Developmental Stages of Babies and Toddlers

Babies and toddlers learn and grow at quite a pace. Although every baby and toddler will reach the developmental milestones at slightly different ages, here’s a guide to what the main developmental stages are and when the average child can expect to reach them.

Developmental Milestones Of Babies

Between birth and the time when they’re able to learn to toddle and walk (which is approximately between one and two years of age), babies notch up a heap of developmental milestones and conquer many developmental goals.

Birth To Three Months

By the age of six weeks old, babies will be able to recognise their parents face and they’ll be learning to smile for the first time (any smiles previously may just have been wind!). Between six and eight weeks old, babies will begin to make more noises, such as cooing and chuckling, as well as crying. By the time your baby is three months old, they should be able to hold up their own head when lying down.

Three To Six Months

Lots more developmental stages are reached between three and six months of age. Your baby will be more interested in toys and will be keen to grab hold of them, as well as put them in their mouth. They’ll continue to learn to make more noises and will start to laugh more. They’ll also begin to be able to lift his own head up when they’re sitting,

Six To Nine Months

Between the ages of six and nine months, your baby will begin to have a go at crawling or shuffling. Their ability to make sounds will continue to improve and they will try and imitate sounds you make (although they may not sound the same). They’ll be able to sit up without any support and by nine months, your baby may start to experiment with pulling himself up into a standing position.

Nine to 12 Months

Between nine and 12 months, you baby will be experimenting more and more with their attempts at standing up unaided and walking, although some babies may not walk fully until the age of 18 months. They’ll be babbling away and trying out lots of words – you may even be able to identify simple ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ mutterings amongst it – and will know when their name is called.

Babies will become anxious when their main carer is out of sight and by nine months will know which people are familiar and which aren’t. Other physical skills they’ll probably be able to do include learning to throw things and point at objects.

Developmental Milestones Of Toddlers

The ages of one to two years are when a lot of major changes take place, with toddlers developing at a rapid pace.

12 To 18 Months

Between the age of 12 and 18 months, toddlers will be rapidly exploring the environment, touching and feeling items as much as possible. They’ll be showing different feelings more, often moving quickly from being happy to being sad, and will have a strong attachment to their parents.

By 18 months, a toddler will be well away with their walking, but their balance may not be great. They’ll be able to climb onto low-ish furniture and other items, will be avidly picking up small objects and will be able to push along toys on wheels.

18 Months And 2 Years

Between 18 months and two years of age, toddlers will have learnt loads more words and will usually be able to recognise between 20 and 50 key words. Their listening skills will have improved and they’ll be able to start putting two words together to form mini statements. They’ll also be happy to tell you what they want and be able to join in with more nursery rhymes and songs.

Toddlers will enjoy playing on their own and near other children, but probably won’t be very good at sharing their toys or taking turns at playing yet. They’ll be very keen on exploring anything and everything, including opening doors and drawers and pushing buttons. They will now be able to run without toppling over and will be able to get up off the floor without using their hands to balance them.