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Ages and Stages of Child Development

Ages and Stages of Child Development
For a parent nothing can be more satisfying than watching their kid grow and cross the threshold of different ages and stages of child development. It is important for good parenting that you, as a parent, understand and be prepared for these stages.
AptParenting Staff
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
For a first time parent, every movement that the baby makes can be absolutely nerve-wracking. You oscillate between feeling happiness at what your child is doing and fear at not knowing if that is the right behavior for your kid. Every kid goes through many different stages of development, each as important as the other. In the first few years, after your child's birth, you will notice that many changes occur in your kid's physiological and behavioral self. A proud parent can feel exhilaration and anticipation at watching these changes. As an involved parent who understands these changes, you can, with active participation and interaction with your child during the different stages of development, ensure that he or she is ready for the different stages.
For a parent it is of immense importance that you have the proper knowledge and understanding of the different stages for the development of their child. You should know the average age at which your child will be able to carry out all the skills involved in growing up - from rolling, crawling, sitting, smiling, talking, and toilet training. As deep your understanding, the better equipped you will be at doing the right thing for your kid.
Milestone is a parenting term used as a standard level of achievement for a child at a particular stage. However, it is important to know that although milestones are proven as a great tool to assess the development of your child, they are not fixed and hard estimates, but only rough ones as children vary in their progress or their development. Some kids are early in their developmental patterns while others may take a little more time. As a parent, it is important that you be patient and do not get nervous if your kid takes a little more time to reach a certain stage of development.
Baby girl on potty with notebook
Stages of Child Development
Newborn to 1 Month
Newborn baby sleeping
Physical Development :
  • Ability to make visual distinction
  • Recognition of speech, sound, and smell
  • Ability to move their head
  • Increase in weight and size of the baby
  • Begin to smile
  • May cry frequently to express itself
  • Will want to eat every three to four hours
  • Will sleep for almost two-thirds of the entire day
Emotional Development : Most babies tend to have a sense of generalized tension because of a general feeling of helplessness. They also display signs of distress and delight.

Social Development : Babies who are not even a month old tend to display asocial tendencies.
1 - 3 Months
three month old baby
Physical Development :
  • Tend to respond more distinctly to sound and respond in return
  • Ability to change facial expressions, coo, and gurgle
  • Require less support to head than before because of gain in head control
  • Signs of being able to move
  • Better reflexes and movement to grasp objects
  • Increase in sleeping periods
Emotional Development : This is the age where the baby starts responding to affection and will show signs of enjoying cuddling.

Social Development : You will notice that your baby now starts responding to smiles and will fixate on faces. This is the beginning of his social development.
3 - 6 Months
six month old baby
Physical Development :
  • Greater mobility; ability to roll and crawl by dragging themselves on their bellies
  • Playing with their fingers and toes
  • Sitting up with minimal support or while leaning on their hands in tripod position
  • The weight of the baby should be double of what it was when born
  • Crying outbursts are restricted to specific reasons
  • Better coordination and motor skills
  • Ability to make and enjoy sounds
  • The number of feeding sessions will reduce
  • Sleeping pattern becomes more predictable
  • Fascinated by simple games
Emotional Development : At this age, most babies start displaying a certain level of attachment to their mothers and look for them.

Social Development : It is at this age that kids start recognizing their mother, expect to be dressed and bathed, and also expect to play simple games with their parents.
6 - 9 Months
nine  months old baby
Physical Development :
  • Ability to sit unassisted
  • Trying to stand
  • Most babies start crawling or at least try to crawl by this time
  • Ability to make different consonant sounds
  • Better control over actions
  • Teething may start during this time
  • Start getting used to solid foods
Emotional Development : There is lessening of the out-of-sight, out-of-mind phenomenon as they start looking for things that they have an attachment to.

Social Development : It is at this stage that many parents noticestranger anxiety in their kids. It is possible that they will fear strangers and may throw crying fits around them.
9 - 12 Months
twelve month old baby
Physical Development :
  • Ability to sit on their own without help
  • Making attempts to stand by holding on to things
  • Ability to utter their first words
  • Ability to communicate effectively to get their point across
  • Better coordination and grasping abilities
Emotional Development : Most babies tend to display fear when they are separated from their mothers. They get anxious and may even throw tantrums.

Social Development : Most babies of this age group are responsive to their names and also recognize their reflection. They also may be able to follow instructions.
12 - 18 Months
fifteen month old baby
Physical Development :
  • Ability to walk without any assistance or with limited help
  • A couple of additions to the vocabulary excluding names for parents
  • Better motor skills and fine coordination
Emotional Development : The increased emotional dependence continues but the fear is lessened and a little more trust is established.

Social Development : Babies this age tend to be extremely curious and start to explore their surroundings. It is important that in this stage parents keep a close eye on the baby.
18 - 24 Months
two year old baby
Physical Development :
  • Increase in vocabulary and an ability to understand things better
  • Walking up the staircase with a little assistance
  • Better motor skills and better coordination
  • Better bowel and bladder control
  • Proper sleep pattern
Emotional Development : Many toddlers of this age tend to throw temper tantrums if they do not get what they want. They also become more aware of other people's emotions, reflecting them in some situations

Social Development : Anxiety around other toddlers may be a common social behavioral pattern. They may also show anxiety when they think that unpleasant situations are going to occur.
2 - 3 Years
three year old baby
Physical Development :
  • Ability to talk in complete sentences
  • Ability to understand and follow rules
  • Motor skills become more confident and they tend to walk, jump, and climb with ease
  • Ability to dress themselves
  • Ability to name and categorize things
Emotional Development : Some children of this age group tend to show negative and violent tendencies. They may throw temper tantrums. They are also capable of identifying different emotions from facial expressions and respond to them.

Social Development : Many kids show a tendency to copy their parents. They also have a stubborn necessity to follow routine without any disturbance whatsoever.
3 Years and Above
five year old boy
Physical Development :
  • Self-reliant and an ability to help themselves with minimal assistance
  • Efficient vocabulary and an ability to made oneself understood with great ease
  • Able recognition of color, shapes, and sizes
  • Ability to draw circles and shapes of different kind
  • Decides to toilet train
Emotional Development : Children of this age often are capable of showing affection and do so with much ease. They also are capable of feeling emotions such as guilt and pride.

Social Development : Most kids start school at this age and tend to make friends easily. They tend to be cooperative and will like to share things. They also tend to take on roles performed by same-sex parent.
Interaction with your child forms a very important part of the early stages of development. That is the reason why it is essential that you understand the different ages and stages of child development and be there for your child as and when he or she needs you.
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