As parents we all want our children to be happy and to support them in becoming the best version of themselves. While the core developmental stages are the same for most children, each child will reach their key milestones within a broad age spectrum, with almost all catching up by age three.
During the period from birth to age three, a child’s brain will experience the biggest period of development in their life, producing more than a million neural connections each second. It’s important to remember that the development of the brain is influenced by many factors, including a child’s relationships, experiences, and environment. Parents can support their child’s development through encouragement, play and providing access to enjoyable learning opportunities every day.
The important thing to remember is that every child is unique and special in their own way, so parents should try and avoid comparing their children to a sibling’s development or to others of a similar age.
Follow the links to see my summary of the four key areas of child development during their first three years of life, which span their physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development. For each developmental stage, I have prepared a summary of the key things to watch out for to help parents support their little one to achieve their milestones through connection and play. Use this guide to help understand what is coming next for your child and how to help guide them along into their next stage of development.
Remember, parenting is a very busy time so try to document your baby’s first smile, roll, sit-up, crawl, words, steps and all the stages in between. Not only will it be a lovely memento for you and your baby, but it is very useful to health professionals you will meet along the way too.
Your baby’s vision will be clearer every day and she will start to smile at you. It’s important that you stimulate your baby’s intellectual growth by talking, singing, and reading to your baby. Introduce a few minutes of tummy time everyday to give your baby the opportunity to exercise her neck muscles. She will attempt to lift her head but will only manage a few seconds at first.
Developmental Aids: Around month three, your baby will get better at controlling her hands and her fingers can grasp on to toys. A floor gym with colourful hanging objects will help your baby practice kicking and reaching for items, furthering her motor skills and cognitive development.