From Teething to Talking: Explore Baby Developmental Milestones and Toys

Children are the adventure of a lifetime. With every week, month, and year there is a discovery to be made about them, a trait or skill to be uncovered. Baby developmental milestones act as signposts to the wonderful physical, cognitive, and social changes of children. 

Baby Developmental Milestones and Toys | Call Emmy
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Although baby developmental milestones are based on the growth cycles of most children, the developmental journey is a unique process. Some children reach developmental milestones earlier or later than expected. With that in mind, read on to learn about the various milestones, gifts, and toys that help support child development. 

By 2 months 

Smiles

By the 2-month mark, you may notice a smile on your baby’s face. They tend to do this when they recognize the sound of a familiar voice or when you smile at them.  

Baby smiling under a blanket | Call Emmy
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Holds up Their Head While on Their Tummy  

When engaging in tummy time, babies will try to lift their heads. This is a common developmental milestone for 2-month-olds. It’s good practice to let the baby stretch out on their bellies and practice lifting their heads in the air. Be sure to place their toys at eye level so they have a focus point.  

Swings Both Arms and Both Legs  

In addition to lifting their heads, newborns love to kick around. When your baby has had enough tummy time, let them lay on their backs and watch as their little hands and feet flail about. Try placing a toy above them and see if they try to grab it. 

By 4 months

Pushes Up onto Elbows When on Tummy

By the 4-month mark, babies are using their elbows to push up so they can get a better view of the world around them. This display of strength makes for adorable baby photos.  

A baby pressed on their elbows | Call Emmy
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Holds A Toy in Their Hand  

At this stage, babies can hold onto objects you place in their hands.  

Stares and Makes Sounds to Keep Your Attention 

Babies are getting more familiar with both your voice and your facial features. They will stare at you and make cooing noises to try to keep your attention. 

Teething 

Teething can start at 4 months but sometimes it begins at the 7-month mark. Either way, the baby’s first tooth is not far behind. With this developmental milestone comes irritability, drooling, low-grade fevers, and a baby chewing on your finger.  

By 6 months 

Recognizes Familiar Faces 

At this point in a baby’s life, they are keeping a record of all the memorable faces they come across. 

A baby looking at their parents faces | Call Emmy
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Rolls over 

Newborns graduate to rolling by the 6-month mark. They start by lifting their tiny heads and shoulders up and suddenly they flip themselves over from tummy to back and vice versa.  

Leans On Hands When Sitting 

Babies are sitting up at this stage, but they still need support. You’ll find them leaning on their hands to stay upright.  

Laughs 

From smiling to laughing, the sound of your baby’s first laugh is sure to melt your heart. 

By 9 months  

Sits Without Support 

By 9 months, babies no longer need to lean on their hands to stay seated, they get into a sitting position by themselves and stay seated without support.  

Baby sitting without support | Call Emmy
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Crawls 

Get your camera ready. By the 9-month mark, babies are crawling. 

Babbles

As newborns test out their voices, they make more babbling sounds. It’s up to you to decide which of these babbles count as their first word.  


Developmental Milestone Toys for Newborns

Rattles and Squeeze Toys 

Give a newborn a rattle and watch as their faces light up. These types of toys are great because they help the baby practice their grip. The sound of these toys motivates them to swing their arms around. 

Newborn baby rattle 

Playmats 

Considered a newborn essential, playmats offer a safe way for newborns to test their legs and arms. When children get comfortable lying on their backs and rolling over, it’s a good time to bring out the playmat. 

Baby Playmat and Piano Gym 

Teething toys 

Teething rings are another essential newborn product.  There are many styles of teethers and teether rings on the market that ease the pain associated with this developmental milestone. They are often made of firm rubber or wood. 

Natural Rubber Teething Toy  

Years 1 to 2  

Feeds Using Their Fingers 

Babies gain independence and want to feed themselves. They will start grabbing for tiny bites of food. 

