on his own
  • imitates words
  • shows different emotions through his speech
  • identifies facial parts
  • follows two-step directions
  • recognizes named objects
  • uses made up and real words to tell you about experiences

Twelve to Eighteen (12-18) Months: Cognitive Development

Twelve to Eighteen (12-18) Months: Cognitive DevelopmentYour baby:

  • begins to understand what to do with unfamiliar objects
  • copies your body gestures, even if they are new to her
  • copies your actions with familiar objects
  • imitates household routines during play
  • uses an object (like a stick) to get another object when shown how
  • can insert a piece in a simple puzzle

Twelve to Eighteen (12-18) Months: Emotional Development

Twelve to Eighteen (12-18) Months: Emotional DevelopmentYour baby:

  • develops an attachment to a favourite toy
  • likes to be near people
  • shows affection for parents and family
  • likes to listen to music and to dance
  • likes to be the centre of family attention
  • appreciates routine
  • begins to self-feed with a spoon
  • shows lots of different emotions, like jealousy, anxiety, and affection

Child Development 18-24 Months

Eighteen to Twenty-Four (18-24) Months: Physical Development

Eighteen to Twenty-Four (18-24) Months: Physical Development

Your baby:

  • begins to run
  • can kick a large ball
  • walks up and down stairs holding onto someone’s hand
  • builds a tower of six blocks or more
  • jumps with two feet
  • pushes and pulls a toy
  • turns knobs on the radio or a door

Eighteen to Twenty-Four (18-24) Months: Communication Development

Eighteen to Twenty-Four (18-24) Months: Communication DevelopmentYour baby:

  • puts two words together, like “all gone”
  • copies other people’s speech
  • can identify the parts of the face
  • can identify articles of clothing
  • can sit through a simple story
  • uses pronouns, such as mine and me
  • lets you know what he needs

Eighteen to Twenty-Four (18-24) Months: Cognitive Development

Eighteen to Twenty-Four (18-24) Months: Cognitive DevelopmentYour baby:

  • continues to develop problem-solving abilities
  • can climb onto a chair to get something
  • moves things around to get objects she wants
  • imitates actions after a short delay
  • begins to line up his toys (small toys, blocks)

Eighteen to Twenty-Four (18-24) Months: Emotional Development

Your baby:

  • may have a security toy or blanket
  • likes to play alone; this is called solitary play
  • pretends to dress or feed a doll or stuffed toy
  • begins to eat with a fork
  • is afraid of you leaving her
  • can help with simple household tasks
  • has a strong sense of “mine”
  • has little patience
  • is very sensitive; her feelings may be hurt easily
  • responds to praise and wants to please you

Child Development 2-3 Years

Two to Three (2-3) Years: Physical Development

Your baby:

  • will be able to walk up the stairs
  • may begin to learn to ride a tricycle
  • will be able to walk on his toes
  • can jump up and down
  • won’t have much aim, but he can throw a ball
  • likes to put one object into another object
  • will be able to turn the pages in a book one at a time
  • can draw lines up and down; he may start drawing circles
  • can screw lids on jars

Two to Three (2-3) Years: Communication Development

Two to Three (2-3) Years: Communication DevelopmentYour baby:

  • often asks ‘what?’, ‘why?’, and ‘what’s this?’
  • will repeat words you use to name objects
  • will use two or three word sentences
  • can make words plural by adding an “s”
  • likes to tell stories about things she just did

Two to Three (2-3) Years: Cognitive Development

Two to Three (2-3) Years: Cognitive DevelopmentYour baby:

  • is beginning to understand the concept of ‘size’
  • is beginning to recognize different colours
  • understands words that describe amounts, like ‘one’, ‘two’, and ‘many’
  • is able to use three blocks to build a bridge
  • can take simple things apart and put them back together

Two to Three (2-3) Years: Emotional Development

Two to Three (2-3) Years: Emotional DevelopmentYour baby:

  • can tell you when she needs to go to the bathroom
  • will have less frequent temper tantrums
  • may display fear of the dark or animals
  • will seek praise and affection
  • will show sympathy by trying to comfort or help a friend
  • takes pride in the things she does for others
  • needs time with other children her age

Child Development 3-5 Years

Three to Five (3-5) Years: Physical Development

Your baby:

  • is developing his large muscles; his coordination will increase
  • jumps up and down really well
  • goes up and down stairs holding onto a railing
  • throws a ball overhead with better aim
  • can learn to catch a ball
  • can learn to cut and paste using scissors and glue
  • can learn to put long beads on a string
  • might not need naps, but will still need rest breaks
  • can pour liquid into a cup from a small pitcher

Three to Five (3-5) Years: Communication Development

Three to Five (3-5) Years: Communication DevelopmentYour baby:

  • knows her first and last name
  • likes to talk about her day experiences
  • knows her body parts
  • can recite nursery rhymes and songs
  • understands her physical needs, like feeling sleepy and hungry

Three to Five (3-5) Years: Cognitive Development

Three to Five (3-5) Years: Cognitive DevelopmentYour baby:

  • is very imaginative
  • is learning more and more words and concepts
  • does not understand time
  • can count to 10 or more by the age of 3; and to 20 by the age of 5

Three to Five (3-5) Years: Emotional Development

Three to Five (3-5) Years: Emotional DevelopmentYour baby:

  • wants your approval
  • likes to help around the house
  • imitates your language and your behaviours
  • will be restless and agitated when tired
  • begins to learn what is okay and what is not
  • is very curious and will ask countless questions
  • likes to talk on the telephone
  • can use the toilet by herself by the time she is 5

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