5 Major Stages of Child Development

Child develeopment

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All parents want their child to grow up to a smart, successful, and happy individual. They have big dreams for their little one the moment he takes his first steps! But, of course, there are so many developmental stages that children have to go through, and each one has its own importance and set of benefits.

When children are in their growth phase, they go through a few distinct developmental phases. These phases can be easily segregated based on the age range they are in. These phases of growth have been documented as being helpful to parents in understanding their growing child better, and also handling them accordingly. Based on this, parents can follow a few tips and tricks that will enable them to focus on their child’s overall holistic growth.

Children go through a lot of physical and mental changes as they develop, and what occurs exactly during these phases is determined genetically. By reading about the different developmental stages that a child goes through, you, as a parent, will be able to provide him with much-needed support to help him develop in a positive manner. By taking note of these different stages, and keeping an eye out for any sort of developmental habits, you will be able to understand your child better!

What Are the Stages of Childhood Development?

There are different stages of childhood development that have been segregated based on the age of the children and their progress. Each of these phases has distinct periods, which require different parenting approaches. Once you’ve read through them, you’ll be able to acknowledge certain behavioural, physical and emotional traits in early childhood development stages.

The stages of development in a child are broadly classified as:

  • Birth
  • Baby Development
  • Toddler Development
  • Preschooler Development
  • School-Aged Children Development

1. Birth

When the baby is around 1 month old, he is considered to be in the birth stage of his development cycle. Here, the baby is generally trying to make sense of the world around him, and he is very attached to the mother, as she provides him food, warmth and shelter, and takes care of his other needs.

A baby at birth

If you’re a parent who has an infant in this stage of development, you’ll be able to notice certain signs such as the baby holding his head erect and steady when you hold them upright.

Parenting Tips:

  • During this stage, your baby will start recognizing faces around him. He may begin to coo and babble by 2 to 4 months of age, so take note of the different sounds he makes at this age of development.
  • He will slowly learn to develop his motor skills by lifting his head while being on his tummy. It is important that you can give your baby at least 20 to 30 seconds of tummy time sessions right from their 2nd week, and gradually increase the time as they grow older.
  • He will also begin displaying certain reflexes, age such as opening his mouth, moving his head when you stroke his cheeks, and trying to grasp things you put in his hands.

2. Baby Development

Between the ages of 1 to 12 months, it is the “baby development stage” of childhood. During this time, your baby will begin to exhibit characteristics that are characteristic of this particular stage.

A baby teething

Babies during this age are able to now easily identify their parents and other close relatives and will feel at ease with them. They will also be more comfortable expressing themselves with time.

Parenting Tips:

  • Your baby will now begin understanding his body a little better. He will start improving his motor skills, so you can provide him with toys that will help improve stimuli like sound, touch, and sight.
  • He will also be able to sit up when you prop him up, but he may find it hard to balance himself. Ensure you’re able to strengthen his core muscles to help him with that.
  • Your baby will also find a love of putting things in his mouth, as he will begin teething at this stage of life. Make sure that you do not provide any harmful objects that he could insert in his mouth.
  • By the time he is in his 712 month stage, he will understand names and other commonly used words. Try seeing if he responds to certain words at this age.
  • Kids love being in motion towards the end of this stage, and will almost be able to sit up on their own. Your little one will also try walking and building strength in his legs, so try helping him out.

3. Toddler Development

Children who are between 1 and 3 years of age are in their toddler development stage. During this stage, kids begin showing parts of their personality. It is important that you keep an eye out, because they love to explore the independence bought on with the freedom of walking around.

A toddler girl

Parenting Tips:

  • Kids at this age will begin understanding things like a bedtime routine, and this gives them a sense of comfort. Make sure you stick to a disciplined timing of putting your child to bed at this age.
  • As your child should be able to walk pretty much independently at this age, you must keep an eye out if he wanders or comes in contact with hazardous items.
  • Your little one might be clumsy, but he should have decent motor skills now. Provide him with bulky stationery like fat crayons or building blocks to aid their cognitive and motor development at this stage.
  • Take some time out and talk to your child to develop his language speaking skills. He can begin to form short sentences that may be a bit incoherent, but with practice, he will improve.

4. Preschooler Development

This is the age between 3 and 5 years old, where your child is no longer a baby! He is now able to do things, such as run and have conversations. Now, parents need to help their child grow from a mental perspective, and ensure that he is developing in kindergarten. You can talk to your child’s teachers, and gauge the kind of activities that he enjoys at school.

Mom reading to her daughter

Parenting Tips:

  • Kids at this age love talking about anything and everything under the sun. Keep talking to your child, and indulge in his little conversations.
  • At this age, your child is able to read. Have a few books ready to help them improve their reading skills, creativity, and even pronunciation.
  • Let your child also run around and get much-needed exercise, as he is at an age where he has oodles of energy!

5. School-Aged Children Development

School-aged children fall within the 6 to 12 years age bracket. At this age, they are taking in the world around them, and are getting influenced by what they see and hear. However, if nurtured the right way, kids will begin showing traits of intelligence, thoughtfulness, and emotional intelligence, which is exactly what we as parents want for them.

A school going child

Parenting Tips:

  • Kids at this age have fully developed motor skills and plenty of energy. You need to find ways to channel that energy! See if your child is interested in sports, and make sure that he gets exercise on a day-to-day basis.
  • Your child will also begin to form peer relationships at this age, so make sure that you’re involved in their social development. If you notice that your child is finding it difficult to communicate with new people, be there to support him. Kids should receive emotional and mental support at this stage at it helps them when they grow up!
  • Your child will also begin developing secondary sexual characteristics during the later part of this stage, so keep an eye out for the same.
  • Some kids can also begin showing traits of independence at this age. As long as your child is able to take care of himself, you can begin loosening the reigns a little and allow him to make his own decisions.

Early development stages of a child are a challenging time, and will require parents to be on their toes at all times. Everything that a child sees, hears, touches and even smells, can influence his behaviour, and it is the parents’ duty to provide a nurturing environment in which the child can develop. However, you must keep an eye on your child at home as well as outside, as kids will tend to experiment a lot. Don’t leave anything to chance! At the same time, don’t forget to enjoy your little one’s behaviour and antics. When they are small, they are truly themselves without any restrictions, so try to make sure that they have a childhood that is worth remembering!

Also Read: Importance Of Preschool Education For Your Kid