Year (0-1)

AT BIRTH

  • At birth, your child
  • Is able to move fists from closed to open.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child feeds slowly or doesn’t suck well.
  • If the child seems especially stiff or floppy.

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    • At birth, your child
    • Sleeps about 16 to 17 hours a day and wakes up frequently for feeding times.

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  • At birth, your child
  • Already recognizes your voice and smell and begins to bond with you.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not respond to loud sounds.

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    • At birth, your child’s
    • Hands are fisted, and arms and legs are tucked closely to the body.
      Your child’s muscles will gradually relax over the next few weeks.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child has flat facial features, small head and ears, short neck,
      bulging tongue, eyes that slant upwards, a single deep crease across the palm of the hand,
      atypically shaped ears or poor muscle tone.

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Parent’s role
A cuddle is the world’s best reward for your child. Cuddle your child often and speak as much as possible to her/him in a gentle voice.

AT 1 MONTH

  • Now your child
  • Startles at loud sounds and notices when the sound start stops (ring of a telephone, etc.).
  • Follows a moving light with the eyes.
  • Prefers the face of her/his parents as compared those of other people.
  • Turns in the direction of a sound.
  • Focuses on objects up to 1 foot away.
  • Constantly looks around at people and things.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not seem to focus her/his eyes or watch moving things that are nearby.

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    • Now your child
    • Makes gurgling sounds when s/he is content.
    • Smiles occasionally in sleep.
    • Enjoys looking at her/his parent’s faces.
    • Cries frequently (this is a reflex, not to express sadness).
    • Is responsive to your mood (i.e. irritable when you’re irritable).
    • Calms when you pick her/him up and when you speak in a slow, rhythmic, gentle voice.
    • Learns to be comforted by and attached to the caregivers.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not make any sounds.
    • If the child does not smile at people, even at her/his parents.
    • If the child does not cry even in extreme situations.

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  • Now your child
  • Starts to coo and gurgle when s/he sees you.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not respond to loud sounds.

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    • Now your child
    • Makes jerky and quivering arm thrusts.
    • Brings hands within the range of eyes and mouth.
    • Moves head from side to side while lying on stomach; head flops backward if not supported.
      Keeps hands in tight fists.
    • Wriggles and squirms on your lap or in the crib.
    • Reflexively grasps an object or finger that is placed in her/his hand.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child seems especially stiff or floppy.
    • If the child feeds slowly or does not suck well.

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Parent’s role
You should cuddle and talk to your child to learn how the child signals when s/he is sleepy or hungry.
Give your child plenty of tummy time to strengthen her/his muscles from the start.
Encourage your child to look at and reach out for toys.
Take your child for walks to park or playground where s/he will get a chance to enjoy outdoor and be around other children.
Get close and make eye contact with your child when you talk, sing, and read to her/him.

AT 2 MONTH

  • Now your child
  • Pays attention to faces.
  • Begins to follow things with her/his eyes and recognizes people at a distance.
  • Begins to bore (cries, fusses) if the activity does not change.
  • Moves legs and arms off the surface when excited.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not watch things as they move.

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    • Now your child
    • Begins to smile at people.
    • Briefly calms her/himself (may bring hands to mouth and suck on hand).
    • Tries to find/look at parent.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not smile at people.
    • If the child does not bring her/his hands to the mouth.

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  • Now your child
  • Coos and makes gurgling sounds.
  • Turns her/his head towards sounds.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not respond to loud sounds.

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      • Now your child
      • Holds head up and begins to push up when lying on her/his tummy.
      • Makes smoother movements with arms and legs.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child cannot hold head up when pushing her/himself up from tummy position.

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Parent’s role
Playing with your child will reassure her/him that s/he is loved and secure. It will help with overall development.
Try talking and reading to your child, sing songs like ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and hide your face behind your hands and then move your hands away while you say ‘Aha’. Playing helps her/him to develop and learn.
Seeing you smile releases natural chemicals in the child’s body that makes her/him feel good, safe and secure. It also helps in the child’s brain development and strengthens bonds with your child.
Help your child spend 1-5 minutes playing on her/his tummy each day. This will help your child to build her/his head, neck and upper body strength. Always watch your child during tummy time and put your child on her/his back to sleep thereafter.
A massage is a great way for you to connect with your child. It can also be very relaxing and soothing if you’re newborn is cranky. Try it in a warm room after giving your child a bath.

