0- 2 Months
Social / Emotional

By the time your infant reaches two months of age, they should have already begun the act of smiling. They should be able to calm themselves as well, even if it is just briefly. They may even bring their hand or a toy to their mouth and suck on it to help soothe themselves. Finally, by the time an infant reaches two months of age, they should have begun the process of looking toward their parents (you). This can be either when they hear your voice or when they see you in their line of sight.

Language/ Communication

In this stage of development, your child should have begun cooing at certain things. Typically, they have also begun making gurgling sounds. Infants at this age should also be able to distinguish sounds and indicate that they can by turning towards various different sounds that they hear.

Cognitive

You children at this age should have begun paying attention to individual faces. They should have begun to follow things with their eyes. For example, if you pick up one of your child’s favorite toys and moves it from side to side in front of your infant’s face, your infant should follow the object only moving their eyes. Their heads should turn if the object moves out of their range of sight. They should also have begun to recognize people, even from a short distance or from a photograph (recent photograph. Two month olds don’t know what you looked like at five years old). They should begin showing signs of boredom at this age as well. The signs are typically in the form of crying or becoming fussy when a monotonous activity doesn’t change.

Physical

Two month olds should be able to hold their heads up by themselves. They should also be able to push themselves up with their hands when lying on their tummy. Finally, the movements that your infant makes with their arms and legs should be smoother and less sporadic. The movements should reflect not only the physical growth of the muscles your infant has experienced, but should also reflect the control of those muscles your infant has mastered up to this point.

Toys You Can Implement at this Stage

  • Musical Giraffe
  • Activity Zebra
  • Activity Monkey and Baby
2-4 Months
Social / Emotional

By the time your infant reaches four months of age, they should have developed the capability to smile spontaneously. The ability to smile spontaneously typically especially applies to people or toys, the ones they know, upon sight. Most infants have also developed a love for play by this age, and will typically begin to cry as soon as the playing stops. They should have also begun mimicking others. Typically, infants at this age will copy various movements and facial expressions made by others, like smiling or frowning.

Language/ Communication

Infants should have begun to babble by four months of age. The ability to babble is typically accompanied by the ability to use expressions. Infants will typically babble while at the same time making various facial expressions in order to express their needs or wants to you. Your infant should also have begun trying to mimic various sounds that they hear. This is also the age that infant’s cries should begin to vary. They should begin to have unique cries for hunger, pain, or for when they are tired and ready to sleep. They are beginning to express their needs and emotions in various forms.

Cognitive

As they begin to express their emotions, infants should begin communicating to you, in various ways, when they are happy or sad. They should also respond to affection, typically by smiling, laughing, or babbling. By the time they reach four months of age, they should have begun reaching for a toy with one hand. They should have also mastered the ability to use their hands and their eyes together. For example, when your child sees a toy they want and they reach for it they are using both their hands and their eyes. They should actively follow moving objects moving only their eyes from side to side. Infants at this stage will also begin to watch faces closely, typically looking and analyzing (as much as a four month old can analyze) the different expressions so they can mimic them. They also watch faces closely because this is the stage they truly begin to recognize people for long periods of time. They will recognize familiar people and familiar things, even from a distance.

Physical

By four months old, your infant should be able to steadily hold their head up, completely unsupported. They will also begin to push down on their legs if their feet are on top of a hard surface. Some four month olds possess the ability to roll over from their tummy onto their backs, and other infants are typically not far behind them. This age range typically possesses the ability to physically hold and shake a toy. They can also typically swing at dangling toys. They should have begun to push up onto their elbows when they lie on their stomach. They should also possess the ability to actively and constantly bring their hands to their mouths.

Toys You Can Implement at This Stage

  • Musical Giraffe
  • Activity Zebra
  • Activity Monkey and Baby
4-6 Months
Social/Emotional

By six months of age, infants should not only recognize familiar faces, they should also begin to distinguish when someone is a stranger. Your infants will typically enjoy playing with others, especially you. At this stage, your children should typically begin to respond to other people’s emotions. Infants at this age are typically very happy. They also enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror at this age, sometimes even spending hours just staring and babbling into a mirror.

