Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families Early Experiences Matter

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From Baby to Big Kid

An e-newsletter that showcases how children learn and grow each month from birth to 3 years. From Baby to Big Kid translates the science of early childhood and offers strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child.
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Development Through Your Child’s Eyes: 
 
Birth to 8 Months


I Learn About What My Body Can Do

  • I search for something to suck.  This calms and soothes me.

  • I recognize the smell and voices of those caring for me the most.  I can connect sounds to their source, and my favorite sound is the human voice. 

  • In the first 2 months, I can focus best on things that are 8 to 12 inches away.

  • I turn my head or close my eyes when it is too bright.

  • I have a good grip as a newborn. I will hold onto things you put in my hand. At about 3 months, I will start to reach and grasp things with both my hands.

  • I will learn to hold my head up, roll, and probably crawl. I have favorite positions, but it’s good for me to spend time on my belly, back, sitting up so I can see things from different perspectives.  This also helps me learn to move in different ways.  (But remember, I should always sleep on my back!)

I Learn About My Feelings and Who I Am

  • I feel secure when you hold me and smile at me.

  • Sometimes I startle, get frightened, or have taken in too much stimulation, and I need help to settle down.

  • I learn to comfort myself. I may suck on my fingers or hands.

  • I can show you many feelings. I smile and wiggle to show you that I like playing with you. I frown or cry when you stop playing with me. I arch my back and turn away when I need a break from playing or interacting.

  • By 4 months of age, if you watch closely, you can begin to see what makes me unique—my likes and dislikes, my interests, how I like to interact, how I deal with change.

I Learn About People, Objects and How Things Work

  • I love to play games like peek-a-boo with you. When I want you to keep playing, I wave my arms and legs and make sounds to let you know I don’t want you to stop.

  • I learn I can make things happen. I can shake a rattle and make a sound. I can kick a mobile and make it move. I can smile, and you will smile back.

  • By 6 months, I can tell the difference between people I do and don’t know. Sometimes, I may be afraid of strangers.

  • By 8 or 9 months, I might like to explore my food and even feed myself with my hands. It might get pretty messy at times, but it helps me feel confident.

I Learn to Communicate and Relate

  • I have different cries, facial expressions, and body movements to tell you that I am sleepy, hungry, wet, scared, uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or even bored and want to play.

  • I move my arms and legs, I smile and gurgle, when I am happy and excited.

  • Between 3 and 4 months, I begin to really enjoy babbling to you. I’ll begin with vowel sounds (ohs and ahs) and move to new sounds and combinations, with P’s, M’s, B’s, and D’s.

  • I will start to imitate the sounds that you make. My babbling may even start to sound like your speech. My voice might go up as if I’m asking a question. It may sound like I am saying a whole sentence. 

  • I learn about words and the joys of language when you talk, sing, and read with me.


[insert bookstore link]

Adapted from: 
Bringing Up Baby: Three Steps to Making Good Decisions in Your Child's First Years

In this book, parents will learn an easy, 3-step approach for making parenting decisions in the first three years and beyond. 


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Copyright 2012 ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families
1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

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