Milestones: birth to four years


Babies and young children develop quickly in the first few years of life.

This section includes what you can expect your child to be doing in their first four years – often called developmental milestones. All children are different and some will do things faster or more slowly than others.

If you think your child is ‘out of step’ for their age, check with a community nurse or your doctor.

It is important that children get help early if they need it.

Brain development

In the early years, a baby’s brain grows faster than at any other time. What they feel, see and hear at this time affects how their brain develops. Good experiences lead to good brain development.

Babies and young children need warm, loving people to care for them and to respond to their needs kindly and consistently. They need to feel safe and secure in the world. This helps them to develop confidence and trust.

You can help by:

  • responding warmly and consistently to your baby’s cries
  • spending time talking and playing with them
  • sharing books every day with your child – right from birth
  • encouraging them to play and explore new things safely – a caring adult is their best toy.


The information in this section was adapted from the Parent Easy Guide series © Parenting SA, Government of South Australia.

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Last updated: 18 March 2016

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