A baby picking up apple slices with their fingers | Call Emmy
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Says Mama or Dada  

This is a developmental milestone worth getting on camera. After realizing the power of their voices, kids make more sounds that can be interpreted as mama or dada. You can expect this by the 12-month mark. 

Waves goodbye 

This is a developmental milestone that shows motor skill improvement. As motor skills continue to develop, children may start copying simple actions like waving goodbye.  

Understands No 

Yes, 1-year-olds understand the word “no” even if it seems like they don’t. By this age, kids will pause when you firmly say no. It is best to save “no” for dangerous behaviors. For other behaviors, it is recommended that parents redirect their baby’s attention by moving them or giving them a toy to play with.   

Shows Affection 

The love that you have shown is being returned to you with gentle hugs. Babies are learning to express affection the same way you do. Now they are giving out hugs and kisses.  

Child hugging a parent | Call Emmy
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Walks with support 

Before fully walking a baby will take a few steps while holding onto furniture or other object. It won’t be long until they are fully capable of walking by themselves.  

Claps hands 

Around 15 months, babies have enough motor control that they can clap when they’re excited. This would be a fun time to introduce more nursery rhymes and songs. 


Scribbles 

The artistic side begins to show itself between ages 1 and 2. Given a crayon and paper, kids start scribbling away.  

Walks Without Holding on to Anyone or Anything  

Another developmental milestone worth getting on camera is your baby walking by themselves. By 18 months, babies do not need you or any other object to help them walk.  

A baby walking on a path | Call Emmy
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Copies Your Behavior 

All of your behaviors become your baby’s behaviors. They will watch you and copy whatever you do.  They may copy the way you answer the phone or the way you do chores. 

Follows simple instructions When Given Gestures and Words 

There is another developmental milestone that occurs at 15 months. As their understanding of speech develops, children pick up on the cues associated with particular actions.

For example, if you hold out your hands and ask for a hug, your baby will understand and respond with the appropriate behavior—a comforting hug. Around the 18-month mark, however, they will understand instructions without the need for gestures. 

Developmental milestone Toys: Ages 1 to 2  

Push Toys 

Babies, when they reach 1 year, walk by holding onto objects. This developmental milestone is a major achievement so it is important to encourage them to move their legs. Help them by getting a push toy or kiddie chairs.  

Toddler Push Toy 

Stuffed Toys 

Children get very affectionate around 1 to 2 years as their emotional intelligence grows. Get them stuffed toys that they can hug whenever they please. If you have pets, get a stuffed animal so they can build an association between their toy and pet.  

Stuffed animals

Baby Blankets 

Much like stuffed toys, baby blankets bring comfort to your baby. Try getting a baby developmental milestone blanket. Printed on these blankets are numbers representing the weeks and months of the baby’s life. Developmental milestone blankets also come with milestone charts or card sets to help you keep track.  

Baby Blanket 

Blocks 

Babies are developing more control in both their legs and arms. To help fine-tune their motor skills bring out the blocks. Stack blocks with them and let them get better with their hands.  

Block Toys with Storage Bag 

Touch & Feel Picture Books 

Touch and feel books will keep children endlessly entertained whenever story time comes around. Books that build upon developmental milestones feature different textures in the illustrations. Kids can improve their existing fine motor skills and develop their sensory skills. Pick up one of these books and marvel at the joy on your child’s face as they explore their sense of touch.  

Touch and Feel Books:

Years 2 to 3 

Eats With a Spoon 

2-year-olds feed themselves with spoons as they move on from finger feeding. 

Kid eating with a spoon | Call Emmt
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Runs around 

Toddlers are already taking off by the age of 2 but now they are pros running wherever their feet can take them. Good luck keeping up with them! 

Uses Switches, Knobs, or Buttons on a Toy 

With their fine motor skills, kids can now perform more carefully controlled actions. To celebrate this developmental milestone, get toys that have switches, knobs, and buttons. These are great at this age for keeping them entertained and for developing those controlled movements.  

