Safety Practices

Tips for Keeping Children Safe: A Developmental Guide - Mobile Infants

Mobile infants have more control of their head, torso, arms, and legs. They also begin to coordinate those movements. At this age, they sleep less and are more active during the day, eager to engage in everything around them. As they learn to stand, crawl, cruise, and walk, they are able to move around more independently and explore their environment. Mobile infants begin to develop their ability to reach for objects – suddenly grabbing, chewing, or trying to climb on objects that were once out of their reach. Home visitors can talk with families about regularly inspecting indoor or outdoor areas, materials, and equipment that could be unsafe.

Mobile infants are curious and learn by doing. They use sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell to learn about the objects in their environment. Their brains are developing rapidly as they begin to understand who and what is in their world. They begin to recognize routines, and they are learning that people may leave and return later. As they become aware that objects still exist even when they are hidden, they engage in play to practice this new knowledge. To a mobile infant, cabinets, toy chests, and other items that open and close become more intriguing. They watch where family members place objects and may try to pull up or cruise along the furniture to get them, creating an even greater need for supervision.

Mobile infants are able to swallow semi-solid food and eventually begin to feed themselves solid food. Families choose age-appropriate, culturally responsive foods that do not pose a choking hazard. When preparing food, family members are careful to prevent burns or scalds.

Mobile infants often vocalize more. They begin to respond to simple requests and one-step directions such as, "Time to sit" or "Get your toy." This sets the stage for learning healthy habits, routines, and safety rules as children grow.

Mobile infants are eager to practice their new skills and learn from the people, places, and things in their environments. Depending on their temperament, some infants are cautious while others are more likely to take risks. To support their child’s development and natural curiosity, families can create safe environments for mobile infants to explore their world safely.