What are the 5 stages of child development? At what age should your child be speaking words? When should your child be lifting her head up? These are some common questions in the minds of new parents. The stages of child development include physical, cognitive and social milestones.
The ages and stages of child development are categorized as – infancy (1-12 months), toddler (1-3 years), preschooler (3-5 years), school-age (6-12 years) and adolescence (the teen years). The development milestones in children below three years are considered really crucial as it is the time when kids learn to speak properly and gain several new abilities.
Knowledge about the various child development stages can help parents keep an eye on any potential growth problems and consult a doctor if there is any cause for concern.
Here are 10 development milestones for children under the age of three:
- Newborns can begin to move their arms a few days after they are born. They are also able to focus their gaze on their caregivers and begin to recognize the familiar touch. If your baby doesn’t show any reflex action such as startling during this stage or seems really unresponsive, discuss this with your pediatrician.
- A child at 2 months will be able to follow your voice with his/her gaze. They can follow movements nearby. Unresponsiveness can be a red flag.
- By the time the babies are around 3 months old, they can lift their heads up without any support. They can begin to use their hands to prop up or to hold objects. The child development stages from 3 to 5 months mostly pertain to gaining new strength in their limbs and beginning to produce cooing sounds. If your child can’t hold objects or is unresponsive to your sounds then consult a doctor.
- A child at 4 months can begin to babble, laugh more and attempt to produce different sounds. Some kids speak a little late. So, other than unresponsiveness, there are no major red flags at this child development stage.
- Between 5 to 7 months, babies can begin to roll on their stomach, sit, bounce when in your lap and are able to see objects at a distance. They can recognize their names and display varied emotions. If by this stage your child can’t sit unsupported or interacts to a very limited extent with you or with others, then consider it a red flag.
- From 7 to 12 months, it is time for accelerated growth for babies. Kids at this stage will begin to show more curiosity about their surroundings and explore new things. This is the stage where kids learn to crawl, scoot and walk. This is also the time babies start to speak proper words. Many babies walk a bit later. But if by this stage, your baby doesn’t crawl or try to stand up on his/her own then discuss the problem with their doctor.
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- The child development stage between 12 to 18 months is all about walking unsupported and more confidently; speaking more words, and generally being more responsive to their surroundings. If your kid doesn’t speak at all by this stage, it is a major developmental red flag.
- The child development stage between 18 to 24 months is about new language and motor skills. By the age of two, your child should be able to speak small sentences at least. Kids in this stage must also be able to understand simple instructions.
- Kids between the ages of 24-30 months are ready for toilet training. They will have developed motor skills to use faucets or for brushing their teeth. They can also understand more words. Less developed motor and speech skills at this stage must be a cause of concern.
- Between 30 to 36 months, kids learn to climb stairs, jump, open containers, draw, complete simple puzzles etc. They will begin to become more social. If by this stage, your kid can’t speak properly, jump or has weak motor skills then consult his/her doctor.
So monitor the growth of your child below 3 years with the help of this guide. If they don’t meet the growth listed here at various stages, you should consult a doctor regarding the same.
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