ages & stages

Understanding your baby’s development as they grow will help you gain a great deal of enjoyment and help to keep them safe.
Animals

Every baby grows and develops at their own pace, usually through similar stages. Understanding your baby’s development as they grow will help you gain a great deal of enjoyment and help to keep them safe.

The sections below are designed to provide you with information and advice on development, potential injury hazards and relevant links and resources that you may find useful at different ages and stages of your baby and toddlers growth.

Congratulations, you are expecting a baby! You will have a lot of information to take in and a lot of decisions to make. Some of the most important decisions will be purchasing the nursery furniture and equipment you will need – items such as a child car restraint, cot and pram.

Some resources and links that you may find useful to help you in your decision making and preparation for the arrival of your baby include:

  • • Purchasing a Rearward Facing Child Restraint for Newborns: This brochure provides some background information on the types of rearward facing restraints for newborns, some pros and cons on each and advice on installing and using them.
  • • ‘Find a Fitter’: Kidsafe Victoria’s ‘Find a Fitter’ listing provides you with easy access to details of credible, experienced child restraint fitters across Victoria. These fitters can guide you through the process of fitting and adjusting child restraints to assist you to ensure your child restraints are correctly installed and your children are travelling as safely as possible.
  • • Keeping Baby Safe: This guide from the ACCC provides useful information on what to look for when purchasing infant and nursery products as well as tips on setting up and using these products safely.
  • • CHOICE: CHOICE undertake independent testing of a range of baby products and provide recommendations on which products you should purchase for your baby.

Your baby will wriggle and roll from birth and start to sit up and learn to crawl between 4-8 months. They will also start to reach and grasp for objects and put them into their mouth. As they become more mobile they will have access to a greater rage of potential injury hazards in and around your home.

Some resources and links that you may find useful to help you keep your baby safe at this stage include:

  • • Home safety checklist to help you identify potential injury hazards in your home and start preparing for when your baby is on the move
  • • Safe sleeping: Information and advice on setting up a safe sleeping environment, safe wrapping and the importance of tummy time
  • • Nursery furniture and equipment: Information and advice on purchasing, setting up and using items like prams, high chairs and change tables safely
  • • Child car restraints: Information on Victoria’s child restraint road rules and advice on choosing, installing and using rear facing child car restraints
  • • Toy safety: Information and advice on choosing safe and appropriate toys for your baby
  • • Water safety: Information and advice on keeping your baby safe in the bath
  • • Curtain and blind cord safety: Information on the dangers posed by curtain and blind cords and what steps you can take to make yours safe.

At this age your toddler will become increasingly mobile and start to walk. They will become very curious, trying to open cupboards, turn switches on and off and seek out items they know exist even if they are hidden from view! You will also find that your toddler will want to ‘test’ everything by putting it in their mouth. 

Toddlers will imitate the actions of adults, so it is important for parents and carers to model safe behaviours.

Some resources and links that you may find useful to help keep your active and mobile toddler safe at this stage include:

  • Child car restraints: Information on Victoria’s child restraint road rules, advice on choosing, installing and child car restraints and best practice recommendations on transitioning children from one mode of child restraint to the next
  • Poisoning prevention: Information on common causes of poisoning and practical advice on how to reduce the risks
  • Safe play: Information and advice on setting up safe play environments in your backyard and inside your home, as well as information on safe play in public playgrounds
  • Driveway safety: Practical advice on vehicle blind spots, technologies like reversing cameras and how to reduce the risk of driveway runover incidents
  • Water safety: Including information on backyard pool and spa safety, swimming lessons and a home water safety audit
  • Button batteries: Information on the dangers posed by button batteries, common household items that use them and practical tips on what you can do to reduce the risk
  • Choke check tool: To help you identify potential choking hazards in and around your home

Your child will now be actively exploring their environment and they will want to do everything without help from an adult! Your child will begin to run and jump without fear of heights or danger. The smell, taste and texture of things will become fascinating to them.

Some resources and links that you may find useful to help keep your active and inquisitive toddler safe at this stage include:

  • • Safe sleeping: Information and advice on transitioning from a cot to a bed.
  • • Pedestrian safety: Information and advice to help keep children safe on and around roads.
  • • Wheeled device safety: Including information and advice on teaching children to ride, choosing a helmet and safety equipment.
  • • Water safety: Including information on backyard pool and spa safety and swimming lessons
  •  Button batteries: Information on the dangers posed by button batteries, common household items that use them and practical tips on what you can do to reduce the risk.
  •  Choke check tool: To help you identify potential choking hazards in and around your home.
  •  Child car restraints: Information on Victoria’s child restraint road rules, advice on choosing, installing and child car restraints and best practice recommendations on transitioning children from one mode of child restraint to the next.
  •  Poisoning prevention: Information on common causes of poisoning and practical advice on how to reduce the risks.
  •  Safe play: Information and advice on setting up safe play environments in your backyard and inside your home, as well as information on safe play in public playgrounds.
  •  Button batteries: Information on the dangers posed by button batteries, common household items that use them and practical tips on what you can do to reduce the risk.
  •  Driveway safety: Practical advice on vehicle blind spots, technologies like reversing cameras and how to reduce the risk of driveway runover incidents.

At this stage your child is becoming increasingly independent and adventurous, often exploring and climbing on objects. While they are becoming more independent, children at this stage still have little understanding of danger and require constant supervision.

Some resources and links that you may find useful to help keep your adventurous toddler safe at this stage include:

  • • Pedestrian safety: Information and advice to help keep children safe on and around roads
  • Wheeled device safety: Including information and advice on choosing a helmet and safety equipment
  • • Water safety: Including information on backyard pool and spa safety and swimming lessons
  • • Button batteries: Information on the dangers posed by button batteries, common household items that use them and practical tips on what you can do to reduce the risk
  • • Child car restraints: Information on Victoria’s child car restraint road rules, advice on choosing, installing and child car restraints and best practice recommendations on transitioning children from a forward facing restraint to a booster seat
  • • Poisoning prevention: Information on common causes of poisoning and practical advice on how to reduce the risks
  • • Safe play: Information and advice on setting up safe play environments in your backyard and inside your home, as well as information on safe play in public playgrounds
  • • Driveway safety: Practical advice on vehicle blind spots, technologies like reversing cameras and how to reduce the risk of driveway runover incidents