Child development milestones
Watching a child grow from the tiny little person you take home from the hospital to a fully grown adult is a truly unique experience. It’s a long and winding road and along that road, there are several important milestones that your child will achieve throughout their development. Before you know it your child will be walking and talking and living a life of their own. So with that in mind, we thought it would be useful to run you through the various important moments in a child’s development. Allowing you to see where your child is and to let you know of things to look forward to. Here is our guide to your child’s development timeline.

0-3 months

The initial months are easily the slowest and steady in terms of development. This is when your newborn is just adjusting to the new world they live in. During this time, babies gain more control of their head and neck, sleepless, will be able to push themselves up when left on their tummies and rollover. Plus, the babies begin to notice familiar sounds, usually smiling or going quiet when they hear them. In this time period, the babies require progressively increasing levels of interaction with hours of playtime being key to cognitive development. Then, in addition, they will also need a consistent feeding routine to aid in their growth and development.

3-6 months

During this period, your little ones begin to show their first signs of dexterity and communicative skills. During this period, babies begin to be more expressive, often babbling and smiling in response to the stimulus. The babies will also show fondness for certain toys and enjoy having stimulants around to play with. They will also respond to sounds not in their direct line of sight by turning their head and they can sit up on their own at around six months old. The end of this period marks the point in time that parents should begin changing their sleep patterns. Up until this point, the baby should have been sleeping in the same room. However, this marks the point in time where the baby can be placed in their own sleeping space at night.

6-9 Months

This period is commonly a time where your child becomes more mobile. During this time babies will be able to sit steady, swap toys between each hand, put their feet in their mouths and they may begin to crawl.

Babies also begin to find certain individuals more familiar than others. They will begin to form stronger relationships with specific individuals. Then with regards to communication, babies will begin making more unique sounds and will begin to mimic those around them, even saying simple one-syllable words like mum, dad, dog, etc. This time also marks the period where the baby is to be weaned off their initial food source as there is less need for bottles.

Every child is truly unique. Developments can happen at different stages, and some will be faster to develop at certain things than others and vice versa. You should not worry if your child is not doing these things at the average age! The most common age to start crawling is around 7-10 months, but remember that every child will learn, and grow at their own pace.

Signs that your little one may be ready to crawl

  • They may start shuffling around on their bottoms.
  • Crawling on their tummy or performing an army crawl.
  • They get up on all fours, lunging backward, and forwards like a yoga pose.

How can I help my child crawl?

  • Encourage him or her to go for their toys, by putting them just a short distance away from them. Within an arm’s length, then eventually move them further and further so they will try to move towards it.
  • Place your hands on the bottoms of your little one’s feet. They can then move off from your hands and have a little bit of extra strength to start.
  • Place your hands on the bottoms of your little one’s feet. They can then move off from your hands and have a little bit of extra strength to start.
  • Avoid holding your child all of the time, this will stunt their growth and make them unaware of the space around them.
  • Give them praise, it will boost their confidence. This is one of the main ones, even adults love to do things right and be acknowledged for it!

What is tummy time and why is it good?

Tummy time is key! Getting them on the floor as much as possible (with covers of course). This develops their stomach muscle strength. It also strengthens their arms, back, and torso, which will help them learn to crawl.

Always make sure you give your bundle of joy enough floor space and time every day. We recommend at least 30 minutes, as they will improve every day. When putting your child on the floor for tummy time, you should make sure that you put a soft breathable blanket down beforehand. This is to stop them from hurting themselves, also because a soft material will develop their touch sensory, and lastly it should be a natural material.

This is because babies’ skin is delicate and you should keep it safe from harmful chemicals. If you don’t have something for baby, here are some tummy time play mats that I recommend.

