Stages of Child Development
Starting at birth and until five years of age are the most crucial years for child development. The development that children undergo during this time occurs in the child's emotional, hand-eye coordination, language, social, and interactive skills. these areas of intellect experience great growth every trimester for the first two years of the child's life.
Every pediatric visit should consist of the discussion of the child's behavior and signs of intellectual development. It is important to note that every child is different and will move on to the next stages of development at a different pace and the ages discussed below are found to be the average for each developmental stage.
At 3 Months the Child Starts to...
recognize and smile at known faces
observe and focus on people and objects
interact with familiar people through facial expressions and sounds
turn towards the source of a sound
reach out to grab small objects and toys
try to support his or her head
At 7 Months the Child Starts to...
react to the sound of his or her name
respond and try to imitate sounds
try to reach favorite objects even if far away
support his or her torso and sit up without help
express emotions facially
At 12 Months the Child Starts to...
know the face of the caretaker and seek him or her out
mimic facial expressions and hand gestures
communicates in syllables and the words "mommy" "daddy"
crawl, bend the knees, and stand
use both hands (moving an object from on hand to another)
put objects in and take them out of boxes
understand and respond to simple directions ("give a kiss" "wave hello")
At 15-24 Months the Child Starts to...
make eye contact when talked to
reach out to express wanting a hug
greet people either verbally ("hi") or with hand gestures (waving)
understand and respond to more complicated directions
have a larger vocabulary
communicate using more than one word at a time
notice pictures on items and point them out
name objects when asked to
give objects he or she is asked for
mimic the parents' or caretaker's behavior
show interest in other children
If, after the age of two, the child hasn't developed interactive skills or doesn't exhibit most of the skills previously stated, the parents should consult with an expert in child development who could help the child and diagnose the causes of the problem.