Growth and Development

As your baby grows, they will reach certain developmental milestones. You can monitor and promote your child's growth and development through healthy feeding, regular medical visits and active play.

You can also find out more about your baby's development by using the Early Years Check-In.

Physical activity for babies and toddlers

Physical activity is important for young children. Along with a number of health benefits, such as reducing anxiety levels, physical activity helps improve:

  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Self confidence
  • Sleep

Introducing physical activity early in your child's development is an important step in promoting an active lifestyle for years to come. Check out the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years to learn more about the benefits of physical activity on child development.

Tummy time

Tummy time helps your baby gain strength and can prevent the development of flattened head syndrome. Some additional benefits of tummy time include:

  • Helping your baby develop head control
  • Strengthening the upper body (back, neck, shoulders, arms and hands)
  • Developing gross motor skills like crawling, sitting and rolling
  • Developing fine motor skills and play skills
  • Promoting sensory development by the changing the environment

Check out AboutKidshealth for more information about the benefits of tummy time.

Flattened head syndrome

Flattened head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly) develops if your baby spends significant amounts of time on their back. Because the skull is soft, part of it may flatten. Tummy time is a great way to prevent flattened head.

Check out AboutKidsHealth for more information about flattened head syndrome.

Support your child's emotional development

Children often find it hard to express their feelings. To help them, you can:

  • Let your child describe their feelings in their own words
  • Listen to their words and do not judge
  • Provide children with helpful words their feelings
  • Talk to your children about the different feelings they have
  • Use favourite characters in storybooks to discuss feelings. Relate the character's feelings to your child's feelings
  • Speak aloud about your own feelings
  • Create a safe space for your child to express both negative and positive feelings
  • Be patient


Sleep is very important to your child's health and well-being. Learn more about how much sleep your child needs at Caring for Kids: Healthy sleep for your baby and child.