Bright Starts, Prop Mat – Giggle Safari

bright starts mat 

Tummy time mat is not something that you need. However, I found them very useful in bringing up my son and daughter. Firstly, this product is amazing value for money. If you think about all of the things it will do to help develop your baby to the best of their ability. The mat comes with a removable prop-up pillow for comfort on your baby’s neck. Whether they are laying on their back or tummy. Tummy time is an essential part of your baby’s development. As they grow stronger and stronger in their neck and back muscles. When they lay on their front they use their arms to push up. Tummy time can be done with your baby from 6 weeks onwards. This is when feeding is not as regular and your baby will not need to be sleeping as much.

Make sure that your baby has been fed at least an hour before you start tummy time as they make spit up sick and it will be uncomfortable for their tummy and if their face falls in it. make sure they have already had a good sleep as tummy time can be very stressful if the baby is feeling extremely tired they will not enjoy it. They can start tummy time from the day they come home from the hospital but I wouldn’t recommend this. When my daughter started tummy time we could only do it for 15-minute intervals every time, but the more you use it the more they will get used to it. She wasn’t fond of using it at first because it was all new to her and she just wanted to be attached to me or daddy most of the time. I found putting colourful textured toys down and a mirror helped her do the best she could.

    Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym

    baby gym

    • Baby activity toy suitable for newborns
    • 17 activities for development
    • Nature-inspired textures
    • Multiple fabrics plus activities on the mat: crinkle leaves, squeaker flower and baby-safe mirror in the trunk
    • Oversized round mat surface

    Inflatable Tummy Time Water Mat

     baby tummy time water mat

    Down in the deep blue sea there’s so much for us to explore. Now your little one can explore the ocean from the comfort of your home with this Inflatable Tummy Time Water Mat! Made from PVC, this baby mat is suitable from 3 months to 12 months and is a great way of supporting early development. It’s completely leakproof giving you peace of mind that your floors are safe from water. The exciting colours of the mat itself will keep your baby interested for hours at a time, with starfish and octopi to whales and fish, they simply won’t know where to look.

    This mat is designed to help develop cognitive skills and hand-eye coordination from an early age through fun new concepts straight from the ocean! It also helps to develop other motor skills which will become extremely important as your little one starts school. The mat is extremely lightweight and can be folded after use to reduce any storage space required. It is also BPA free, giving you full peace of mind that your baby is completely safe. Buy your very own Inflatable Tummy Time Water Mat today and help your baby discover the depths of the ocean!

    Staying safe

    • Make everything in your home at babies’ height child proof! It’s extremely surprising the things that they can end up getting hold of, and usually, those items go into there mouth! Because of this we also recommend, getting cupboard locks, fridge locks, etc. Even get a stair gate, babies love a good adventure up the stairs once it all starts.
    • Do not push your baby, if he/she is not ready to crawl don’t force it, allow time for them. If you do try and push them, not only will they most likely not crawl because it will be associated with a negative thing, but it may also delay their future development.

     Plug socket protectors

    plug socket protectors

    These plug socket safety guards are a must have when you have small children, they are cheeky and we love them but they are a worry when it comes to live wires and plugs. Here you have the best way to stop that worry. Having kids crawling around and beginning to explore with small fingers that perfectly fit in a plug hole can be such a worrying time. You get a set of 20 so all around your home can be secure for their wandering hands. Of course you will still need to watch them always because they are little monkeys at the best of times. They are super easy to fit in simply line up the dots with the UK plug size and put in.  


    Magnetic Cupboard Locks

    safety door locks

    These child safety magnetic kitchen cupboard locks are super easy to install with no screws or drilling required. They have an adhesive backing and this pack contains 10 locks, 10 latches and 2 keys. This means that you can keep your baby safe by locking your cleaning cupboard under the sink, or even to stop them touching glass jars of food which could potentially smash if knocked over. 

    They are a must have for every household with babies, how to install? Simply remove the backing and stick where you want! They are super strong, and fast to install! Take charge and stop your children touching thing that they shouldn’t be. These are suitable for doors up to 38 mm (1.5 inch) thick. 

