For the sake of convenience and easy reference, the major areas of development in a child have been grouped according to age.
One month profile
- Turns towards the source of light, tries to fix his gaze on the mother or any object nearby like a toy, and briefly follows a light source.
- A sudden sound may cause stiffening, blinking, stretching, and crying. Stops whimpering on hearing a soothing voice.
- Cries in hunger or discomfort and gurgles if contented.
- Spends most of his time sleeping but begins to smile socially and makes responsive sounds by six weeks.
- Ceases crying when picked up and talked to.
Three month profile
- Begins to respond better.
- While on his back, brings his hands above his chest and seems to study them. Kicks and waves his arms and if put on his stomach, raises head and shoulders.
- If he is on your lap, he can support his head and look around.
- Can briefly hold a toy; tries to focus on small objects nearby.
- Is distressed by sudden noise, but is quietened by a soothing voice.
- Vocalises happily when pleased and is excited by the sound of a running tap, footsteps or approaching voice; laughs aloud.
- Bath and feeds evoke coos, smiles, and excited gestures. Enjoys being bathed and gurgles happily when picked up or tickled.
Six month profile
- Begins to sit unsupported with his back straight and rolls over; bounces when held standing.
- Grasp has improved and this encourages continual handling of objects, putting everything in his mouth, and transferring objects from one hand to the other.
- Makes sing-song noises and two-syllabled sounds like ‘a-a’, ‘na-na’.
- Squeals and chuckles, and screams if annoyed.
- Delighted if you play with him.
- Cuts his first teeth, usually the lower central incisors.
- Can pull himself up and stand by holding on to furniture. Has learnt to crawl.
Nine month profile
- Holds small objects like buttons, coins, etc., between thumb and finger. Can grasp a cup in both hands; can hold, bite, and chew any food.
- Can comprehend ‘no-no’, ‘bye-bye’.
- Makes noises constantly and repetitively like ‘ma-ma’, and ‘da-da’.
- Plays peek-a-boo.
One year profile
- Begins to stand and walk unaided. Can crawl very fast and can crawl up and down the stairs.
- Can hold more than one object in his hands.
- Deliberately drops and throws toys, watching them fall.
- Can use a cup unaided.
- Holds, but cannot use, a spoon.
- Recognises people. Understands simple commands.
- Turns when called by name.
- Uses a lot of jargon. Can speak a few words.
- Offers arm or leg for dressing. Enjoys sound-making toys; enjoys playing pat-a-cake. Waves bye-bye.
One and half year profile
- Runs about, goes upstairs if you hold his hand.
- Explores corners; enjoys pulling and pushing boxes and toys; enjoys looking at picture books.
- Becomes adept at picking up small objects such as beads; tries to scribble holding the pencil in the palm of his hand.
- Carries food to mouth with a spoon, drinks easily from a cup.
- Says 15 to 20 words; tries to recite nursery rhymes.
- Has bowel control; fidgets and makes agitated sounds when urgently in need of going to the toilet.
- Imitates actions like sweeping the floor, dusting, and reading.
Two year profile
- Loves to run, chase, and be pursued.
- Takes things apart, puts them together again; more adept at using his hands — can hold a pencil between two fingers and the thumb; tries to draw.
- Has a fairly large vocabulary.
- Has control over bowel and bladder.
- Uses his own name to refer to himself; participates in songs and nursery rhymes.
- Obeys simple commands; puts on shoes.
- Washes hands.
- Fiercely possessive about toys; behaves in a jealous manner when parents show interest in another child.
- Has all 20 primary teeth.