AT 3 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Follows moving objects with eyes.
    • Watches faces closely.
    • Recognizes familiar objects and people at a distance.
    • Starts using her/his hands and eyes in coordination.
    • While lying on tummy, pushes up on arms, lifts and holds her/his head up.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not follow moving objects with her/his eyes.
  • If the child does not pay any attention to new faces.
  • If the child cannot support her/his head well when pushing up off her/his tummy.

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    • Now your child
    • Brings hands to mouth.
    • Grabs and shakes toys.
    • Smiles at the sound of parent’s voice.
    • Enjoys playing with other people.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not smile at people.

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  • Now your child
  • Begins to babble and imitate sounds.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not respond to loud sounds.
  • If the child does not babble.
  • If the child ignores new faces.
  • If the child seems upset by unfamiliar people or surroundings.

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      • Now your child
      • Raises her/his head and chest when lying on stomach.
      • Supports upper body with arms when lying on stomach.
      • Stretches legs out and kicks when lying on stomach or back.
      • Opens and shuts hands.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child does not grasp and hold objects.

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Parent’s role
Responding to your child promptly helps her/him feel secure and loved.
Continue to make your child’s tummy time a part of her/his daily routine to help them practice the new skills and strengthen the muscles. When your child is on her/his tummy, provide toys and safe objects to hold and explore.
Give your child lots of attention and talk to her/him throughout the day, describing what you are doing and naming familiar objects.
Read books to her/him, share cuddles, play games, and encourages her/his efforts to roll over and grab toys.

AT 4 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Let’s you know if s/he is happy or sad.
    • Responds to affection.
    • Reaches out for toys with one hand.
    • Uses eyes and hands together, such as seeing a toy and reaching out for it.
    • Follows moving things by moving eyes from side to side.
    • Watches faces closely.
    • Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance.
  • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not watch things as they move.
    • If the child does not bring things to mouth.

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    • Now your child
    • Smiles spontaneously, especially at people.
    • Likes to play with people and may cry when they stop playing.
    • Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not smile at people and does not like to interact with them.

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  • Now your child
  • Begins to babble with expression and copies sounds s/he hears.
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain or being tired.
  • When to be concerned
  • If the child does not coo or make sounds.
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      • Now your child
      • Holds head steady and unsupported.
      • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface.
      • Rolls over from tummy to back.
      • Holds toys and shakes them.
      • Brings hands to mouth.
      • Pushes up to elbows when lying on stomach.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child cannot hold head steady.
      • If the child does not push down with legs when feet are placed on a hard surface.
      • If the child has trouble moving one or both eyes in any direction.

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Parent’s role
Continue to make floor time a part of your child’s routine and provide toys that have different texture and sizes.
You could also introduce your child to swimming now.
Talk to your child and listen to her/his reply. It will help your child learn about language and communication.
Sing songs, read books, play with toys, do tummy time and make funny sounds together. Playing together helps bonding and makes her/him feel loved and secure.
Make a routine for your child. This will help them do things in a similar order each day.

AT 5 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Is constantly putting things into her/his mouth.
  • When to be concerned
    • If the child seems very stiff with tight muscles or very floppy like a rag doll.
    • If the child’s head flops back when body is pulled to a sitting position.

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  • Now your child
  • Sleeps through the night in a solid block of sleep.
  • Needs 1 or 2 naps in the daytime too, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child refuses to cuddle.
    • If the child shows no affection for the caregiver.

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  • Now your child
  • Laughs if you pull funny faces or make funny sounds.
  • Begins to put consonants and vowels sounds together (such as )
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not react to funny faces or sounds.