    Lindam Sure Shut Stair Gate

    baby stair gate for safety

    A stair gate is definitely needed when you have little ones walking, crawling or rolling around! The term stair gate doesn’t mean it can only be used on the stairs, it can be used in food fittings to stop them entering a hot unsafe kitchen, to stop them getting out of the front door if you need to be outside and they don’t, stops the risk of them falling down or getting up the stairs. Although wall fixed gates are supposed to be used for the top of stairs for safety reasons. Most health visitors will recommend you get one for every room for safety reasons because once your little one gets on the move there’s no stopping them! They may even fit them for you to save you the worry.

    The pressure fit ensures that the gate is fitted securely and safely and correctly. Squeeze and lift handle opening for easy adult opening and shutting. It features a second lock at the base of the gate for extra security. Adjusts to fit openings from 76 cm to 82 cm, can be extended up to 117 cm with separately available extensions (Lindam Universal extension range, accommodate all Lindam Sure Shut Safety Gates). The gate comes in a box ready to install within 5 minutes and comes with the necessary tools to help you. No drill pressure fit safety gate. Generally, a safety gate is needed when a child is able to independently move around such as walking or crawling. The best time to install one would be at the age of 6 months. To be ready for when your little one develops the skills that entitle them to get out and around the house.

    Should I worry if my child isn’t crawling?

    Along as your baby is fit, healthy, gaining weight well, and is hitting their milestones. There is nothing to worry about, some babies don’t learn to crawl and will go straight to walking. If you have worries about your child’s development, do not hesitate to contact your professional health care provider or health visitor. They can offer plenty of support and help as and when it is needed. Remember they have met hundreds of babies and know the milestones that your little one should be hitting and when.

    How To Teach Your Child To Walk?

    baby walker

    You may be wondering how to teach your child to walk, but you should know that as your baby begins to grow and develop, they will slowly learn how to walk on their own. This is an exciting time for you and your baby. While most babies will learn how to walk by themselves. There are ways in which you can help them to take their first few steps by themselves.

    1. Sitting up by themselves

    At first, your baby will begin development by sitting up by themselves. Sitting up by themselves will help your baby to strengthen the core muscles that they will need when they eventually learn to stand. This usually occurs within the first 6 months of your babies’ development. To help your baby in this stage, encourage them to sit up by playing games with them.

    Using a walker at this time will encourage them to sit up so that they can play whilst also strengthening their muscles. In turn this will help them to sit up more easily, and make the learning to walk process more fun.

    2. Pulling themselves up

    After around 7 to 8 months, your baby will grow in both confidence and strength and will begin to pull themselves up. As a baby, they will become more curious about their surroundings and want to explore. You can help during this stage by helping your baby to pull themselves up. You can also show them how to bend their knees to gain balance and strength within their legs. It can also help to reduce the impact of a fall once your baby is walking by themselves.

    3. Assisted walking

    Shortly after your baby begins to pull themselves up, they will be able to walk with some assistance. Using your hands as a balance, they will begin to take steps around the home, gaining confidence with each step that they take. You can help your baby by practising walking with them. They will gain more strength and stability the more you practice.

    4. Cruising

    baby furniture cruising

    As your baby continues to build up strength with your help, they will begin walking using the walls and furniture around them. This is known as ‘cruising’. It is important that during this phase, you make your house as baby-proof as possible. This includes removing anything sharp from the areas in which your baby can cruise, as well as blocking up any plug sockets with covers, and putting a lock on the fridge and cupboard locks. 

    5. Standing Alone

    The final phase of your babies’ walking will be standing without any help or assistance. It is common during this phase for your baby to fall upon trying to stand without help. In order to help them, you can help support your baby while they stand, then praise them for standing by themselves. This positive reinforcement will help your baby to understand how well they are doing.

