Milestones In The 5 Stages Of A Child’s Development

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing your child become an independent thinker and compassionate human being. But these times are also filled with some very interesting milestones. Keeping an eye out for milestones in your child’s development can help you become a part of the journey right alongside them.

Milestones In A Child’s Development

You’re going to love watching your child’s development. It’s one of the most amazing things in life, and every parent loves keeping a watchful eye on where their kids are headed. Here at Wake Forest Pediatrics, we’ve put together this list of milestones for you so you can see how much your little one has changed over the years!

1. Infant

Infancy ranges from birth to 12 months old. During this time, your child’s development may appear small, like turning their head towards sounds, but collectively model massive milestones. By two months, your infant should be 

  • Paying attention to faces
  • Holding their head up
  • Making gurgling sounds
  • Turning their head downwards

By four months, your infant should be

  • Holding their head steady
  • Rolling over from their tummy to back
  • Responding to sounds by making sounds
  • Reaching for toys

By 12 months, your child should 

  • Understand “no”
  • Be using their fingers to point at things
  • Crawl and pull up to stand
  • Say words like “mama” and “dada”
  • Be able to follow simple directions. 

2. Toddler 

Did you know 80% of your child’s brain develops by the age of three? Toddlers range from 2-3 years of age, and this is when your child undergoes numerous milestones and behavioral developments. By two years of age, your child should be able to

  • Walk forwards and backward
  • Stoop and squat
  • Use two to three-word sentences
  • Scribble

By three years of age, your child should be able to

  • Play well with other children
  • Know colors
  • Count to three
  • Use the toilet
  • Sing and dance

3. Preschooler

Preschoolers are 3-5 years old, and mark the time when most preschools begin accepting children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during this stage of a child’s development, children should be 

  • Riding a tricycle
  • Using safety scissors
  • Noticing the difference between boys and girls
  • Helping to dress and undress themselves
  • Recalling different parts of stories
  • Singing songs

It is important to note that this stage covers numerous movement, language, cognitive, social, and emotional milestones. There are several milestones not listed that your child may undergo during this and other stages of development.

4. School-Age

Children from 6 to 12 years of age are considered school-aged children. During this time in your child’s development, you will begin to watch them mature and develop new abilities. A child 6-7 years of age should be able to

  • Copy complex shapes
  • Tell the time
  • Read age-appropriate books
  • Know their right hand from their left hand

A child 8-9 years of age should be able to

  • Count backward
  • Know the date
  • Understand fractions
  • Understand the concept of space

A child 10-12 years of age should be able to

  • Write stories
  • Read well
  • Have increased coordination and strength
  • Interact with peers

5. Adolescent

Generally speaking, an adolescent describes the phase of life between childhood and adulthood, spanning the ages 10 to 19. This is a time when you will notice your child beginning to think, feel, and interact with others. Additionally, during this phase of your child’s development, they will begin to undergo maturing physically, too. By this age, most teenagers

  • Become more interested in romantic relationships
  • Show more independence from parents
  • Have a deeper capacity for caring
  • Learn more defined work habits
  • Feel emotions more deeply, such as feelings of sadness and anxiety
  • Spend more time with friends

Watching your child grow is one of the greatest gifts. It is important to remember these are just a few development milestones your child will undergo throughout their development. For a comprehensive list, visit this resource.
The board-certified pediatricians and staff at Wake Forest Pediatrics use a comprehensive approach while focusing on teamwork and open communication with patients and parents. If you have any questions about your child’s health or development, give us a call at 919-556-4779 or request an appointment.

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