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What can you expect?

Screaming babyBabies develop in predictable ways, for the most part. Just knowing what's "normal" for a child can be reassuring for the child's parents. It can also help a parent be more patient.

The following guidelines are only generalities. Every child matures at his or her own rate. If your child's development differs from the stages described below, that doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong. Many very extraordinary people were late bloomers!


Newborn babies sleep a lot. They need to be held, fed, and comforted when they cry so they can learn to trust that people will take care of them.

1 to 4 months

At one to four months, babies begin to look around and explore with their eyes in a new way. They can roll from stomach to back, and begin to put objects in their mouths.

4 to 8 months

At four to eight months, children begin to sit up with little or no support. They are also beginning to creep and crawl. They crawl to objects and explore them by putting them in their mouths.

8 months to 1 year

Between eight months and one year, a child will pull itself up to a standing position and use furniture to support itself while walking around the room. At this age, children may begin to walk by themselves. They like to try new things like turning knobs on the TV or stereo or pulling the handles on cabinets.

12 to 14 months

A child of 12 to 14 months can walk and spends most of the time trying to push and pull things around the room. A child this age can push a chair close to an object in a high place and then climb the chair to reach.

18 months to 2 years

Between 18 months and two years children are exploring everything, getting into cabinets and drawers, dumping containers and putting things back into the containers. They like playing in water and being messy.

2 to 3 years

At the age of two to three years, children like to ask questions that start with "how come," "why," and "what for." They like to do things for themselves. They tend to repeat everything they hear.

All of these stages may vary for individual children. A child who comes to these stages a little early or a little late is probably fine. Knowing what is normal for a child's stage of development can also give you a clue about how to manage the child's behavior.

Why do children misbehave?

Sometimes it's because he wants attention. In that case, picking him up or playing with him might improve his behavior. If the child is old enough to understand, you might be able to explain that you're busy but that you can play with him later.

Making Healthy Choices
Children need attention to thrive. If you are going to be a parent, be prepared to spend a lot of time with your child. And remember: if you only pay attention when your child misbehaves, you will be teaching your child to misbehave!

Sometimes it's because she's bored. Give her a toy or play with her. She might not know rules, or she might be testing to see what she can get away with.

Say "no" calmly but firmly and distract her with a toy. Be consistent. Don't say "no" one time and "yes" the next time. You'll confuse her. You will need to be as persistent as your child!


Talk about it
Healthy relationships
Teens as parents
When it's scary
Dating Violence
What's a parent?
The legal father
What to expect
What it takes
Facts of life
Team parenting
Tips for parents


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