    It is important to note that throughout all of these stages, each baby will develop at their own pace. As a result, your baby will stand when they are ready and so they should not be pushed too far. If you believe that your baby is struggling in any of these phases, a doctor may be able to provide you with the help and support that they need to have them standing in no time.

    Above are the 5 milestone steps that your baby will take naturally on there own. To teach your child how to walk, all you need to do is simply support them on their journey, reward and praise when they succeed, comfort and soothe them when they fail and fall.

    First Walkers Shoes

    first walker shoes

    Although your little one won’t be doing tons of walking between the ages of 0-12 months, they will be making their first steps using a walker and then having their very first walk outdoors before you know it. Pre-walkers’ shoes tend to be more soft and comfortable making your little one happy and secure when learning to walk. You will need a thicker sole like these ones as they get older. These shoes are a great first pair for your little one to have, they are easy to put on and take off using just a simple fastener.

    9-12 months

    This period is a wonderful time for parents as they will often see their child walk for the first time. Children begin by crawling and furniture surfing, using a grip to hold themselves upright. Then before long, the child is standing upright with no additional aids. The child also begins to emote much more, showing excitement through clapping, understanding simple concepts such as waving hello and goodbye as well as accepting and reflecting things through the terms ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The child will also recognise themselves in the mirror and gain a sense of object permanence. However, much to the displeasure of parents everywhere, children can become more emotive in negative ways as well, often resisting bedtimes and nappy changes.

    When should my baby wear shoes? 

    It’s a question all of us parents have on the tips of our tongues, all baby shoes are too cute and hard not to buy every pair you see, but don’t bother. Baby’s only really need one pair of shoes, only buy a pair that will aid your little one in the journey of learning to walk. These shoes will do just that.

    You should buy your baby their first pair of walking shoes at the age of around 10/12 months when they take their first steps. If your little one is showing signs of walking earlier on you can purchase some walking shoes when you feel they are ready. You don’t want to buy loads of pairs of shoes that will never be worn, it’s a waste of money and time.

    Buying shoes for sale online can be difficult, all the different sizes, what if they don’t fit? etc. So before you do buy shoes for your baby have a look t our accurate sizing guide. You’ll want to get it perfect so your not messing about sending them back and forth. Its best to buy shoes that have never been worn because of risks such as verrucas, fungal problems etc.

    How To Encourage My Child To Walk?

    Using a buggy board

    When your child is just born all the way are until they can walk is extremely beneficial. After the stages, taking a buggy everywhere can become a bit of a pain especially on the bus. Storing in the buggy itself can be annoying as they are usually quite bulky. Luckily there are many ways you can encourage a child to walk and not use the buggy anymore. What can help?

    Okay, so a buggy board is not a direct solution. But it is a great way to encourage them to not sit in the buggy. After some time they will not want to go in the buggy again. This is more about the practice of being outside of the buggy without being pushed around in a chair. After some time you’ll be able to remove the buggy board and stop bringing about the out altogether.

    Get them a scooter or a bike

    This bicycle is a perfect toy and tool for encouraging your child to walk and not use the buggy. As they learn to cycle, without knowing it, they will develop their core muscles which will in turn help them transition smoothly to no longer being reliant on the pushchair.  Riding to school on a scooter or bike gives your child the opportunity to be active outside, without a buggy. They will be using a lot of energy to either pedal or scoot and this will help them build up their energy and stamina levels in preparation to walk full-time.

    When they become confident on the bike, you can later on remove the stabilisers which will help them develop their balance. Whilst this may take some time, with lots of practice they will get there!

    If you don’t fancy using a buggy board, scooter or bike. The other alternative is to go cold turkey without the buggy and instead of your child’s rewards for walking well this won’t be a permanent thing and after they have completely got used to the transition of walking you can then take away the rewards.  Common rewards could be a healthy snack such as figs, dates or other dried fruit.  Not all rewards should be food-related, you could also offer activities or days out as a reward which can be very educational as well.

