Age Group: Birth to 6 months

You can reach a caring community resource specialist by calling 2-1-1.

Development Information

Every child is unique and develops differently. These are handy guidelines for motor, sensory, language, thinking and social skills that your child is starting to develop. If you are ever concerned, please go your local doctor or health clinic.

By 3 months your child will typically be able to:
Motor Skills

  • lift head when held at your shoulder
  • lift head and chest when lying on his stomach
  • turn head from side to side when lying on his stomach
  • follow a moving object or person with his eyes
  • often hold hands open or loosely fisted
  • grasp rattle when given to her
  • wiggle and kick with arms and legs

Sensory and Thinking Skills

  • turn head toward bright colors and lights
  • turn toward the sound of a human voice
  • recognize bottle or breast
  • respond to a shaking rattle or bell

Language and Social Skills

  • make cooing, gurgling sounds
  • smile when smiled at
  • communicate hunger, fear, discomfort (through crying or facial expression)
  • usually quiet down at the sound of a soothing voice or when held
  • anticipate being lifted
  • react to “peek-a-boo” games

By 5 months your child will typically be able to:
Motor Skills

  • hold head steady when sitting with your help
  • reach for and grasp objects
  • play with his toes
  • help hold the bottle during feeding
  • explore by mouthing and banging objects
  • move toys from one hand to another
  • shake a rattle
  • pull up to a sitting position on her own if you grasp her hands
  • sit with only a little support
  • sit in a high chair
  • roll over
  • bounce when held in a standing position

Sensory and Thinking Skills

  • open his mouth for the spoon
  • imitate familiar actions you perform

Language and Social Skills

  • babble, making almost sing-song sounds
  • know familiar faces
  • laugh and squeal with delight
  • scream if annoyed
  • smile at herself in a mirror

Free services for developmental questions, concerns, and testing:

Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C)
5 Odana Court, Madison, WI 53719
(608) 271-9181

You can also look at the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), a developmental screener to see how your child compares with other children of the same age.

Children with Disabilities Resources

Dane County Department of Human Services
1202 Northport Drive, Madison WI 53704
(888) 794-5556

Wisconsin Department of Health Services-0-3 Program
1 W Wilson St Madison, WI 53703
(608) 266-1251

Imagine a Child’s Capacity-Birth to Three
2875 Fish Hatchery Rd Unit 1 Madison, WI 53713
(608) 204-6247

Gio’s Garden
2028 Parmenter St Middleton, WI 53562
(608) 833-4467

Waisman Center
1500 Highland Ave Madison, WI 53705
(608) 263-1656

United Cerebral Palsy of Great Dane County-Birth to 3 Connections
2801 Coho Street, Suite 300 Madison WI 53713
(608) 273-4434

Epilepsy Foundation Southern Wisconsin-Infants and Epilepsy
1302 Mendota St Ste 100 Madison, WI 53714
(608) 442-5555

Madison Area Down Syndrome Society
(608) 692-7653

Family Support and Resource Center
101 Nob Hill Rd Ste 201 Madison WI 53713
(608) 237-7630

Health Information

With childhood vaccines, your child is protected from a variety of serious diseases that could drastically harm or kill your child. If you any concerns, please discuss with them with your doctor or at your local health clinic.

At Birth

  • Hepatitis B: Dose 1 of 3

1-2 months old

  • Hepatitis B: Dose 2 of 3

2 months

  • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis): Dose 1 of 5
  • Hib (haemophilus influenza): Dose 1 of 4
  • Polio/IPV: Dose 1 of 4
  • Pneumococcal/PCV: Dose 1 of 4
  • Rotavirus/RV: (Dose 1 of 3)

4 months

  • DTaP: Dose 2 of 5
  • Hib: Dose 2 of 4
  • Polio/IPV: Dose 2 of 4
  • Pneumococcal/PCV: Dose 2 of 4
  • Rotavirus: Dose 2 of 3

If your child has not been vaccinated or has missed one, your local doctor can still make a schedule or go to and make sure your child is properly protected.


Allied Wellness Center
2225 Allied Dr Ste 2 Madison WI 53711
(608) 274-7006

For free childhood immunizations

Public Health Madison and Dane County
2705 East Washington Avenue Second Floor Madison, WI 53704
(608) 266-4821
Public Health Madison and Dane County
2230 South Park Street Madison, WI 53713
(608) 266-4821


BadgerCare Plus Program
Dane County Human Resources
1819 Aberg Ave Madison, WI 53704
(888) 794-5556

To qualify free or low-cost health insurance for your child call 1-877-KIDS-NOW or go to


  • Sleep during your baby’s first six weeks will be random/disorganized because baby does not know when it is night or day.
  • At 6 weeks – 4 months: Baby should sleep about 16 hours per day with one 4 to 6 hour stretch overnight
  • Before 4 months of age, it is too early in baby’s life to have set nap times
  • Encourage your baby to sleep at night (after 6 weeks until 4 months) by putting him or her to bed between 6pm and 10pm
  • When baby reaches 4-6 months of age, he or she should be sleeping 15 hours per day. This may include 2-3 daytime naps.
  • At 4-6 months, put baby to bed between 6pm and 8pm and start a bedtime routine you can follow (bath, reading, kiss goodnight, etc.)
  • Help your baby get to sleep by: Swaddling baby securely in a blanket, letting baby suck on a pacifier/hand/bottle, gently rocking baby, and gently massaging baby
  • Always put baby on his or her back when sleeping


  • Babies should primarily consume breast milk or formula until they are around 6 months of age.
  • Babies who are breastfed should eat every 2-3 hours
  • Babies who are bottlefed should eat every 3-4 hours
  • Remember to burp baby after each feeding
  • You can introduce single ingredient cereals as baby’s first food when baby is 4-6 months old. This can be done by mixing things like rice cereal with an equal amount of milk.
  • Start by feeding baby one serving of single ingredient cereals per day. Move to two times per day when baby can finish 2-3 tablespoons per feeding.
  • Begin introducing other single ingredient foods (stage one) when baby is used to eating off of a spoon. These foods may be fruits or vegetables, then move to proteins.
  • Wait 2-3 days after introducing a food before introducing another. This will allow you to detect any allergies/sensitivities to foods.

