This page shows you the relevant topics for this stage. The developmental summary outlines what’s going on for baby and how parents and whānau can support their child’s learning and behaviour. The individual tiles explore each topic in more depth.  

Developmental summary

Child Developmental Topics

Birth to 2 months

Newborns — What are they learning to do?

Newborns are learning how to get their needs met in their new world. Through the messages they receive via their 5 senses, brain cells are busy connecting into pathways throughout their brain.

Birth to 2 months


From very early on, a baby is learning to communicate. They’ll explore what sounds they can make with their lips, and may learn to blow raspberries, gurgle and coo, and make simple sounds like ‘ba’, ‘pa’, ‘ma’ and ‘da’.

Birth to 2 months

Getting to know their world

During this period baby can recognise familiar people and their voices. They’ll also be learning about care routines in their whānau for feeding, bathing and sleeping.

Birth to 2 months

Growing brains

A baby’s brain is now developing millions of connections between the neurons. These connections happen because of the many sensory experiences baby has with people, places and things. Their brain grows in size with the increase in brain connections.

Birth to 2 months

Growing, healthy and safe

Babies are getting stronger and gaining more control over their bodies. They’ll learn to roll from back to puku, and from puku to back.

Birth to 2 months

Newborns — what they need from big people

At this time, a new baby is totally dependent on their whānau. They’re working out how to get their needs met for food, sleep, comfort and company.

Birth to 2 months

Newborns — Adjusting to the world outside the womb

Newborns are adjusting to being in the world outside the womb and finding out if they can trust that world to meet their needs for food, comfort, sleep and company.

Birth to 2 months

Sensory learners

Babies are gathering ‘data’ from what they see, hear, smell, touch and taste. These sensory messages cause their brain cells to connect into neural pathways. Through repetition, the pathways become stronger and more permanent.

Maori language content Birth to 2 months

Birth to 2 months

Young parents

Young parents can face particular joys and challenges whether because of their own life's path, or because of the attitudes they encounter from the wider society.