Birth to 3 Months During this time, you can expect your newborn to change from a sleeping lump to a smiling baby that can track people and objects with his or her eyes. Your newborn prefers to look at faces and bright colors. They can reach toward their hands and feet, and turn their head toward a sound. You can expect your newborn to cry during this stage, but be easily soothed when held. During this time, your baby depends totally upon your care. Adequate nutrition and healthcare, such as immunizations and hygiene, is important to your newborn. It is also imperative that you respond quickly to your newborn's cries to help relieve stress. Stimulate your newborn's motor, sensory and language development by moving his or her hands and feet, providing them with colors and sounds, and talking to them often. Age 4-6 Months During this developmental stage, your baby will begin to repeat actions that have a result that interests them, such as dropping a toy for you to retrieve. Your baby will be able to listen and respond with his or her eyes or with noises when you speak to your baby. Laughing, cooing and imitating sounds are milestones during this time. Your child may say "da da" or "ma ma". Your baby will explore his or her hands and feet, and begin to put objects in his or her mouth. Your child can sit up with help, as well as roll over. Your baby will grasp items using the raking method of all four fingers and palm. Continue to provide your child with the nutrition and health care that he or she needs. Baby food is often started during this time, and your baby should continue to nurse or take formula. Talk to your baby often to encourage language and social development, and provide your baby with tummy time to strengthen muscles in the neck and those needed for crawling." Age 7-12 Months Babies during this stage can identify themselves, body parts and voices and people that are familiar to them. They begin to know common words and their own name. You may expect your baby to say his or her first meaningful words (not just da da and ma ma sounds). Your baby can sit unattended, as well as crawl, and pull him or herself up to stand. Your baby may also begin to walk during this time. He or she may begin to notice strangers and be shy around anyone unfamiliar. Your baby is becoming independent, crawling and exploring new areas. It is important, then, that you baby-proof your home with outlet covers, baby gates, etc. Continue to stimulate your baby's motor and language development, pointing out names of objects and reading simple books to your baby. Never force your baby to go to someone unfamiliar if your baby is shy or scared. Age 1-2 Years Your child is continuing to become independent and is walking, climbing stairs and running. He or she may wish to do simple tasks alone, as well as help you with tasks. Toddlers may imitate adult actions (so be careful!), as well as speak and understand more words and ideas. They may begin to know objects, such as toys and clothes, that belong to them. Your toddler will begin to develop friendships, as well as pretend play. Encourage your toddler's social development by providing him or her with opportunities to play with other children. This is a good time to encourage sharing and self-control. Allow your child to develop independence by allowing your child to complete tasks as well as giving him or her choices in food, clothing, etc. Age 2 - 3,5 Years It may seem that your child is always on the go during this time. At this age, children enjoy learning and continue to add new words to their vocabulary. Their fine motor skills are developing. They are more independent, but easily frustrated. Continue to provide your child with social opportunities. Focus on choice-making, dramatic play and reading to your child. Age 3,5 -5 Years Your child's attention span is longer during this time. He or she may talk a lot and ask questions ("why?"), or be outgoing physically. Your child will enjoy playing with friends and will begin to understand the concept of sharing and taking turns. Your child will probably be potty trained during this time, but he or she may still wet the bed. Help your child expand language skills by talking with him or her often, as well as reading and singing. Allow your child to gain pre-writing and pre-reading skills by telling you a story, drawing pictures and mastering a pencil. Encourage cooperation by giving opportunities to help and share. Age 5-8 Years During this stage of development, your child's world may begin to change. He or she will begin school, so relationships and learning will come to the forefront. Your child will begin to notice the world and the people in it, and become more outgoing. Language will continue to flourish with your child using words to express his or her feelings and help cope with experiences. Your child will become more interested in numbers and letters, as well as reading and writing. Help your child develop reading skills by reading with them, as well as pointing out sounds of letters. Strengthen social skills by giving your child opportunities to practice teamwork, as well as problem solve. Encourage and praise your child often in order to help develop a sense of competency and increase self esteem. Aid your child in acquiring basic life skills, such as taking care of his or her own hygiene, belongings, etc. If you have questions or concerns about your child's development, discuss these issues with your child's pediatrician.