Behavior & Development
The first three years of life are a period of incredible growth in all areas of a baby’s development. Below is a list of key behavior and development topics you will find on our site.
In each of these sections, you will find information, interactive tools, parent handouts, charts, Tip Sheets, FAQ’s, articles, and powerpoint slideshows all designed to help you in supporting and nurturing the health and development of babies and toddlers.
In This Section
Little Kids, Big Questions: A ZERO TO THREE Podcast Series on Early Childhood Development - This series of 12 podcasts addresses some of the most common (and challenging) issues facing parents of babies and toddlers today, including sleep, crying, feeding and the development of self-control and self-esteem. Each podcast features an interview with an expert that focuses on how to apply the research of early childhood development to your daily interactions with your baby or toddler.
Brain Development - The first three years of life are a period of incredible growth in all areas of a baby's development. A newborn's brain is about 25 percent of its approximate adult weight. But by age 3, it has grown dramatically by producing billions of cells and hundreds of trillions of connections, or synapses, between these cells. In this section you will learn about the many ways parents and caregivers can help children get off to a good start and establish healthy patterns for life-long learning.
Challenging Behaviors - This is a set of resources designed to help you better understand and cope with some of the typical challenges parents and those who work with families of young children face in the early years: Aggression, Defiance, Inconsolable Crying, Children who are slow-to-warm-up and Sleep.
Early Childhood Mental Health - Infant and early childhood mental health includes a full spectrum of social and emotional functioning. This ranges from the ability to form satisfying relationships with others, play, communicate, learn, and express emotions, to the disorders of very early childhood. In this section you will find a range of resources for understanding this critical aspect of a young child’s development, and for identifying and treating mental health concerns.
Early Development - Between birth and age 3, babies learn to give and receive love; to roll, crawl, stand, walk, and run; to talk, joke, rhyme, and sing. But development doesn’t happen in the same way, at the same time, for all children. Each child develops at his own pace and in his own way. This section includes information and resources about how early development unfolds and what you can do support young children’s healthy growth.
Health & Nutrition - Here you will find resources on a range of health issues that will help you nurture your child’s overall growth and development.
Mental Health Screening & Assessment - This section provides resources for early childhood practitioners and parents who may be concerned about the developmental progress of a very young child. Included are strategies for professionals and family members to work together to determine the nature of the delay and need for services.
Play - There’s a lot happening during playtime. Little ones are lifting, dropping, looking, pouring, bouncing, hiding, building, knocking down, and more. And while they are having all this fun, they are also learning. They are learning how to solve problems (such as how to get the block tower to stand up) and discovering new concepts, like what sinks and floats. They are experimenting with new roles and language during dress-up time, and figuring out how to use their bodies in new ways on the playground. Play is the true work of childhood. When you join in your child’s play, she is also learning that she is loved and important and fun to be around. This gives her the self-confidence she needs to build loving and supportive relationships as she grows.
Promoting Social Emotional Development - A child’s social-emotional development is as important as her brain and physical development. It is her desire to connect with others that motivates her to learn. Her sense of who she is in the world deeply impacts how much and how well she learns, as well as the quality of the relationships she builds with others. In this section you will learn about how social and emotional development unfolds and how you can support this critical area of a young child’s growth.
Sleep - Few parents escape the early years without struggling with some kind of sleep issue with their child. While there are no easy answers to sleep questions, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to solving sleep challenges, in this section you will find information and strategies to help babies and toddler get a good night’s sleep.
Temperament & Behavior - Temperament describes how a child approaches and reacts to the world. It is her personal "style." In this section you will find information and tools for tuning in to children’s temperament, a key factor in understanding their behavior and the way they interact with others.