Child Development

Babies learn and grow through everyday things you do with them. Everything they learn, do, and feel is connected. How they learn and grow depends on both who they are and what they experience.

This section shows the many ways young kids grow and develop. It also shows what you and your baby's other caregivers can do to encourage learning and healthy development.

Growth and Development for All Ages

One simple activity, like reading together, can help your child develop in different ways.

Physical Health

Babies grow and learn when they are active. As they sit on your lap they hold their heads up and try to turn the pages with their fingers. As they get older, they can act out the stories for you as you read to them.

Social and Emotional Health

Babies learn best when they're loved, encouraged, and with other people. They feel close to you when they're on your lap and know you want to read with them.

How Babies Learn

Babies want to learn and you can help them. They like it when you let them choose the book and decide when to turn the pages.

Things Babies Know

Babies learn when you help them explore the world around them. Show them how wonderful books are and all they can learn from them.


Babies learn when you play, talk, read and write with them. As you read to them, they learn words and stories. They will begin to understand that the words on the page mean something.

Questions or Concerns?

Sometimes kids have developmental delays that can improve with extra support. If you have questions or concerns about your child's development, talk with your doctor or nurse. Or call the Help Me Grow WA Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or 711 (TTY Relay) for the name of a Family Resources Coordinator (FRC). An FRC can help arrange a free developmental screening and further services, if needed.