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Parenting tips
Development of Your Child
From Birth to 3 Years

The following Stages of Development are listed only as a guide to follow. Be aware that development can vary greatly from one child to another. The degree of care, safety, and nurturing your child encounters in the early months and years of his or her life will have a profound and lifelong effect on his or her health, cognitive ability, well-being and stress handling. The loving, supportive, nurturing, and safe parenting you provide for your child will assure the best possible development. Through close listening and observation you will learn cues to know what your child’s needs are. When your child becomes a toddler you will see rapid growth and learning.


The most rapid period of development in human life is during early childhood . As parents, it is important for you to be aware that based on research, half of our potential intelligence is developed by the time we are 4 years old. A child’s brain cells are formed during the prenatal period, but how the brain’s pathways connect and it’s “wiring” is shaped and molded by a child’s environment (UNICEF, 2001). Research also shows that during the first few years of life it is critical for a child to receive adequate nutrition and appropriate mental stimulation for the brain to develop properly. If this does not occur, the brain may not be capable of “rewiring” itself later and a child could possibly develop neurological and /or behavior disorders, or learning disabilities (UNICEF, 2001). On the other hand, there is much evidence that by 12 years old, the brain function of infants that receive good nutrition and adequate mental stimulation, is much better that those who did not. Severe stress in early childhood can also affect a child’s learning abilities, memory, behavior, and emotions later in life.

Newborn & Infancy ( 0 -12 months )



  • 0-3months – drawn to sound, notices parent’s voice, begins eye contact , begins to lift head, startles at noise , begins to track objects with eyes, rolls to one side, moves arms and legs.

  • 3-6 months – may sit with support, may stand with help, rolls over, lifts head up to 90 degrees, grasps for objects.

  • 6-12 months – sits with no support, achieves some form of crawling, begins to walk between 8-18 months, throws toys purposefully, stands with the help of 1 hand between 6-8 months

  • 0-3 months – notices faces and bright colors, tracks a moving object with eyes, discovers feet and hands, discovers own voice

  • 3-6 months – responds to name, has a preference for parents and familiar people, imitates sounds, interested in colors,explores feet and hands

  • 6-12 months- recognizes name, repeats some sounds, mimics simple actions, responds to “Mommy” or “Daddy”.

  • 0-3 months – cries at different levels to communicate needs, coos and smiles, recognizes parents voice, eye contact, looks closely at faces

  • 3-6 months – more social, giggles, babbles.

  • 6-12 months – cries and scared with strangers, shows emotions of like/dislike , happy/sad, may play a social game like “peek-a-boo”, enjoys lots of attention



  • 12-18 months – begin feeding self and drinking from a cup , much exploring, alot of energy, may climb out of crib, walks independently, begins walking up a few stairs one by one

  • 18-36 months – can run,ride a tricycle, climb, walk up and down stairs , kick and throw a ball, very physically active

  • 12-18 months – says short phrases, understands short sentences and more than able to speak, may name pictures in a book, follows simple directions

  • 18-36 months – understands shapes and sizes, may count, 2-3 word sentences, asks many questions, increased interest and focus on task at hand, enjoys group activities, begins to resolve problems by trial and error

  • 12 – 18 months – likes to be center of attention, plays alone often and a bit resistant to share toys, easily frustrated, whines at times, uses the word “no” often, may begin to have a “favorite” toy,begins to develop friendships

  • 18-36 months – may have mood swings & “tantrums”, responds to other’s “feelings”, needs approval, sings, dances, plays, likes stories, tries to be more independent, more accustomed to routines and tries to help with house “chores” like sweeping, likes to “pretend” play, openly affectionate, may have fears and even nightmares, mimics adults and may try to do more than able to and become frustrated, pride in accomplishments pushes the limits set by parents, may say please and thank you, and a few other words, understands many words and ideas


WEBSITE : UNICEF (2001), Early Childhood Development: The Key to a Full and Productive Life, retrieved from –

TEXTBOOK: Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2013). Aging: A life-span view (Education, Inc. custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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What Works

According to US Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Adolescent Health: “In 2013, there were 26.6 births for every 1,000 adolescent females ages 15-19, or 305,420 babies born to females in this age group. Nearly eighty-nine percent of these births occurred outside of marriage” See More

There is much research identifying the “problem” — It is a “challenge” and we are here to assist in turning this “challenge” into a “gift”. Young Parents United services are available to a broader age group – ranging from 14-26 — allowing enough time for full effects of growth and transformation to be manifested.

The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (SCAA) bases much of it’s research on information from New York State Department of Health and The New York State Department of Health, New York State Council on Children and Families. SCAA states , “Teen childbearing is a much-studied, confounding public policy topic that is closely associated with a multitude of social issues, including persistent poverty, school failure, child abuse and neglect, health and mental health issues.” And Identifies that – “prevention and early intervention programs hold the greatest promise for improving the lives of young women and men, and boosts the future prospects of their children”

According to SCAA – statistically children and their teenage parents are at an increased risk for a number of economic, social and health problems as listed below :


  • The children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely and at low birthweight, raising the probability of infant death, blindness, deafness, chronic respiratory problems, mental retardation, mental illness, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, and hyperactivity.

  • Children of teen mothers are 50% more likely to repeat a grade, less likely to complete high school and have lower performance on standardized tests than those born to older parents.

  • The children of teen parents are more likely to live in poverty and suffer higher rates of abuse and neglect than would occur if their mothers delayed childbearing.

  • The sons of teen mothers are 13% more likely to end up in prison. The daughters of teen parents are 22% more likely to become teen mothers themselves.

  • Compared to women of similar socio-economic status who postpone childbearing, teen mothers are more likely to end up on public assistance.

  • Teen mothers are less likely to complete the education necessary to qualify for a well-paying job— only 41% of mothers who have a child before age 18 ever complete high school. In the past 25 years, the median income for college graduates increased 13%, while the median income for high school dropouts decreased 30%.

  • Teen mothers are likely to have a second birth which can further inhibit their ability to finish school or keep a job. About one-fourth of teenage mothers have a second child within 24 months of the first birth.

  • Nationally, teen childbearing costs taxpayers at least $7 billion each year in direct costs associated with health care, foster care, criminal justice, public assistance and lost tax revenue.

  • SCAA also outlines — some Key points which are associated with improved outcomes from these grim statistics :

  • The baby is born healthy and the mother is healthy

  • The child is prepared for school

  • The mother is educated and able to care for the child.

  • The mother becomes economically independent


US Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Adolescent Health (2014)

The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy ( 2008 ) Teenage Births: Outcomes for Young Parents and their Children

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