4 Baby Developmental Stages



0 – 3 MONTHS

Babies use their senses to explore the environment.

They learn through touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste.

To help them develop to their full potential, we can engage them with a variety of materials that stimulate all their senses.

Materials include sound-producing toys, objects of different textures, objects with contrasting colours etc.

At this age, babies begin to

  • Explore their environment, toys, and objects using different senses
  • Turn towards a sound and look for its source
  • Track an object with their eyes
  • Discover hands and fingers
  • Hold head up when placed on tummy and eventually support self on arms

Parents can engage by

  • Responding to baby with enthusiasm and encouragement.
  • Providing physical experiences that challenge baby to use all of their senses.
  • Describing baby’s experiences and surroundings during daily activities and routines.
  • Providing things that baby can grasp, chew and manipulate.
  • Paying attention to what baby enjoys and give him the freedom to use all his senses to play and discover.


4 – 6 MONTHS

As babies grow, their muscles grow too.

Babies love to get themselves into new positions which allow them to develop strength that is crucial to their development in the months ahead.

Thus, we can help by using toys to encourage them to play and strengthen their muscles e.g. holding an attractive toy off to the side to encourage baby to roll over.

At this age, babies begin to

  • Reach for and grasp toys
  • Put toys in mouth
  • Use arms and legs to move forward or backward when on tummy
  • Sit steadily with/without assistance
  • Roll from front to back
  • Transfer toys from hand to hand
  • Hold an object in each hand

Parents can engage by

  • Providing ample time for baby to play and explore on the floor. Get down on hands and knees to play together with the baby.
  • Providing a safe environment and a variety of objects for baby to explore.
  • Introducing baby to a variety of different body positions.
  • Playing physical games with baby, e.g. helping her to change from sitting/lying on back to standing repeatedly; letting her push off your hands with her feet to get the hang of crawling forward.
  • Rotating toys every week for the baby to have new objects to interact with.


7 – 9 MONTHS

Babies begin to feel more confident in their movements.

They begin to move faster around the house.

They love to imitate adults’ actions to explore movements.

Playing with them using toys with handles, parts, and buttons that make noise encourage manipulation and coordination.

To provide more of these opportunities for them to explore.

At this age, babies begin to

  • Raise self to sitting/standing position, eventually reaching for a toy on the floor
  • Crawl
  • Roll, push or pull toys
  • Dump and fill containers with objects
  • Let go of a toy to watch it fall, over and over again

Parents can engage by

  • Providing opportunities for baby to move freely, including tummy time and crawling.
  • Providing a variety of objects to be touched, explored, pulled, and pushed .
  • Engaging baby in activities that promote moving fingers individually.
  • Providing opportunities for pouring, mixing, scooping, patting, and filling.
  • Providing opportunities and materials that allow for practice of fine motor and hand-eye coordination.


10 – 12 MONTHS

Babies begin to gain more confidence in themselves.

They become much more adventurous and prefer to walk around instead of sitting/lying on the stroller to explore their world.

They begin to perfect their fine motor skills and love experimenting with things around them.

Provide an abundance of objects to satisfy their adventurous spirit.

Materials include mirrors, hammer toy, push/pull toy, spoon, and bowl etc.

At this age, babies begin to

  • Use thumb and forefinger to pick up food or small objects
  • Raise self to standing position and take steps leading to walking unassisted
  • Throw, roll, push or pull toys
  • Understand cause and effect
  • Seek out and explore new textures, shapes, and materials within the environment
  • Move toward interesting sights in the environment
  • Show likes and dislikes
  • Respond to directed requests
  • Show pleasure when succeeding in a task or activity

Parents can engage by

  • Providing finger food to allow the baby to pick up and eat by herself, and small eating utensils for her to grasp and learn to feed self
  • Providing opportunities for baby to move freely, including cruising and walking
  • Introducing physical activities that promote balance
  • Allowing space and objects that baby can throw and play with safely
  • Getting outside at least once a day for exploration.
  • Praising and rewarding good behavior.
  • Designating areas in each room for baby to explore, e.g. a low cabinet in the kitchen filled with wooden spoons, measuring cups, colanders etc.
  • Letting baby play inside the house without socks and shoes as he learns to trust his own two feet while walking.