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      • Now your child
      • Begins to grow stronger and progresses from lying on the back to lying on her/his front.
      • Sits up with support.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child has difficulty in getting objects to mouth.
      • If the child does not roll over in either direction.
      • If the child cannot sit with help.

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Parent’s role
Help your child sit in the upright position and move her/his legs to form a V-shape which will help to balance the body. Place a toy in front of her/him to play with and make sure you and plenty of cushions are nearby to provide support and rescue whenever needed.
Swing your child gently up and down and rock her/him from side to side to help improve the child’s balance and perception of movement in preparation for crawling.
Help your child to stand up and kick by holding her/him under the armpits.
Move a toy out of the reach of your child during daily tummy time and watch her/him trying to reach it. If your child is unable to do so, move the toy a bit closer for an easy win so s/he does not give up.


AT 6 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Starts to look around at nearby things; tries to bring things to the mouth.
    • Shows curiosity about the environment.
    • Tries to reach out to things; begins to pass things from one hand to the other.
  • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not try to grab things that are within reach.
    • If the child faces difficulty in getting things to the mouth.

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    • Now your child
    • Recognizes familiar faces; differentiates strangers from friends and family.
    • Likes to play with others, especially her/his parents.
    • Likes to look into a mirror.
    • Responds to the other person’s emotions and often seems happy.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child shows no affection for caregivers.
    • If the child is not interested in looking at faces.
    • If the child has limited or no eye contact.
    • If the child does not display social smile or joyful expressions at people.

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  • Now your child
    • Responds to sounds by creating a sound.
    • Responds to her/his own name.
    • Makes sounds to show joy and displeasure.
    • Strings vowels (, , ) together while babbling; likes taking turns with the caregiver to make sounds.
    • Begins to say consonant sounds (jabbering with , ).
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child doesn’t respond to sounds around her/him.

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      • Now your child
      • Rolls over in both directions (stomach to back, back to stomach).
      • Begins to sit without support.
      • Supports her/his weight on her/his legs and might bounce while standing.
      • Rocks back and forth, sometimes crawling backward before moving forward.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child doesn’t roll over in either direction.
      • If the child seems very stiff with tight muscles or very floppy like a rag doll.
      • If the child cannot sit up or roll over independently.

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Parent’s role
Your job is to stimulate the child to achieve the developmental milestones.
Motivate the child to crawl by putting yourself or a favourite toy just out of baby’s reach.
Read to the child as much as possible, talking about the story and the pictures in the book. This lays a foundation for language development, builds appreciation for books, and gives you an opportunity to spend quality time with the child.
Introduce toys that promote hand-eye coordination, such as blocks or stacking cups. It takes time for babies to develop these skills; so the sooner you introduce them, the better.

AT 7 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Transfers objects from one hand to the other.
    • Responds to own name.
    • Distinguishes emotions by tone of voice.
  • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not turn the head to locate where sounds are coming from.
    • If the child does not reach for objects.

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    • Now your child
    • Explores objects with hands and mouth.
    • Struggles to get objects that are out of reach.
    • Shows an interest in mirror images.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child shows no affection for you.
    • If the child does not smile on her/his own.
    • If the child does not try to attract attention through actions.
    • If the child does not have any interest in games.

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  • Now your child
    • Uses voice to express her/his joy and displeasure.
    • Babbles chains of consonants ((ba)-(ba)-(ba)-(ba))
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not laugh or make squealing sounds.

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      • Now your child
      • Rolls over both ways (stomach to back and back to stomach).
      • Is able to sit up.
      • Supports whole weight on legs when held upright.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child cannot rolls over both ways and also not able to sit up.

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Parent’s role
Recite nursery rhymes and play rhyming games like ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘Machli Jal Ki Rani Hai to help promote memory and listening skills.
Roll a ball backward and forward to your child to help in developing her/his motor skills, as well as understand cause and effect.
Buy toys that help your child to distinguish between different shapes. Use shape sorters and a jack-in-the-box to help develop both motor and cognitive skills.
Encourage your child to move by playing with toys with sounds.