Safety Information

If you are worried about the health, safety, and/or welfare of a child, please contact child protective services.
Children, Youth & Families Services Intake
2322 S Park Street Madison, WI 53713
Office Hours: (608) 261-KIDS (5437)
After Hours: (608) 255-6067

0-3 months
General Safety

  • Never leave your baby unattended on any surface above the floor.
  • Don’t attach pacifiers or other objects to your baby or the crib with a cord, string or necklace of any type.
  • Always support the baby’s head and neck when moving her body.
  • Never shake your baby.

In the Car*
Never place baby in the front seat of a car with an activated airbag. The force of the airbag could kill your baby.
The law requires that your baby ride in:

  • A properly installed, federally approved car seat every time she is in the car.
  • The rear facing position.
  • The back seat.

In the Crib

  • Empty the crib of blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals – any of these can smother the baby.
  • Avoid devices that maintain sleep positions, since many of these have not been tested for safety and none have been proven to decrease the risk of SIDS.
  • Keep your baby’s room at a temperature that’s comfortable for adults – don’t make it too warm.

4-6 Months
General Safety

  • Place your baby on his back, even though your baby can and will roll over on his/her own.
  • Lower the mattress to lowest level if your baby can sit up
  • Do not put toys, pillows, large blankets in the crib with your baby
  • Keep temperature in baby’s room comfortable for an adult
  • Never shake your baby. Shaking can cause brain damage.

In the Bath

  • To prevent burns, always check the temperature of the water before setting your baby in the water.
  • Never put a baby in a tub with running water since the temperature can quickly change and burn the baby.
  • Fill the bath with only two to three inches of water.
  • Never leave your baby unattended anywhere near water. Babies can drown in less than one inch of water.

In the Car*
Your baby must always ride in a car seat that is:

  • Properly attached or secured, and rear-facing.
  • In the backseat (ideally, in the middle of the backseat).

Around the House

  • Do not give your child toys with small parts to play with or chew. They present a choking hazard. Anything that can fit in a toilet paper roll is too small.
  • Never leave your baby on a bed, couch or chair where she can roll off and fall. A baby may move faster than you would expect and get seriously hurt.
  • Do not drink or carry hot liquids when holding your child or when children are nearby.

If your child has eaten or drunk something poisonous (or possibly poisonous), contact Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

Child Care Issues Information

Tips for choosing a child care provider*

  • Get a list of child care providers in your area that are regulated
  • Contact these providers and let them know what your child care needs are (the hours you need, the age(s) of your child(ren), etc.)
  • Visit 2 or 3 programs to observe and ask questions. Look for how the provider interacts with the children, the type of discipline used, the schedule (naps, snacks), safety issues, the child to provider ratio (how many children is each provider watching?), cleanliness, and the types of toys and activities available.
  • Bring your child(ren) for a second visit to see how he/she/they react to the provider and the environment.
  • Ask the provider for references of other parents/caregivers. Contact these references and ask questions.
  • Listen to your instincts. You know your child(ren) better than anyone.
  • Choose a provider and continue to stay in contact. Ask questions, visit, and talk about any concerns.

Try or to find babysitters, nannies, pet sitters, and other help.

Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc
5 Odana Court, Madison, WI 53719
(608) 271-9181

The Rainbow Project-Early Childhood CORE Program
831 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI 53703
(608) 255-7356

Dane County Parent Council
2096 Red Arrow TR Madison, WI 53711
(608) 270-3438

Center for Families-Home Visiting Program
2120 Fordem Ave Madison WI 53704
(608) 729-1162

Playing Information*

Caregivers with children 0-18 months old can:

  • respond to baby’s sounds (echo the sound, make a face)
  • sing to and talk with baby
  • play peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, and hiding games
  • name objects around baby
  • smile at baby

Children’s Service Society-Mobile Play and Learn
(608) 628-9512

Madison Metropolitan School District-Play and Learn
545 Dayton St. Madison, Wisconsin 53703
(608) 204-6683

Center for Families
2120 Fordem Ave Madison, WI 53704
(608) 241-5150

Journey Mental Health Center
625 West Washington, Av, Madison, WI 53703
(608) 280-2720

Parenting Styles

  • You can never spoil an infant by giving them too much attention. You can do that by holding, gentle caressing, tender kisses, and letting your baby touch your face
  • Babies cannot control their actions and behavior
  • Always respond to your baby’s cries so that his or her needs are met
  • Talk to your baby. Let your baby get used to your voice and language.

Parent Groups:
Center for Families
2120 Fordem Avenue Madison, WI
(608) 241-5150

Orion Family Services
6333 Odana Rd Suite 20 Madison, WI 53719
(608) 270-2511

Canopy Center
1457 E Washington Avenue Ste 102 Madison, WI 53703
(608) 729-1125

Project Rainbow-Grandparents & Other Relatives as Parents
831 E Washington Ave Madison, WI 53703
(608) 255-7356

Wisconsin Fathers for Children and Families
1-608-255-3237 (ALL-DADS)

Madison Area Mothers of Multiples
311 Friedel Drive Marshall, WI 53559
(608) 628-7507

For more information, please dial 2-1-1.