Stimulating Developmental Growth

The following suggestions are offered to help establish and enable stronger motor development. Please remember to use your child's adjusted age if your baby was born prematurely.

If you have specific questions, please contact your pediatrician for a more thorough evaluation.


Birth to Six months:

  • Show books with colors and textures for baby to see and feel
  • Move objects slowly in front of baby to stimulate the head and eyes to follow
  • Offer safe toys like rings, rattles, and soft objects
  • Support neck and head from wobbling until baby can securely hold their head upright

Six to 12 months:

  • Play games like pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo
  • Sing songs with a lot of repetition
  • At night, offer blankets, music or stuffed animal to encourage self soothing
  • Position baby on stomach for playtime to encourage trunk and neck control

12 to 18 months:

  • Encourage baby to practice climbing, pulling, and pushing
  • Speak slowly, face-to-face with baby
  • Talk to baby about what you see, smell, and hear on walks
  • Encourage the use of words to express feelings, like frustration
  • Offer choices to baby to encourage independence

18 to 24 months:

  • Give baby toys that encourage pretend play, like plastic food or telephone
  • Read and ask baby to find objects in the pictures
  • Talk to baby about what activity is happening
  • Give baby large crayons and paper to color
  • Give baby toys that can pour, scoop, squeeze, and stack
  • Help baby start to eat with a spoon and drink from a straw

ALL MATERIAL © 2009 GOOD BEGINNINGS/CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.