AT 8 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Explores objects in different ways.
    • Displays object permanence and search for objects that s/he may have dismissed.
    • Develops insistence for favourite objects.
  • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not show any interest in exploring things.
    • If the child does not sit.

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    • Now your child
    • Begins to be shy or anxious with strangers.
    • Starts to develop ‘separation anxiety’ when s/he is separated from her/his primary caregivers.
    • Starts to learn the concept of self when s/he looks in the mirror and recognizes herself/himself.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not care when a caregiver leaves or returns.
    • If the child does not show interest in loud sounds for instance, throwing a cup to the ground.

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  • Now your child
    • Pays more attention to the speech.
    • Starts to say <mamama? Or <dadadada> and understands the word “no”.
    • Begins to move her/his finger as part of a serious ‘conversation’.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not respond to or seem to recognize own name.

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      • Now your child
      • Sits without any assistance.
      • Crawls forward on belly.
      • Bangs two cubes together.
      • Assumes hands and knees position.
      • Pulls self-up to stand.
      • Uses fingers to feeds her/himself.
      • Extends arms or leg to help while being dressed.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child does not lift her/his head and shoulders.

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Parent’s role
Learn to see things from your child’s perspective to understand her/him.
Buy a toy phone for your child to help her/him develop her/his imagination and hand coordination. This will also help in keeping your phone safe from little hands and drooling mouths.
Play peek-a-boo with your child, but let her/him be the one hiding. Show your child how to cover her/his face with hands or a blanket and let her/him pull it off themselves.
Let your child feed herself/himself even if s/he makes a mess and gets more on the floor than in mouth; this is an excellent hand-eye coordination practice.

AT 9 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Watches the path of something as it falls.
    • Looks for things s/he sees you hide.
    • Plays simple games.
    • Puts things in her/his mouth.
    • Moves things smoothly from one hand to the other.
    • Picks up things like small beads or food between thumb and index finger.
  • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not play games involving back-and-forth play.
    • If the child does not respond to her/his own name.
    • If the child does not look where you point.
    • If the child does not transfer toys from one hand to the other.

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    • Now your child
    • Begins to be afraid of strangers.
    • Begins to be clingy with familiar adults.
    • Begins to have favourite toys.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not seem to recognise familiar people.

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  • Now your child
    • Understands the meaning of “no”.
    • Makes a lot of different sounds like <mamamama> and <bababababa>.
    • Copies sounds and gestures of others
    • Uses fingers to point at things
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not babble e.g. , , .

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      • Now your child
      • Stands and holds things.
      • Sits without support.
      • Pulls to stand
      • Can crawl.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child does not bear weight on legs with support.
      • If the child does not sit with help.

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Parent’s role
You should now begin talking to your child using day to day vocabulary rather than baby talk to develop her/his language and communication skills.
Add hand motions to your nursery rhymes and songs. Sing songs like ‘Johnny Johnny Yes Papa’ while playing with your child. This will improve your child’s coordination and counting skills.

AT 10 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Recognizes familiar faces (even those relatives which s/he hasn’t seen for months)
    • Recognizes her/his toys.
  • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not bang objects against each other.

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    • Now your child
    • Begins to give a broad smile to everyone s/he meets.
    • Hides her/his face when well-meaning strangers try to chat.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not smile or give a response to any people s/he meets.

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  • Now your child
    • Repeats sounds and gestures for your attention and waves goodbye when you head out.
    • Begins to understand much of what you say to her/him, perhaps even simple instructions like
      ‘please pass me the ball’.
    • Tries saying a few simple words.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child is not able to understand simple instructions.

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      • Now your child
      • Stands alone for a couple of seconds.
      • Crawls well.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child does not crawl.
      • If the child does not bring both hands together.

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Parent’s role
Encourage and praise your child efforts rather than point out mistakes. If your child is trying to say a word but has not quite got it, nod and repeat the correct word back – “yes, that’s right, it’s your car”.
Your child may now understand the concept of role-play, so choose something from your cupboard or get toys to encourage your child’s imagination.
Give your child a blow-by-blow description of what you are doing to encourage her/his language skills. Your child will like action songs that link words and gestures.
Your child’s pincer movement is good now, so toys with moving parts such as wheels, levers, or doors that open and close are a big hit.