    Start Small

    If your child is not used to walking which if they are in the buggy most of the time they will likely not be. You should make sure that you do not rush into going for very long walks just yet. You should start small this could mean taking a body with you I’m encouraging your child to walk to the shop, what’s also letting them know that they can go back into the buggy on the way home.

    After some practice with this and many smaller walks, you can then begin to walk further and further eventually leading up to not needing the buggy anymore. On the day that you decide to remove the buggy, you can tell your child:

    “Oh no! The buggy is broken, but that doesn’t matter does it? Because you can walk now, that’s lucky!”​

    It’s important that once you have done this that you do not revert back as this will only slow down your Childs development. Once you’ve made the choice to remove the buggy you should persevere and be persistent that they are now bigger and need to walk whilst using temporarily rewards if necessary. Good luck.

    Offer rewards for walking

    If you don’t fancy using a buggy board, scooter or bike. The other alternative is to go cold turkey without the buggy and instead of your child’s rewards for walking well this won’t be a permanent thing and after they have completely got used to the transition of walking you can then take away the rewards.  Common rewards could be a healthy snack such as figs, dates or other dried fruit.  Not all rewards should be food-related, you could also offer activities or days out as a reward which can be very educational as well.

    When can I get rid of the buggy?

    Taking the buggy out can be both – extremely beneficial and also highly stressful. For example, whilst on the bus, it forces you to sit in the buggy bay. From my experience, my child gets bored with the bus journey and hates being constricted. This causes him to have tantrums, trying to kick his legs in an effort to get more freedom.

    Whilst to some extent I am not that bothered what other people think, this can be very embarrassing. When a child acts out for there mum or dad in public, it is nearly always the parent who is blamed for the poor behaviour of the child. At least it seems as if people are judging, maybe sometimes they are not, and sometimes they are. It’s also likely that it is in our heads. When we are out and about, walking is not his strong point and it’s no wonder that he struggles with his little legs that are not used to walking for long periods of time.

    When he gets tired, he demands pickups. He throws himself on the floor and even when you do pick him up he screams. This is likely because he is just tired and wants to go to sleep in the buggy. In some ways the buggy is beneficial, we can also put all of our stuff such as coats, food, etc. underneath in the basket. Nonetheless, without the buggy, my son enjoys sitting independently on an adult seat. His behaviour is a lot better without the buggy on the bus. Also, we are able to sit upstairs which he enjoys more as the views are no doubt a lot better.

    At other times it can be a nightmare to take out with us. Like going to the beach, having to carry the buggy across the stones as well as look after two little ones. I like to leave the buggy at home, but my partner likes to take it out with us and whenever we do one of those things and it doesn’t go well, this can as you could imagine cause heated arguments. Nothing can cause an argument more than a screaming child.

    It is so difficult knowing whether to take it or not due to the pros and cons of bringing it with or leaving it at home. In the early stages of your babies’ life, a buggy is no doubt a powerhouse miracle, but when you are near the transitional phase, when it is sometimes useful and sometimes a pain, it is hard to know what to do.

    It is difficult to say and will vary for each child. Some may enjoy walking and adventure more than others, some may require more sleep during the day. Each individual child is very different and will develop at their own pace. What you will need to do is try to encourage them to walk as much as possible. This will smoothen the transition from buggy to walking.

    The right age would be when they are around 2 years old, but you should bear in mind that this is still the age when tantrums will be on the horizon and whilst it will be a developmental journey, it may be very bumpy! To encourage walking it will, of course, take a ton of practice, and rewards work better when they are doing good than punishments work for when they are doing badly. 

    It may take up to 4 years old until they eventually are able to go out without the buggy completely. I wouldn’t recommend selling it or getting rid of it anytime soon if they are not yet four years old. Be patient and enjoy your baby for as long as you can because they grow so fast.