Language/Communication

At this stage, infants should have begun responding to sounds with sounds they make themselves. They should also begin stringing vowel sounds (ah, eh, oh) together when babbling. Constant sounds can sometimes also be distinguished as they babble (example: m, b). they typically enjoy taking turns with others, especially you, when sounds are being made. Four to six month old infants also typically respond to hearing their own name. They have various sounds they will use to convey feelings of both pleasure and displeasure.

Cognitive

Your children at this age should have begun looking around at nearby objects. They should begin picking up objects within reach and actively bringing those objects to their mouths. They will begin to try and obtain objects outside of their reach and begin showing signs of both interest and curiosity towards the world around them. They will also begin passing objects in one hand to the other hand.

Physical

When your child is between four to six months, they should be able to roll over in any direction. It doesn’t matter if it’s from their tummy to their back or from their back to their tummy; infants at this age should be able to roll over. They should also begin to sit unsupported. They should be able to stand, typically holding onto either an object or your hands. Typically, while they are standing they can support their own weight and may even bounce up and down. Rocking backwards and forwards is also common at this age, and some might even develop the ability to crawl backwards before they can crawl forwards.

Toys You Can Implement at This Stage

  • Musical Giraffe
  • Play and Learn Whale
  • Owl Clock
  • Activity Zebra
  • Monkey and Baby
  • Pull Along Elephant
6-9 Months
Social/Emotional

Children at this stage may show signs of fear or apprehension when approached by a stranger. They may also tend to cling to adults that are familiar to them, especially their parents or caregivers (you). They will also begin to have favorite toys, or toys that they prefer to play with over others.

Language/Communication

Children between the ages six and nine months typically understand what the word no means. Their babbling has typically turned into different distinguished sounds and begins to more closely resemble actual words. They will also not only copy the sounds others make, but physical gestures as well. This is also the stage in which infants begin to point at things.

Cognitive

If an object falls, your infant will typically watch the path. They may even throw things into the floor so they can watch how it falls and see who will pick the object up. Some infants make it a game, if I throw this mommy will pick it up, so they drop the object and watch as you continuously pick it up and hand it back to them. When you hide an object out of your child’s reach, and your child sees that you are hiding it, they will typically try and find it later. Children at this age love the game of peek-a-boo. They are even more likely than previous stages to pick up objects and place those objects in their mouths. They are more precise in their movement and can move objects from one hand to the other more smoothly than in previous stages of development. They also have begun using fine motor skills, picking up things like small cereal o’s with their fingers.

Physical

Typically, your child should be able to stand while holding onto an object at this age. They should also be able to put themselves in a sitting position, instead of needing you to aide them. They should typically be able to sit unsupported, crawl, and stand up by themselves at this age.

Toys You Can Implement at This Stage

  • Pull Along Elephant
  • Play and Learn Whale
  • Owl Clock
  • Activity Monkey and Baby
  • Acivity Zebra
  • Musical Giraffe
9-12 Months
Social/Emotional

Most infants are shy and nervous around strangers between the ages of 9 to 12 months. They may cry when you leave, whether it be leaving the room or the building. They have not only favorite things, but favorite people as well. During this stage, infants typically begin showing fear through a variety of situations. They let you know when they want something. For example, your child may bring you a book if they want to hear a story. They learn how to gain attention and will repeat sounds and actions in order to gain that attention. They begin helping dress themselves by sticking out their arms and/or legs while you are dressing them. They enjoy interactive games like peek-a-boo or patty-cake.

Language/Communication

Infants in this stage finally begin responding to simple verbal requests. Shaking their heads, no, nodding yes, and other simple gestures are commonly attained within this stage. Infants will also begin to change their tones as they make various sounds. They will say small words such as “mama’, “dada”, and “uh-oh”. It is also during this stage that infants will begin trying to repeat words that you say to them.

