FCS Home

Parenting Home
Ages & Stages

Child Care
Co-Parenting
Contact Us
Discipline
Parenting Links
Parenting Issues
Positive Development
Publications
Relationships
Search
 

 

 

AGES & STAGES

Infancy | Toddlers | Preschoolers

INFANCY

Graphic: RattleInfancy is a time when babies are totally dependent upon their parents and care givers for their protection and care.  Consistent, adequate, gentle care can encourage the infant to develop the capacity to trust people.

BIRTH TO 4 MONTHS

Focus for this age:

  • Physical care.
  • Bonding to mother.
  • Visual stimulation.
  • Gentle physical handling.

Emotional development:

  • Attachment of baby to adult(s) taking place.
  • Early trust develops.
  • Eating/sleeping schedules vary greatly.
  • By 4 months can be comforted when unhappy.

Social development:

  • Turns head toward familiar voice.
  • Will begin to smile when talked with or held.
  • By two months shows excitement and pleasure when held.
  • Visually attracted to bright colors and contrasts.
  • By two months may gurgle to get attention.
  • Appears to enjoy being held.

Physical development:

  • By 6-8 weeks can move head from side to side.
  • Can lift head when placed on tummy by about 6 weeks.
  • Begins to notice hands by around 6 weeks.
  • May roll over by 3-4 months.

Language/intellectual development:

  • Crying is main source of communication (when wet, hungry, frightened, uncomfortable, or lonely).
  • Make gurgle throaty sounds by 4 months.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO

  • Talk to baby.
  • Hold baby face to face, especially during the first month, when singing or talking.
  • Be flexible about eating and sleeping routines.
  • Hold baby during feeding times.
  • Take baby for walks and talk about the sounds, trees, etc.
  • Have playtime with baby: peek-a-boo, read stories, talk and touch body parts (nose, chin, hand).
  • Shake a rattle and slowly move it so baby follows with his/her eyes.

TOYS FOR BABIES

  • Music Box
  • Crib Mobile
  • Soft Cloth Ball
  • Teething Toys
  • Crib Mirror (Unbreakable)
  • Busy Box
  • Ceiling Posters
  • Large Plastic Keys, Balls, Rings
  • Rattle (At Four Months)

4 TO 8 MONTHS

Focus for this age:

  • Responsive physical care.
  • A close relationship with a special adult.
  • A safe play environment.

Emotional development:

  • Attachment of baby to adults occurs.
  • Early trust develops.
  • Eating/sleeping schedules becoming more regular.
  • Enjoys playing peek-a-boo and begins to grab at blanket.
  • Uses cry to call for attention, not always a distress call.

Social development:

  • Enjoys being held.
  • Smiles to show pleasure.
  • Less smiling around strangers (by 8 months).

Physical development:

  • Can roll over.
  • Sits with support, then alone by 8 months.
  • Begins to push feet against floor or lap and then bounces.
  • Can see an object, then opens hand to grasp it.
  • Passes toys from hand to hand.

Language/intellectual development:

  • Babbles and coos.
  • Looks when name is called.
  • Imitates sounds.
  • Repeats interesting actions.
  • Continues to develop eye-hand coordination.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO

  • Talk to baby often.
  • Read to baby daily.
  • Allow floor time for wiggling, and eventually, crawling.
  • Put toys just out of reach.
  • Place objects in boxes or cans with lids to make noise.
  • Play peek-a-boo and hide toys under a blanket or diaper.
  • Hold baby during reading or feeding times.
  • Establish routines in baby's daily life (bathing, meals and snacks, naps, bedtime).
  • Imitate baby's sounds.
  • Freeze a wet washcloth for baby to teethe on and mouth.
  • Talk calmly to a crying baby.
  • Do not shake or toss baby in the air.
  • Hold baby close to a mirror and talk about baby's face.

TOYS FOR BABIES

  • Music Box
  • Small Toys To Grasp
  • Teething Toys
  • Balls
  • Push and Pull Toys
  • Rattles
  • Books
  • Busy Box or Other Noisy Toy

8 TO 14 MONTHS

Focus for this age:

  • Mobility increases and infant begins to walk.
  • Infant can make choices.
  • Language use and understanding increases.

Emotional development:

  • Strong attachment to adult(s).
  • Fears can be shown, especially to things such as Santa, clowns, fast moving objects and large dogs.
  • Infant can tantrum when frustrated.

Social development:

  • Smiles easily and shows enjoyment of people.
  • Demonstrates signs of independence.
  • Beginning of understanding that some behaviors are acceptable and some are not.
  • Watches people and their activities.
  • Prefers to be with others while playing.

Physical development:

  • Enjoys crawling, walking around furniture, & standing.
  • Can pick up tiny objects (uses thumb and fingers well).
  • Very oral - everything goes in mouth.
  • Develops arm and hand control.
  • Enjoys taking off clothes, climbing up and onto furniture, & crawling up stairs.

Language/intellectual development:

  • Uses names of familiar objects and people.
  • Loves to imitate actions of others.
  • Connects words to objects.
  • Looks at books and chooses them.
  • May scribble randomly.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO

  • Show pleasure in baby's abilities.
  • Baby proof the home (cover outlets, put away breakables, check safety of plants).
  • Help baby practice pulling up, walking, and climbing.
  • Watch for small objects that baby can choke on and remove from play area.
  • Read to baby using simple books.
  • Play simple games.
  • Take walks together.
  • Name objects you see.
  • Encourage baby to play games of imitation (sounds, words, pointing, body parts).

TOYS FOR BABIES

  • Small Riding Toys
  • Push & Pull Toys
  • Balls
  • Stacking or Nesting Toys
  • Pictures, Books, Simple Puzzles
  • Crayons (With Supervision Only)
  • Busy Boxes
  • Teething Toys
  • Shape Boxes or Balls (To Drop Blocks Into)