Timeline of Challenging Early Childhood Behaviour


When it comes to challenging early childhood behaviour, every parent, whether they care to admit it, has received their fair share. From excessive crying and head-banging, to toddler tantrums, preschool nightmares and everything in between. This timeline showcases the normal, yet challenging, behaviour your child may exhibit from birth till they start school. The timeline will enable you to better understand your child’s thinking and why he acts the way he does at certain times. By consulting this timeline you will be able to handle his difficult periods much better as you will know what will happen before it does.

Jump to age…

1 Month2 Months6 Weeks3 Months4 Months5 Months
6 Months7 Months8 Months9 Months10 Months11 Months
12 Months13 Months14 Months15 Months16 Months17 Months
18 Months19 Months20 Months23 Months24 Months30 Months
3 Years4 Years5 Years



2 Months Old:

  • Demanding: At this age your baby is now too old to habituate – to shut down and shut out stimulation (see ‘Timeline of Baby and Toddler Sleep’), but she has not yet mastered the art of self-calming (West 2010). The result is that your baby will now become more demanding, particularly in late afternoon and early evening. She may cry more often, as this is her way of expressing how stressful she is finding adapting to her new environment. Your baby will want you to spend more time amusing her. She may want you to be totally absorbed in her, and only her (Rijt and Plooij 2011).