The five stages of child development include newborn, infant, toddler, preschool, and school age stages. Children experience various changes in terms of physical, speech, intellectual and cognitive development gradually until adolescence. Specific changes occur at specific ages in life. Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and saying goodbye are called developmental milestones.
Children reach milestones in the way they play, learn, talk, act, and move. Milestones are the things a child can do at a certain age. Most children develop skills and abilities in approximately the same order, but the timelines involved are not exact. They vary from child to child, as do hair and eye color.
It is increasingly recognized in policy, research and clinical practice communities that early and middle childhood provide the physical, cognitive and socio-emotional foundation for lifelong health, learning and well-being. Early childhood, middle childhood and adolescence represent the 3 stages of child development. Each stage is organized around the main development tasks for that period. The reason that early childhood development is so critical is that it lays the foundation for the rest of children's lives.
Generally, differences between children are not a cause for concern; as at other stages of life, everyone is different. These factors and stressors can affect the brain and severely compromise the child's growth and physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive development. That's a question that parents, pediatricians, educators, and caregivers ask themselves over and over again as children grow and change. Growth charts are a useful tool, but it's important to know that they don't show a complete picture of your child's development or overall health.
Growth and development include not only the physical changes that occur from infancy through adolescence, but also some of the changes in emotions, personality, behavior, thinking, and speech that children develop as they begin to understand and interact with the world around them. You can also learn more about ways to keep children healthy, happy, and motivated as they grow and change. Trust your instincts and take care of your child to make sure you're not putting too much responsibility on him at any given time. Studies have shown that IQ scores can fluctuate up (or sometimes down) in children, especially during adolescence.
If your child is younger than 3 years old, you can contact your state's early intervention program. Each baby develops in its own way, so it's impossible to know exactly when your child will hone a certain skill. Infants, toddlers, and school-age children develop new skills and abilities in a steady progression as they grow older. Simply talking to a toddler often, whether they are talking during diaper changes or pointing things out during a walk, can stimulate brain growth.
How a child develops during this time affects future cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic and physical development, which in turn influences school readiness and later life success.