Healthy Start, Grow Smart: Prepare My Child for School

It’s never too early to prepare your child for school. These 13 pamphlets provide parents with a month-by-month description of some key developmental stages in a child's first year of life. Read these pamphlets to find out more about the wonders of the brain, guidelines for everyday child care, talking with your baby, and much more.

Your Newborn
You have a new baby, and you are a proud parent. Do you sometimes feel excited but also a little nervous about taking care of your new baby? ... Even in the first days of life, your baby is starting to find out who you are. More>> [PDF, 1.1MB]

Your One-Month-Old
During the first month of your baby’s life, you and your baby spend a lot of time getting to know each other. Sometimes, you may feel tired and nervous. These feelings are a signal that you need to take care of yourself. Here are some ways to do it. More>> [PDF, 920KB]

Your Two-Month-Old
At two months of age, your baby will begin to notice and reach out to the world around her. She can see better now. She can watch a person or object moving directly in front of her. She is more alert and can respond to you more. The world around her is more interesting to her. More>> [PDF, 943KB]

Your Three-Month-Old
You and your baby are “talking” to each other even though he doesn’t say words yet. You are doing what comes naturally. You are using body language as well as words. More>> [PDF, 1.2MB]

Your Four-Month-Old
When your baby reaches the age of four months, things will really start to happen fast. She is growing and learning about her world. She is interested in everything she sees or hears. She is reaching for things and putting them in her mouth. This is how she learns about them. More>> [PDF, 896KB]

Your Five-Month-Old
Your five-month-old is full of energy. He wakes himself up in the morning and is ready to dive into his day. More>> [PDF, 1MB]

Your Six-Month-Old
Your baby is halfway through her first year. She is really active now. She may be grabbing at things and shaking her rattle. She may be sitting up with support. She babbles and makes a variety of sounds. More>> [PDF, 1.8MB]

Your Seven-Month-Old
At seven months, your baby is doing all kinds of things he could not do even a few weeks ago. He may sit up straight for a moment without falling over. Usually, he sits leaning forward on both hands. He can support his weight on his feet when standing. If you hold him in a standing position, he may bounce up and down. He may be moving around the floor on his belly. He may try to feed himself. He likes to clap, pull, bang, poke and grab with his hands. He makes sounds on purpose. More>> [PDF, 2.2MB]

Your Eight-Month-Old
At eight months, your baby is curious about everything. This is a fun time for both of you. Your baby may surprise you with how well she can get around the house. Let her explore, but keep her safe. More>> [PDF, 2.1MB]

Your Nine-Month-Old
Mickey is nine months old. His parents, Lisa and José, have plans for their family. Lisa has gone back to school and looks forward to graduation. José has found a better job in the neighborhood superstore. More>> [PDF, 2.4MB]

Your Ten-Month-Old
Ruby and Albert are excited by 10-month-old Jessica’s new skills. This month there are so many! Jessica calls to her parents saying “Mama” or “Dada.” She wants to feed herself at every meal. She sometimes drinks from a cup without spilling. She tries to pull herself up to stand. She likes to practice stepping sideways along the sofa. But she knows that she has to hold on to stay steady. Crawling still helps her get around the house in a hurry. More>> [PDF, 2.7MB]

Your Eleven-Month-Old
Fred and Ramona are getting ready for Jacob’s entry into toddlerhood. Their baby seems to be mastering new skills every day. Yesterday he was trying to pull himself up at the kitchen table. Today he’s pushing a chair around the living room—and walking! He’s not steady on his feet, but Ramona and Fred know that he’ll soon be harder to keep up with. More>> [PDF, 1.6MB]

Your Twelve-Month-Old
Alice has invited a half dozen family members to celebrate Lisette’s first birthday. They include Uncle Matt, Aunt Melinda and their 14-month-old son, Jake. Placed together on the floor, Jake and Lisette watch each other at first. Lisette picks up a wooden block and turns it over in her hands. Jake does the same. For the next few minutes, they play with the blocks, watching and copying each other. More>> [PDF, 2.1MB]

Healthy Start, Grow Smart: Prepare My Child for School. DOA/ED/DHHS. Healthy Start Grow Smart Series. 2002. English.

Last Reviewed: March 2009

Last Updated: September 5, 2014