Child development stages

Your Complete Guide to Children Development Stages

Feb 18, 2021


Is your child development on Track?

The journey of raising a child, remains extremely exciting, filled with several magical moments, like them saying “mama” or taking a first step.

Within this journey there are a number tiny instances that we might not notice, like the first smile and recognition of objects. All these moments formulate a crucial part of a child development journey.

Every child grows and develops differently, doing things at their own pace. Yet it is generally important to refer to Children development stages or which milestones are demonstrated during their life.


Why are these milestones important?

As a parent, during your routine visits to your pediatrician, you might be asked many of these questions:  Does your child like to be hugged? Does your child giggle when he/she sees a silly face?

These questions are in fact used to evaluate the development stage of your child, so you may ask, how critical is my child development to his overall wellbeing?

To answer this question, first you need to understand the areas of skills that are used to determine those stages.


Areas of Child Development (Skills)

Child development stages are assessed across several key skills including:

1. Social/emotional skills: personal interactions, developing and maintaining relationships with family, friends, and teachers; cooperating, and being sensitive while responding to others. Does he or she enjoy being around people? read our article on the importance of social life skills for the future prospects of children.

2. Language/Communication skills: Language development, understanding words, self-expression and communicating with others

3. Physical/Movement Skills: skills such as include rolling over, standing, walking, and sitting; as well as using fingers and hands to do actions activities eating, drawing, etc.

4. Cognitive/Thinking skills: this includes thinking, learning, problem-solving, and remembering (academic related skills).


Now that we covered skills demonstrating children stages of development, we can move on to explore children stages of development:




 Birth to 18 months (Baby)

Newborns are such wonders, as they demonstrate profound growth and development during the first year, and you can expect some socio-emotional development. Some of the doctor’s recommendations for this stage are:

  • Speak to your baby a lot during this phase, to help develop their communication skills.
  • Respond right away when your baby cries. Picking up and comforting a crying baby builds strong bonds between the two of you.


Example Development table: Birth to 18 months

Below table will give you an idea about the expected milestones during this period, for the full list of milestones you can access our children development checklist here


 Full list of milestones you can access our children development checklist here


18 months to 2 years (Toddler)

At this age, your child is becoming aware of his/her own behavior, as well as those around him/her. Children are eager to learn, and starts communicating through words as well as facial expressions.

Doctors advice to maximize your child’s early growth and development include:

  • Create routines and rituals to keep your child feeling secure and grounded.
  • Toddler-proof your home and yard so kids can explore safely.


Development Milestones table: 18 months to 2 years

Full list of milestones you can access our children development checklist here




3 to 5 years old (Pre School)

During this time, your child physical growth and physical child development will slow, but you can expect to see some tremendous intellectual, social, and emotional changes.

During this time of growth, the it is recommended that you:

  • Read to your child daily.
  • Show your children how to do simple chores at home.
  • Help them solve a problem when emotions are running high.


Development table: 3 to 5 years (Pre-school)



School-age development (6 – 14 years)

At this age, your child should feel confident in his/her ability to meet the challenges in life. This sense of competence evolves from successful life experiences in making friends, solving problems independently, being creative and getting results for his/her efforts.

As kids mature, the parenting challenge is to find a balance between enforcing rules, maintaining family connections and allowing them to make some decisions.

Here are some things you can do to ensure that your child development continues to be healthy:

  • Provide opportunities for regular exercise and individual or team sports.
  • Create quiet, positive spaces for reading and studying at home.
  • Build and maintain positive family traditions.
  • Engage in dedicated soft and social skills development activities


Development table: School-age


Key Takeaway

Considering that every child develops at an individual pace children develop new skills and abilities in a steady progression as they get older.

We’ve put together a development milestones checklists that might be helpful to ensure your child is developing and be aware of any missed milestones that you can then discuss with your doctor or a development specialists. 

Manuela Ocampo (Magu)

Early Childhood Educator

Author, A Children's Book About Empathy




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