If you're expecting a baby (or the parent of a newborn), you've probably done some research on the stages of child development. Obviously, every child is unique. They have their own family background, circumstances of living, and an inborn temperament.
At the same time, there are certain milestones you should be looking for as your little one grows. A combination of the physical, emotional, intellectual, speech and motor skills that are acquired in the first 8 years of life is called early childhood development (ECD). Here are the exact skills a child should be mastering as she grows.
At this age, babies begin to smile and follow their parents' movements with their eyes. They are able to lift and hold their head and turn it towards a sound (especially mother’s voice). Faces they see often become more interesting to them, as well as bright objects. Their own hands are also among the things they really enjoy exploring. As for crying, babies up to 3 months-old do it often and loud but are easy to calm down if parents embrace them closely.
By the time a baby is half a year old, she develops many physical abilities. Often, babies may be trying to sit by this age. They smile often to parents and visitors. Voices (particularly of those who live in the house) become very interesting. Babies also stop crying and may start laughing when hearing their parents.
At the age of 4-6 months, babies are able to turn and lay on their stomachs, reach out for a favorite toy, and play. Everything they grab ends up in the mouth, so watch out for small items that a child can swallow.
Babies begin repeating actions at this age. When they get a reaction they like (from parents or siblings) they'll continue to repeat whatever they're doing.
During these months, physical development is fast. Babies practice sitting, crawling and standing. Sometimes your baby (almost a toddler now) will start practicing a few steps. This is an age of exploration, so it's worth taking care of safety by babyproofing.
You may hear your child's first words at this age. Also, children recognize their names and themselves in a mirror, copy simple actions and express emotions when meeting people other than parents (may seem happy, upset or shy).
Between one and two years, children can walk straight and go up the stairs, run, and jump. They start making friends and solve little problems. At this age, they begin speaking in sentences and enjoy communicating with other children.
They love playing with toys and being around people they know well, but at the same time they put an effort into doing things themselves and feel proud when achieving the goal.
At this age, toddlers develop language skills quickly, enjoy learning new things and start asking questions. They like acting out familiar situations and can be easily frustrated if they fail to do things.
Between the ages of 3.5 and 5 years, children talk a lot, enjoy communicating with friends, playing together, and don’t like losing. Parents usually get a lot of questions from their children at this age. Children check their physical abilities and courage, by trying out new things, and have an interest in objects that belong to adults.
This is the age when children ask about the world, the actions of grown-ups, and look up to their parents.
As you can see, first months and years matter a lot in the dynamic growth and development of a child. Invest a lot of time and effort into them during this time and you'll be helping to shape them as they grow!
Bailey Belmont is a massive coffee imbiber, mother of two and Content Writer at Write My Essay Today. She loves reading about Child Psychology and Development. As a regular blogs contributor, she shares her experience and knowledge on upbringing children.