What can I expect in each Stage of Child Development?I've presented a snapshot of Child Development milestones as a guide to understanding the stages your child will go through, from infants to teenage years. Parents wonder how their child is developing and while there are definitely specific stages that children go through it is important to remember that each child is different and has their own timetable.
Child brain development and physical growth is an extraordinary process. Whilst studies do show that most developmental stages and major changes have a ball-park range of when they occur, the most important factor is not to get hung up about it! If you do think your baby isn't developing as you expect then sure, get some professional advice. But don't focus on what your child hasn't mastered, focus on what they have!
With parenting and child development, it is far better to be celebrating what is, not worrying about what isn't! I'll present an overview here, but each stage has a link for more indepth information plus lots of Parenting Tips.
Early Child Development: The New Born BabyNew born baby development is the time where there is the most rapid growth. A constant source of wonder and joy, every tiny milestone a miracle in the making! Starting out at an average of 7-8 pounds (3-3.5kg) when they are born, by the time they reach a year old most babies have usually tripled in size.
During this first year, despite many a tired Mama, a large percentage of the baby's time is spent eating and sleeping. The tiny body is changing week by week. Various simple motor skills begin to develop: Baby starts to hold her head up, focus on objects, reach for toys etc. Eventually starting crawling and possibly walking. This is one of the most wondrous of stages, and believe me, it goes incredibly fast, so really enjoy every moment!
Early Child Development: Toddler DevelopmentOnce children become toddlers, you enter a whole new world! Becoming mobile heralds a huge expansion in their experience and their ability to master their environment. Strength and coordination increase daily and they will suddenly master something they couldn't do yesterday. Standing, walking, then running and climbing stairs (one foot at a time!), mark the physical achievements at this developmental stage.
Their little brain is processing millions of new experiences and intellectual abilities are developing rapidly. In particular, language development becomes more complex, moving from simple words to simple sentences. Finally they can start to ask (out loud!) for what they want. This is an incredibly busy time for Mums (Moms!) and Dads as your little one keeps you running to keep pace with their curiosity!
Early Child Development: PreschoolersCo-ordination improves in this stage of development. Fine motor skills develop, such as learning to do up buttons. And of course, what most parents have been waiting for, your little one starts to learn to use the toilet! Their language development is growing daily and you will be subjected to endless why? questions!
As fine motor skills refine, your child will start being able to control pens and paint brushes, and slowly start to portray recognizable objects (well, with a bit of imagination almost recognizable!) This is an exciting time, their thirst for knowledge and experiences makes this time so precious. There is a huge world out there just created for all the wonderful adventures your little one will embark on.
Early Child Development: Kindergarten YearsKindergarten years vary in different states and countries. What is in store for your preschool children aged between four - six years as they prepare for school? Physically from four - six years are the years of increasing confidence and coordination in physical activities. Running, jumping, climbing, learning to ride a bike are activities they will master during these years.
In terms of child brain development, your pre school child will start to learn the alphabet, counting, recognizing their name and some letter sounds. As they prepare for school they start to understand more complex connections, such as grouping and classifying, and size relationships. This is an exciting year as they develop social relationships and gain more confidence in new situations.
Child Development: School KidsGoing to school heralds a major milestone in our children's life - unless you elect to homeschool. Motor skills develop, and your child starts to master more complex physical activities, skipping, ball skills, tumbling etc. Fine motor skills see the development of writing, and more intricate drawing.
Language understanding and usage increases during this stage of child development with vocabulary increasing constantly. Exposure to books, magazines, supervised Internet all help to develop reading, writing and vocabulary, as well as expand your child's horizons.
Child Development: Pre Teen YearsThe Pre teen years probably sees more variation in physical maturity than at any other age. Girls particularly start changing earlier than boys and there can be a huge difference in height and development in the one grade.
Tweens entering into pre adolescence are beginning to leave behind some of their childlike behaviours. Parents often talk about their child being 10 going on 18, and that is a good summary of how much they can swing from being just a kid, to being almost adult like at times (or thinking they are!) As they move into adolescence they will start to test and challenge authority figures which, believe it or not, is a good thing!
Child Development: AdolescenceSadly many parents dread the teenage years. This developmental stage can be so complex, since it bridges the gap between being a child and an adult. This is another time where fast physical growth occurs, and of course there's the hormones! Wow! What an exciting time! Your pride and joy can go from blissed out and cruising to wild and emotional in seconds!
Not only are there major physical changes, but huge mental and social growth happens too. Most Teenager's require a lot of sleep - our body and Soul's way of integrating the changes that are happening.
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