In these early stages of development, babies are learning to understand the world around them and their place in it.

We take a look at what children of this age should be able to do, and what parents and carers can do to help promote development.

Communication and Language

  • Move in the direction of a sound
  • Becomes quiet or moves arms and legs when listening to a sound
  • Beginning to understand a connection between a sound and actions
  • Expresses emotions through gurgling, babbling and squealing
  • Makes noises when spoken to
  • Lifts arms to be picked up

To help communication and language development, you should play peekaboo games with a baby of this age, and sing nursery rhymes while performing actions. Language skills will be enhanced if you provide commentary about what you are doing, and by copying baby’s sounds when they “talk” to you.

Literacy and Numeracy

  • Begins to notice when there are up to 3 items present
  • Explores shapes and textures with hands and feet
  • Shows enjoyment when hearing stories and rhymes

It is never too soon to read stories to a child of this age, you should also encourage enjoyment by sharing board books and cloth books that they can handle and turn the pages of. Number recognition is enhanced by holding baby’s hands and encouraging them to clap in time to a rhyme. Shapes, space and measurement understanding is encouraged by letting baby play with objects using their hands and feet.

Personal, Social and Emotional

  • Looks to see and a hear a grown up when upset, tired or hungry
  • Wants to snuggle and cuddle if tired or upset
  • Demonstrates a range of emotions through moving arms and legs and eyes
  • Identifies with other peoples emotions through response, such as smiling back, or crying if another child is crying

Emotional development can be supported at this age in a number of ways. To promote an understanding of relationships, play games where baby can copy your facial expressions and sounds. You can help baby manage their emotions by letting them see your face when they are upset or worried, and to promote self awareness, give baby something to hold and explore during a nappy change.