    12-24 months

    The second year of your baby’s life is a jam-packed one full of interesting moments. Your child will likely take the basic balance and mobility that they gained in the previous months and build on them drastically. This period usually sees children learn to climb stairs, jump, bend to pick up objects, use a tricycle, throw or kick a ball, and dance when excited. Then aside from mobility, your child will also become adept at other core skills. A child will often learn to hold a pencil or crayon in their preferred hand. They will be able to feed themselves, drink from cups and they may also begin potty training and move into their own toddler bed within this period. 

    2-4 years old

    This period marks a time in your child’s life where social interaction and plentiful activities are key to development. Your child will be potty training if this wasn’t the case already, they will be using child-sized cutlery. Many children will be able to count to ten and spell their own names. Plus, depending on the motor skills of the child in question, some children will be able to write their own name. This is also a time where children begin to act with their own interests in mind. Meaning that this is the ideal time to introduce discipline in the form of a naughty step or consequences for undesirable actions. Then towards the latter end of this period, the child will attend nursery school, thus beginning their academic journey.

    As your child grows and develops, they will begin to pick up a number of skills from social and cognitive abilities to literacy and numeracy. These skills are crucial to their future success and you should encourage this development wherever possible. However, at times it is difficult to best understand when you should push your child to develop these skills or when you should take a step back.

    It is important to understand that every child learns at their own rate, with some children picking up words faster than numbers. Other children being more orientated toward numbers. As a result, if you believe that your child is particularly slow at picking up numbers there should be no need for concern.

    When can I introduce my child to numbers?

    You can begin introducing your child to the idea of numbers as early as twelve-months of age. This can be done by playing. For example asking how many beads they are holding, as well as through the use of songs and rhymes.

    During this period, your child will make many mistakes when it comes to numbers- this is completely normal! It is the way that humans learn and soon your child will begin to recite the correct numbers without any help.

    What age do kids learn to count to ten?

    By the age of 2 years old, your child will usually learn how to count up to 10. They may possibly skip numbers whilst they are doing so. Once your child has learnt to count up to 10, they will begin labelling objects with numbers. For example, stating that there are ‘7 blocks’ or ‘3 teddy bears.’

    During this process, they will begin to actually understand the concept behind numbers and the ways in which they work. This period of time is one for them to experience numbers in ‘real-life’ and should be treated as a fun and exciting stage. Between the ages of 3 and 4, your child will begin to understand the idea behind adding and subtracting numbers.

    For example, you could remove or add one napkin to the table. Or add another piece of fruit to their bowl and ask what the new number is. This will help to reinforce the concept of numbers through the use of objects in your child’s everyday environment. Much like the other stages, your child will make many mistakes. All of which should be supported to help your child understand numbers rather than fear them.

    During each of these phases, the most important factor is that you and your child have fun. Learning is a fun experience for all of those involved and so teaching your child about numbers should be an enjoyable time for you both.

    4-7 years

    This time in your child’s life is the period where they will develop a sense of empathy towards others. They will take other people's needs and emotions into account, with sharing being a key component of them showing that they care. Then when playing, children will also be much more structured and imaginative with a lot of their playtime being based on real-life situations and role play with other children. Then with regards to the skills that the children learn in these three years. They will learn to tie their shoelaces independently, wipe after using the toilet, ride a bike with no need for stabilizer wheels, and will also be able to read simple books.

    8-10 years

    Then lastly, we have the last of the single-digit years. During this time your child will begin to develop a social life outside of their parents. They will want to spend time at their friend's house or play outside with their buddies away from the watchful eyes of adults. Children will sleep significantly less and it will take much more physical exertion to tire out your child. Your child will also take more interest in more complex and advanced activities. They may take an interest in technology, they will have an understanding of currency and want to make their own income, often leading to an allowance being granted to the child. Your child will also begin to see the early signs of hormones affecting their mood and behaviour. This often leads to stronger and frequently changing emotions and the child pushing the boundaries and rules in place within their life.

    Up next: How to soothe a teething baby?


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