Cognitive

Infants begin a different way of exploring. They will typically bang, shake, and throw things. Finding objects that were hidden becomes easier for your infant to discover during this stage. When something is named your infant will look at the correct object being identified. Copying gestures is common for this age range, as well as banging two things together at once. They begin using objects correctly by doing such activities as drinking from a cup. They will also begin placing object inside of a container and removing the object from the container. They may place a toy in a toy bucket and then remove it. They will let things go without assistance, such as their cups, instead of you having to help them let it go. The ability to poke objects has been developed, and they understand simple directions such as you telling them to pick up a specific toy.

Toys You Can Implement at This Stage

  • Pull Along Elephant
  • Activity Whale
  • Owl Clock
  • Activity Monkey and Baby
12-18 Months
Social/Emotional

Children between the ages of 12 to 18 months typically enjoy handing things to other people as they play. They begin to learn how to share. Your children may experience temper tantrums or be afraid of strangers and cling to you in new situations during this stage. They show affection to people they know and recognize. They begin utilizing simple pretend play techniques by doing tasks such as feeding their favorite doll. They will begin exploring the world around them on their own, but still want you close by… just in case. During this stage, infants will also point with the intention of showing others something they personally find interesting.

Language/Communication

Children during this stage typically possess the ability to say several simple words. They also point at what they want and may say the name of the object as well.

Cognitive

Your children typically know ordinary objects at this age. Examples of ordinary objects would be things like a telephone, a brush, or even a spoon. They will typically point at an individual in order to gain the attention of that specific person. They will show their interest in dolls or stuffed animals by pretending to feed them or care for them. They begin to associate caring for with taking care of. Most have the ability to point to one body part at a time, for example they will point to their nose if someone says “nose”. They begin to scribble on their own and can follow one step simple verbal commands without accompanying hand gestures. For example, your child should typically know to sit down when told “sit down”.

Physical

Children between the ages of 12 and 18 months typically obtain the ability to walk unassisted, and some may even obtain the ability to walk or run up and down stairs. They can pull toys behind them as the walk or push toys in front of them as they walk. Helping undress themselves is common during this stage. They can typically also drink from a cup and eat with a spoon unassisted.

Toys You Can Implement at This Stage

  • Pull Along Elephant
  • Activity Whale
  • Owl Clock
  • Activity Monkey and Baby
18 Months - 2 Years
Social/ Emotional

Typically, at this stage your children copy others constantly, especially you or any siblings they may have. Becoming excited around other children is also common. Increasingly more independence is shown with each passing day. This is also the period in which your children will commonly begin to show defiant behaviors and intentionally do things they have been told not to do in order to test limits. When playing with other children, this is the stage your children will typically play beside the other children. Slowly, however, they will begin including the other children by playing such games as tag.

Language/Communication

They specifically point to both things and pictures any time the object is named. Knowledge of both familiar people and body parts and the names associated with each is common for this age range. Children between 18 months to 2 years of age begin speaking in short two to four word sentences. They can follow simple instructions and will repeat words they hear in conversation, even when they are not a part of the conversation. They also begin to point to certain objects within a book.

Cognitive

Even if objects are hidden under several layers, your smart little one can find the object during this stage. They begin sorting shapes and colors. As you read familiar books to your children, they may complete the sentences or phrases. They begin to engage in simple make-believe games, such as pretending to be their favorite cartoon characters or playing house and being the mommy. They have the capacity to build a tower that consists of at least four blocks. This is typically the stage where they begin to favor one hand over the other, typically becoming primarily right or left handed. Two – step instructions, such as “pick up your shoes and put them in your room”, are typically followed. They also begin naming items seen in a picture book, such as monkey, cow, cat, and/or dog.

Physical

Children in this age range can stand on the tip of their toes and kick a ball. They also develop the ability to run and climb on and off of furniture without assistance. It is common that they can walk up and down stairs, but sometimes they may still hold on to a rail or person for either support or simply for reassurance. They can throw a ball overhead. Finally, they can either draw, trace, or copy straight lines and circles.

Toys You Can Implement at This Stage

  • Pull Along Elephant
  • Activity Whale
  • Owl Clock
  • Activity Monkey and Baby