Talk Read Sing 740

How Your Baby Grows

Birth - 3 Months

Sleeping BabyNew babies are wonderful, but they can also be challenging and exhausting with nonstop care. Just remember–there is no such thing as spoiling your baby. Caring for your baby when she cries or fusses lets her know how much you care.

At this age, babies like to:

  • Be close to your body and cuddle
  • Look at your face and watch your expressions
  • Hear your voice

Playtime tips: Sing a song during diaper changes, coo and copy your baby's sounds, or read simple picture books. If your baby gets fussy, sleepy, or turns away, it's okay to give her a break.

3 - 6 Month

Crawling baby 3 - 6 monthYour baby is becoming more active–wiggling, kicking, or maybe even rolling over. Just remember to put him to sleep on his back for safety.

At this age, babies like to:

  • Look around at sound and movement
  • Grab toys and bring them to their mouth
  • Prop up on their arms when on their tummy 

Playtime tips: Show baby his reflection in the mirror, let your baby "read" board or fabric books, offer your baby different rattles that make sound, and tickle your baby's toes during diaper changes.

6 - 9 Months

6 to 9 month old Baby sitting upYour baby is sitting and will eventually start crawling. This is also the time when baby will start to communicate with you by mimicking the sounds you make and using different sounds, like squeals and giggles, to express his different emotions.

At this age, babies like to:

  • Sit, without help, while playing
  • Bang objects to make noise
  • Imitate sounds and body movements

Playtime tips: Play peek-a-boo, roll a ball to baby and encourage him to roll it back, make a drum set with pots or pans, or talk to baby while dressing, bathing, or feeding him.

9 - 12 Months

9 to 12 month old baby eatingYour baby has started to try new foods! If he doesn't seem to like some foods at first, that's okay. Babies need to try foods several times.

At this age, babies like to:

  • Creep or crawl on all fours
  • Pick up tiny objects with their pointer finger or thumb
  • Point to objects and poke them

Playtime tips: Encourage your baby to pat pictures in books, set up a safe obstacle course with pillows and soft toys, or go for a walk and tell your baby what you see.

12 - 18 Month

12 - 18 month old boy exploringYour baby is finally walking, and loves to explore! Make sure that your house is safe for your little one to explore around in by installing safety latches and covering all electrical outlets.

At this age, babies like to:

  • Say 2 or 3 different words
  • Help you do things
  • Walk without help

Playtime tips: Build a tower with at least 3 blocks, ask your baby to point to things in a book, imitate animal noises, or finger paint and let your baby get messy!

18 - 24 Month

18 to 24 month old girl playingYou will start to notice that your baby is becoming more independent every day. Temper tantrums can also start to happen around this age–just be patient and consistent, and never use physical punishment.

At this age, babies like to:

  • Use 2 words together
  • Copy another child's play
  • Jump and run
  • Show a wide variety of emotions

Playtime tips: Try active games like 'the Hokey Pokey,' color with crayons, read books with simple stories, sing songs and dance, use words to describe your baby's feelings, or practice throwing a ball.

2 - 3 Year

2 to 3 year old girl playingThis is an exciting time in your child’s development–around her third birthday, your child will head off to preschool! As your child's world grows bigger, she will need your help and guidance. This is also the time when she will begin to make friends.

At this age, toddlers like to:

  • Talk in short sentences
  • Turn the page when you read books together
  • Build and stack with toy blocks

Playtime tips: Play make-believe using costumes and your imaginations, throw and kick balls at the park, or get creative by coloring basic letters and shapes.

3 - 4 Years

3 to 4 year old girl learningYour little one is growing up so quickly! Be supportive as your child continues to learn new things, and be patient when she grows frustrated.

At this age, children like to:

  • Count to five or more
  • Make up silly rhymes
  • Do somersaults

Playtime tips: Sing, dance, or act out your favorite story or book, build houses, roads, and bridges with building blocks, or play with puzzles.

4 - 5 Years

4 to 5 year old Boy playingSoon it will be time to start kindergarten! What a big year! Help your child get ready by talking about school and establishing new routines.

At this age, children like to:

  • Express their feelings
  • Identify letters and numbers
  • Retell stories from picture books

Playtime tips: Jump rope, play sports, ride a tricycle around the neighborhood, or go on a scavenger hunt.