Infant Life Stages

An infant grows and develops so quickly during the first year. Find relevant information that is tailored to the life-stage of your child.

Milestones

MilestonesEvery baby grows and develops at a different rate, but there are some general milestones to watch for over the first three months. During this time, your baby will probably:

  • Be startled by sudden sounds
  • Enjoy looking at faces and start to recognise familiar objects, people and sounds
  • Focus on and follow faces and moving objects
  • Begin to smile and respond to the sounds around them
  • Raise his or her head when lying on their front, and begin to use their arms to support their upper body
  • Kick their legs when lying on their stomach or back, and begin to roll over
  • Push down on their legs when their feet are placed on a firm surface
  • Bring his or her hand to their mouth, swipe at dangling objects, and begin to grasp or shake toys
  • Enjoy playing, and even cry when playing stops; begin to imitate some movements and facial expressions

Well-Being and Safety

It is important to keep your baby's safety in mind at all times, both at home and when visiting.

  • Handwashing: Frequent hand washing is essential. In the early days especially, anyone who touches your baby should wash their hands thoroughly first. You should also wash your hands before preparing a feed or handling sterilised equipment, and after touching dirty nappies.
  • Hand sanitiser: If you do not have access to soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser to help destroy the harmful germs on your hands.
  • Avoiding illness: In the first few months, it is best to ask visitors who have colds, flu, or other transmissible infections to stay away from your baby. If someone has had a tummy upset, they should avoid contact for at least 48 hours.
  • Sterilise equipment: Until your baby is one year old, before every use, you need to clean and sterilise any equipment that will touch your baby’s milk or go in their mouth, such as bottles, teats, breast pumps, teething rings and (if used) dummies.
  • Food preparation surfaces: Always clean and disinfect surfaces before using them to prepare feeds.
  • Hand contact surfaces: To help stop germs spreading around your home, you need to clean and disinfect hand contact surfaces, such as toilet flush handles, toilet seats, door handles and taps frequently.
  • Nappy changing mats: After each nappy change, you need to clean and disinfect the nappy changing surfaces, and any surface you may have contaminated with germs.
  • Never leave your baby unattended: Even a newborn can roll. Take extra care during nappy changing and bathing.