baby infant boy smiling

The 5 Stages of Infant Development and How to Support Each

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The Stages of Infant Development

Watching your infant grow is a rewarding experience. Learning about the different stages of infant development is important for understanding how best to support and nurture their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth. Learn about the 5 infant development stages and what you can do to help your baby thrive.

Stage 1: The First Month of Baby Development

During the first month, your baby will be learning to recognize faces and voices, beginning to track moving objects with their eyes, and will start trying to hold up their head. As a parent, it’s important to interact with your baby during this time by talking and singing to them, cuddling them, making eye contact, playing games like peek-a-boo, and reading stories aloud.

Stage 2: Two to Three Months

At this stage, your baby will start to smile and show emotions like happiness, fear, and sadness. They’ll start to recognize you and other familiar faces, wave their arms around, roll over from their back to their stomach, and be able to hold objects in their hands.

This is a crucial stage for helping your infant build relationships and begin developing language skills. Participate in activities like talking with them while they’re awake, making funny noises together, building the bond between you two with lots of cuddling, playing tummy time games which help develop muscle control and coordination.

baby infant boy smiling

Stage 3: Four to Six Months Into Your Child’s Development

During this stage, your baby will become very active as their coordination and physical strength improves. They’ll start to use their hands to explore strange objects, experiment with sounds and babbling, learn and respond to their own name, and recognize familiar people from a distance.

It’s important that you interact with your child and engage them in activities like mimicking facial expressions, singing nursery rhymes, sharing books with pictures of animals or objects, playing peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake games on your lap.

Stage 4: Seven to Nine Months

At this stage, your baby will continue to develop their physical strength and coordination and become much more active as they are now able to roll over and crawl. Their communication skills will also become much more sophisticated, and they’ll be able to say a few words, recognize familiar objects and pictures, identify who they’re with, display object permanence by remembering where certain toys are placed, and explore unfamiliar spaces.

You can help them reach this stage of development by giving them plenty of opportunities to practice moving around using different body parts, engaging in physical activities like tummy time and crawling exercises, reading stories with vivid images or sounds that invoke emotion, naming animals or colors when playing together.

Stage 5: Ten to Twelve Months

At this point, you’ll start to see signs that your baby is slowly transitioning into toddlerhood. At this stage, they’ll be able to stand, cruise around furniture and walk assisted. Your baby may also babble in response to sights and sounds, recognize simple words like “no” or “up”, begin to imitate the actions of others, feed themselves finger foods with their hands and respond differently based on tonal cues.

You can help them reach this stage of development by teaching them simple words and giving them plenty of opportunity to practice walking and taking part in new activities such as playing with balls or puzzles. These development stages will only continue to grow when he/she is a teenager into adult hood. 

More Development Milestone Examples

toddler playing with toy car

Thinking & Reasoning (Brain Development)

  • Know their home address or number.
  • Can tell colors.
  • Understand time (basic).
  • Recognize alpaphet letters.
  • Know what objects are used for, like money and food.
  • Can count 1-10 or more.

Social And Emotional Development

  • Showing independence
  • Able to know fantasy from reality but enjoy  make-believe or dressing up.
  • Want to please and be liked by their friends.
  • Agree to most rules.
  • Kids have distinct ways of playing due to gender.
  • Most boys play rough or physically active ways.
  • Girls the same age are likely to engage in social play.

Language Development

    • Can carry meaningful talk with people.
    • Can realize the relationships of objects, such as “the girl who is skipping rope.”
    • Using future tense, like “Let’s go to the park the next day!”

Sensory & “Motor Development

  • Skip or somersalt.
  • Climb and swing.
  • Hopping with on foot.
  • Use toilet by themselves.
  • Kids may still wet the bed, at times.
  • By age 5, most kids can use their fingers and hands (fine motor skills) to:
    • Copy shapes.
    • Draw a person with a head, a body, arms, and legs.
    • Dress/undress on their own, but they may still need help tying shoelaces.
    • Write some (small or big) letters from the alphabet.
    • Eat with a spoon and fork


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