These Child development milestones are usually visible at birth and may vary from baby to baby. The key to early childhood development is for parents to monitor their child’s growth from birth through approximately 18 months old. In addition to being a parent, many grandparents are responsible for acting as monitors with the infant, as well as helping the parents learn about their child’s normal development.
Typical child development milestones can be broken down into several different categories. Speech is always an early accomplishment, as are eye-hand coordination and hand-eye coordination. By around four years old, babies are able to point at things and names with their eyes. They will grasp items with their fingers and lips and soon after will be able to speak coherently. Hand-eye coordination is another important milestone, as babies begin to develop what is known as “brain waves,” which are patterns of light and sound that the brain uses to both processes and execute movements. By around six months of age, babies can point to objects by touching them with their fingers and mouth.
Reflexes are another important milestone in child development, as the ability to “feel” things comes more naturally from a very early age. While babies cannot feel pain, they do pick up on things, such as sucking on a bottle or thumb or trying to push something across the floor using their arms. Learning to complete these tasks without prompting is an important part of child development.
Motor skills and gross motor skills develop in tandem. At around the age of two, children are able to sit, stand, walk, and get on their hands and knees. Gross motor skills include everything from pointing to walking. Around the age of four, children can crawl, walk, and run. Developmental toys and activities also play an important role in child development. Parents need to start children out with age-appropriate toys, such as those with soft materials that are not harmful to the baby’s development.
Communication is another typical child development milestone, where babies can say “no” and “thank you” to parents and adults alike. In addition, babies are able to talk, both in speech and sign, at about three months of age. Speech development also includes the vocabulary skills children use at this age. At around the age of six, children can understand simple conversations and make use of sentences and words properly.
When it comes to language, children begin learning to speak at the age of three through word repetition, mirroring, and naming objects. At around the age of six, children can name five objects out of the hundred they have seen all week. At this point, they will have made a sizable investment in language development through their vocabulary, verbal skills, and comprehension. The child now enters the language stage, where he or she will be learning how to communicate verbally. Children at this point can begin to read, write, and count.
There are other development milestones within the development of a child, including the first time a child steps or climbs up a step. Other notable development milestones include pointing to things that are around the child when asked to do so, pointing to hidden items, first pointing to something in the room that an adult is holding, first pointing to a picture, and first speaking a language, if that was his or her first language. A milestone in child development that is often overlooked is the first time that a child uses his or her head to address an adult. At this age, children begin to recognize that they are supposed to be adults and that there are social rules surrounding appropriate speech, language, and behaviour.
All of these typical child development milestones are important in the overall development of a child. Children do not grow at the same pace, so some things may take longer for them than others. However, these are all critical milestones that every child must reach some point. If a child does not reach a milestone, it is important not to get discouraged. A child can go through years without meeting even one of these milestones. It is better to set aside time once a year to be able to be with your child and to enjoy what he or she is learning.