Watching a child grow from the tiny little person you take home from the hospital to a fully grown adult is a truly unique experience. It’s a long and winding road and along that road, there are several important milestones that your child will achieve throughout their development. Before you know it your child will be walking and talking and living a life of their own. So with that in mind, we thought it would be useful to run you through the various important moments in a child’s development. Allowing you to see where your child is and to let you know of things to look forward to. Here is our guide to your child’s development timeline.
The initial months are easily the slowest and steady in terms of development. This is when your newborn is just adjusting to the new world they live in. During this time, babies gain more control of their head and neck, sleepless, will be able to push themselves up when left on their tummies and rollover. Plus, the babies begin to notice familiar sounds, usually smiling or going quiet when they hear them. In this time period, the babies require progressively increasing levels of interaction with hours of playtime being key to cognitive development. Then, in addition, they will also need a consistent feeding routine to aid in their growth and development.
During this period, your little ones begin to show their first signs of dexterity and communicative skills. During this period, babies begin to be more expressive, often babbling and smiling in response to the stimulus. The babies will also show fondness for certain toys and enjoy having stimulants around to play with. They will also respond to sounds not in their direct line of sight by turning their head and they can sit up on their own at around six months old. The end of this period marks the point in time that parents should begin changing their sleep patterns. Up until this point, the baby should have been sleeping in the same room. However, this marks the point in time where the baby can be placed in their own sleeping space at night.
This period is commonly a time where your child becomes more mobile. During this time babies will be able to sit steady, swap toys between each hand, put their feet in their mouths and they may begin to crawl. Babies also begin to find certain individuals more familiar than others. They will begin to form stronger relationships with specific individuals. Then with regards to communication, babies will begin making more unique sounds and will begin to mimic those around them, even saying simple one-syllable words like mum, dad, dog, etc. This time also marks the period where the baby is to be weaned off their initial food source as there is less need for bottles.
This period is a wonderful time for parents as they will often see their child walk for the first time. Children begin by crawling and furniture surfing, using a grip to hold themselves upright. Then before long, the child is standing upright with no additional aids. The child also begins to emote much more, showing excitement through clapping, understanding simple concepts such as waving hello and goodbye as well as accepting and reflecting things through the terms ‘yes’ and ‘no’. The child will also recognise themselves in the mirror and gain a sense of object permanence. However, much to the displeasure of parents everywhere, children can become more emotive in negative ways as well, often resisting bedtimes and nappy changes.
The second year of your baby’s life is a jam-packed one full of interesting moments. Your child will likely take the basic balance and mobility that they gained in the previous months and build on them drastically. This period usually sees children learn to climb stairs, jump, bend to pick up objects, use a tricycle, throw or kick a ball, and dance when excited. Then aside from mobility, your child will also become adept at other core skills. A child will often learn to hold a pencil or crayon in their preferred hand. They will be able to feed themselves, drink from cups and they may also begin potty training and move into their own toddler bed within this period.
This period marks a time in your child’s life where social interaction and plentiful activities are key to development. Your child will be potty training if this wasn’t the case already, they will be using child-sized cutlery. Many children will be able to count to ten and spell their own names. Plus, depending on the motor skills of the child in question, some children will be able to write their own name. This is also a time where children begin to act with their own interests in mind. Meaning that this is the ideal time to introduce discipline in the form of a naughty step or consequences for undesirable actions. Then towards the latter end of this period, the child will attend nursery school, thus beginning their academic journey.
This time in your child’s life is the period where they will develop a sense of empathy towards others. They will take other people's needs and emotions into account, with sharing being a key component of them showing that they care. Then when playing, children will also be much more structured and imaginative with a lot of their playtime being based on real-life situations and role play with other children. Then with regards to the skills that the children learn in these three years. They will learn to tie their shoelaces independently, wipe after using the toilet, ride a bike with no need for stabilizer wheels, and will also be able to read simple books.
Then lastly, we have the last of the single-digit years. During this time your child will begin to develop a social life outside of their parents. They will want to spend time at their friend's house or play outside with their buddies away from the watchful eyes of adults. Children will sleep significantly less and it will take much more physical exertion to tire out your child. Your child will also take more interest in more complex and advanced activities. They may take an interest in technology, they will have an understanding of currency and want to make their own income, often leading to an allowance being granted to the child. Your child will also begin to see the early signs of hormones affecting their mood and behaviour. This often leads to stronger and frequently changing emotions and the child pushing the boundaries and rules in place within their life.