Breast milk is best for your baby.

Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend that you exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months and that you continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years or longer along with complementary foods.

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Child development stages

Every child is unique, and children don’t all reach key development milestones at the same time. Development is measured in three key areas: motor development, social development, and communication (language). Knowing what development stages to expect can help you as a parent to create a stimulating environment for your child.

 Motor developmentSocial developmentLanguage development
1 to
2 years
  • Gets from sitting to standing position on his own
  • Takes his first steps
  • Can throw a ball
  • Can drink from a cup
  • Stacks items or places them into a container
  • Dances (or waddles!) to the sound of music
  • Plays alongside other children, but not necessarily with them
  • Eats with the family and feeds himself
  • Imitates your actions
  • Can pronounce a dozen words but understands many more
  • Tries to speak in sentences, but usually incomprehensible
  • Knows many gestures, such as pointing at something he wants
2 to
3 years
  • Shows improved dexterity (can hold and draw with a crayon, eat with a fork, etc.)
  • Likes to run, jump, climb, etc.
  • Can complete simple puzzles
  • Is able to dress and undress himself to a certain extent
  • Can play alone and concentrate on one thing
  • Is more social playing alongside other children, but still doesn’t fully understand the idea of sharing
  • Likes to play pretend
  • Starts to show empathy
  • Speaks in small sentences (2-4 words)
  • Is curious and asks questions
  • Understands concepts (e.g. hot vs. cold)
  • Knows the number 2 (as in 2 of something)

Fun ways to stimulate your child’s development:

Motor activities for toddlers

  • Lay his favourite toy on the ground across the room and have him try to get to it on his own.
  • Drawing on large paper with crayons or outside with chalk.
  • Matching games with shapes.
  • Let him eat with utensils and feed himself as much as possible.

Social activities for toddlers

  • Play pretend with him or encourage him when he imitates you.
  • Help him learn how to share with toys and taking turns from a young age.

Language (speech) activities for toddlers

  • Name colours, shapes, animals, etc., and have your child repeat them.
  • Ask your toddler questions too.