AT 11 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Feeds her/him with fingers and begins to explore the use of a spoon, if appropriate.
    • Recognizes people by their names.
    • Explores new ways to play with toys.
    • Obeys simple instructions.
    • Repeats simple sounds.
    • Experiments with speech and language.
  • When to be concerned
    • If your baby shows a poor functioning of her/his senses then it could mean a problem.
      For eg- If you call out to your child from behind the curtain and s/he does not turn
      her/his head towards it.

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    • Now your child
    • Says or to the parents.
    • Looks for familiar faces in a group of strangers.
    • Displays frustration and becomes upset.
    • Shows her/his disobedience.
    • Begins to have a longer attention span and can focus on you or a game for more than a few seconds at a time.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not show emotions.

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  • Now your child
    • Displays a strong sense of her/his likes and dislikes.
    • Learns to use emotions to get what s/he wants.
    • Engages in a regular back-and-forth conversation.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not utter even a single word.
    • If the child does not respond to basic commands.

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      • Now your child
      • Changes positions to reach an object.
      • Stands on her/his own.
      • Walks with support and takes a few steps without support.
      • Makes better use of her/his fingers.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child does not crawl at all.
      • If the child cannot stand even when supported.

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Parent’s role
Promote creative and imaginative play for your child by playing with finger or hand puppets. Take turns to make silly faces at each other to make your child giggle; it will also allow her/him to learn about turn-taking.
Let your child explore many different types of textures.
Read together with your child every day and involve her/him in the experience by pointing to people and things in the picture and asking your child who s/he is. You could also involve your child by letting her/him turn the pages.
Correct inappropriate behaviours of your child with a firm “no”.
Encourage your child to become more independent while dressing, eating and getting ready for bed.

AT 12 MONTH

  • Now your child
    • Explores things in different ways, like shaking, banging, throwing.
    • Finds things easily.
    • Looks at the right picture or thing when it is named and copies gestures.
    • Starts to use things correctly, e.g., drinks from a cup, brushes hair.
    • Puts things into and takes out from a container.
    • Follows simple directions like “Pick up the toy”.
  • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not search for things that he sees you hide.
    • If the child does not point to things.
    • If the child doesn’t crawl or drags one side of body while crawling.
    • If the child has poor skills in ‘pretend’ play and imitation.
    • If the child loses skills that s/he once had.

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    • Now your child
    • Cries when mom or dad leaves.
    • Have favourite things and people.
    • Shows fear in some situations.
    • Hands you a book when s/he wants to hear a story
    • Repeats sounds or actions to get attention.
    • Puts out an arm or leg to help with dressing.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child is engaging in self-stimulatory behaviour such as rocking, hitting them or twirling.

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  • Now your child
    • Responds to simple spoken requests, uses simple gestures, like shaking head
      for ‘no’ or waving ‘bye-bye’.
    • Makes sounds with changes in tone (sounds more like speech); also says ,
      along with exclamations like <uh-oh!>.</uh-oh!>
    • Tries to say words pronounced by the caregiver.
    • When to be concerned
    • If the child does not say single words like or .
    • If the child does not respond to her/him name when called.
    • If the child does not use gestures to communicate, like waving or shaking.

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      • Now your child
      • Gets to a sitting position without help; pulls up to stand.
      • Walks by holding on to furniture.
      • May take a few steps without holding on and may stand alone.
      • When to be concerned
      • If the child does not crawl.
      • If the child cannot stand when supported, cannot sit up or independently roll over.

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Parent’s role
Your child is beginning to show signs of growing independence.
Let your child press the doorbell or turn on the light switch to make your child understand the cause-and-effect theory. Try to follow the child’s lead.
Notice what the child is interested in and let the child (safely) explore an object on his own way. Encourage the child to use all her/his senses to learn.
Make the home child-safe, so that you can spend more time playing and less time saying ‘no’ or worrying.