Most of your child's brain development happens in the first 2000 days of their life, by the time they're five years old.

From the moment your baby is born, they are learning. And you are their best first teacher.

The time you spend connecting with your child is the most important thing you can do to build their brain and body. Children's brains grow when they receive loving, human interaction.

No role is more important than being a parent. It's sometimes challenging, but the love and time you give them will make a big difference for the rest of their life.

Watch these videos

Take a few minutes to watch the video that relates to your child's current age. You'll be amazed how easy it is for you to give your child the best start in life!

Building brains and bodies

There are simple things you can do with your child from birth and in their early years of life that will make a big difference in helping them grow and thrive. These activities help build their brain and lay down important foundations for learning.

Children don't need expensive toys or electronics. They just need your time and your love.

With your baby

  • Look at books together and talk about what you see. Just by doing this, you're teaching them to understand language.
  • When your baby is awake, place safe objects and toys close to them so they can look, move, lift, and turn their head.
  • When your baby makes sounds, make the same sound back to them. Your baby will enjoy having conversations like this with you before they can speak with words.
  • Babies love playing in water. What they learn by splashing and pouring will one day help them understand science and maths.
  • Make games by repeating actions and waiting for them to respond. This is not just fun; it teaches your child that they can make things happen and builds their confidence.

With your toddler

  • Sing to your child. This helps them understand words, use memory, and exercise their lips and tongue for speaking.
  • As your child grows, playing with objects helps them learn to co-ordinate their bodies.
  • Talking to your child about what is happening around them and asking them what they think helps build their imagination and their language.

With your pre-schooler

  • Your pre-schooler enjoys learning how to do things for themselves, like opening a lunchbox. This builds their coordination, their confidence and helps them prepare for starting school.
  • Look at books together with simple words that your pre-schooler can try to remember or read. Let them look at the picture and guess what the word might be, or tell a story themselves.

Useful apps

For more ideas on how you can nurture your child's development, download these free apps:

Love Talk Sing Read Play

3 phones with different screens of the Love Talk Sing Read Play App. It has bright colours, pictures of young children with profiles.Love Talk Sing Read Play has tips for every family to help their child learn and develop. The app is also available in other languages.

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Deadly Tots

3 phones with different screens of the Deadly Tots app. It has Aboriginal art in bright colours.Deadly Tots has information for Aboriginal families to help their bub learn and grow.

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Bright Tomorrows

A phone displaying the Bright Tomorrows App. It has a blue cartoon monsters and text 'Meningful moments build young brains'.Bright Tomorrows has over 1,000 meaningful moments and tips to help build young brains.

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Health and development checks

Your child's early development is a journey with important milestones along the way.

Your doctor or child and family health nurse tracks these during your child's routine health and development checks. These check-ups are very important. They check how your child is growing and help find any possible problems early.

You can track your child's development using these checklists, which can be found in their Blue Book.

If you have any concerns about how they are developing, share them with your child and family health nurse or doctor.

What are milestones for my child?

Transcript: What are milestones for my child?

Current as at: Wednesday 3 May 2023
Contact page owner: Maternity, Child and Family