Naming colors 

By 30 months, toddlers can recognize at least one color. Books that teach color recognition are great at this time.  

Developmental Milestone Toys: Ages 2 to 3 

Jigsaw Puzzle Toys 

There are plenty of wooden puzzle games to choose from. They help to familiarize children with shapes and colors.  

Wooden Toddler Puzzles 

Magnetic Drawing Boards 

Creativity will blossom with a magnetic drawing board. There are even standing magnetic drawing boards on the market. If you aren’t a fan of the drawing board, crayons and paper will work just fine. Be sure to hold on to these first art pieces for posterity.  

Magnetic Drawing Board for Toddlers 

Gear Toys and Stacking Pegboard Games 

At this point, the fine motor skills of babies have developed enough for them to carry out more complex tasks. Toys that require turning gears or unscrewing different components only help to grow these motor skills. Also, their hand-eye coordination will improve.  

Toddler Activity Table 

Caterpillar Gear Toy 

Years 3 to 4  

Joins Other Children to Play 

Children desire to socialize with other kids. Let them play with others.  

Kids playing together | Call Emmy
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Uses A Fork 

By year 3, children have developed their motor and coordination skills to the point where they can use forks. Encourage them to feed themselves.  

Talks With You  

At 3 years old, your child will converse with you in short exchanges. Ask them about their day and listen to what they come up with.  

Understands Numbers and Learns to Count 

Between 3 and 4, children are learning about numbers. Start to play counting games with them.  

Developmental Milestone Toys: Ages 3 to 4 

Playdough 

Playdough is the quintessential childhood product. It’s colorful, tactile, messy fun perfect for developmental milestones related to motor skills and group play. Although it’s brilliant all on its own, playdough is now integrated with different toys. There are playdough kitchen sets, playdough picnic starters, and playdough smoothie blenders. The sky is the limit with this one.  

Playdough Mixer Set 

Counting puzzles 

Encourage a love for numbers and counting with engaging counting games. A counting puzzle is a good start.  

Ice cream Counting Toy with Counting Cards 

Matching card games 

With an improvement in memory and attention span, a variety of memory games can be introduced. Play Memory card games to keep both you and your child sharp. Be it number, letter, or animal matching cards, these games bring the entire family together for some competitive play.  

Animal Matching Game 

Years 4 to 5 

More pretend play 

Dress-up and pretend play increase by ages 4 to 5. Please encourage them to express themselves by joining them in their pretend play.  

Girl playing doctor | Call Emmy
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Pays Attention During Activities 

During story time or arts and crafts, kids will pay more attention to the activities going on around them.  

Names multiple colors 

Kids know their colors by the time they reach 4 years old.  

Likes To Help 

This developmental milestone may excite you most of all. By 4 years old, kids want to be your little helper. They will help you put away toys and other objects if you let them.  

Developmental Milestone Toys: Ages 4 to 5 

Pretend Play Toys  

By 4 years old, kids are great storytellers. They desire their own fantasy worlds. Since kids this age love to roleplay and copy their caregivers, get them toys that inspire more pretend play. Kids’ tool kits, doctor kits, and pretend laptops are all good options. Even charades can give them this imaginative play. 

Toy Doctor Set 

Simple Board Games  

Board games are great for this age range due to children’s increased attention spans. They have the added benefit of teaching kids how to follow the rules of a game. There are tic tac toe board games, stacking board games, and Monopoly Junior for you to try. 

Monopoly Junior 

Conclusion: 

With the baby developmental milestones list, parents can slow down and appreciate the small changes. The sitters at Call Emmy are always there for those busy parents who deserve a moment of tranquility. We provide various services from child sitting, in-home laundry, house cleaning, and home organization. Our goal is to simplify your life and offer peace of mind. To book a service, click here.

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