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Understanding more about your child’s development may help you understand your child and their behaviour better.

Smiling for the first time, holding a toy, crawling, taking a first step and saying their first words are called developmental milestones. These are the things most children can do by a certain age. Most children’s development follows a similar pattern, although the timing of when certain milestones are reached will vary from child to child. Disabled children or children with additional learning needs may take more time to reach the different stages.  

There is more detailed information about your child’s development in the ‘Bump, Baby & Beyond’ book. This also provides information about feeding, teething, vaccinations, your child’s health and making your home safe. If you are worried about your child’s development – ask your GP or health visitor.

Don’t try to compare your child to anyone else’s. This will put pressure on you and your child. All children are unique. Every child will develop at their own pace and in their own way. They will reach the different development stages at different times. They will also react differently to things around them, depending on their personality or temperament.  

The way your child behaves is part of growing up. A lot of the behaviour you find difficult may be perfectly normal for your child's age and stage of development. Try to enjoy and celebrate your child’s changes and adapt to them.

Here is some general information about the different stages of development and some tips to encourage and support your child.

Your new baby (new born)
It’s a very special time when your new bundle of joy arrives.
Your baby 1-6 months
Your baby is becoming a very social being. They love being with you and you will begin to understand more about your baby’s ways and messages.
Your baby 7-12 months
Your baby is becoming more mobile and will take a more active part in family life.
Your toddler 1-2 years
At this stage your toddler is becoming much more mobile, is talking more and is trying to be more independent.
Your toddler 2-3 years
This is an exciting time as your child is able to talk, walk, run and climb to explore the world around them.
Your child 3-5 years
Your child is becoming more independent and capable of doing things on their own.
Your child 5-7 years
At this stage your child will be entering into their first few years of education.
Understanding why your child’s brain is so amazing!
Your child’s brain begins to grow and develop before they are even born.