Quick Guide To Child Development (0 to 5 years)

No pressure - kids have their own pace!

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When women get pregnant for the first time, we usually subscribe to an app that gives weekly or monthly updates of our baby’s development in our wombs. Some of us probably even spend an extra hour up at night to read the book, “What to expect when you’re expecting.”

After birth, Google becomes our best friend as we look up child development milestones depending on our child’s age. Some even get obsessed by it, especially with the pressure of what we see other parent’s post about their children on social media. 

Here’s a quick reference guide on what to expect in your child’s development during the early years. Of course, let us not forget that each child is different and develops at his or her own pace. 

Developmental Milestones from 2 to 6 Months

Social/Emotional

  • Smiles at people
  • Likes to play with people

Language

  • Coos, makes gurgling sounds, and begins to babble at a later age
  • Turns head towards sounds
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or tiredness

Cognitive

  • Follows things with eyes and recognizes people at a distance
  • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
  • Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance

Physical

  • Can hold head up and push up when lying on tummy
  • May be able to roll over from tummy to back
  • Brings hand to mouth

Developmental Milestones from 6 to 12 months

Social/Emotional

  • Knows familiar faces and begins to know if someone is a stranger
  • Responds to other people’s emotions
  • Has favorite toys

Language

  • Responds to sounds by making sounds
  • Strings vowels together when babbling
  • Responds to own name
  • Understands “no”
  • Copies sounds made by others

Cognitive

  • Passes things from one hand to another
  • Shows curiosity about things and tries to get out-of-reach objects
  • Enjoys peek-a-boo and looks for things he sees you hide
  • Puts things in his mouth

Physical

  • Rolls over in both directions
  • Sits without support
  • When standing, supports weight on legs
  • Crawls

Phew! While the first 12 months probably had you losing sleep, now is probably the time to catch up on your zzz’s and get yourself ready for non-stop talking, walking, and also running. Ready for the next set of child development milestones? Let’s go! 

Developmental Milestones from 1 to 2 years old

Social/Emotional

  • May be shy or scared around strangers
  • Cries when a parent or caregiver leaves
  • Shows fear in certain situations
  • Has favorite things and people
  • May have temper tantrums
  • Plays pretend

Language

  • Responds to spoken requests
  • Uses gestures like “bye” and “no”
  • May be able to say “mama,” “dada,” and a few common words

Cognitive

  • Enjoys finding hidden objects
  • Makes sounds by banging things together
  • Puts things in and out of a container
  • Tries to do things without help
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Knows the use of everyday things and uses them correctly
  • Starts to draw or scribble (Hopefully not on the walls!)

Physical

  • Can sit without help
  • Can stand by pulling himself up and walks with guidance (and eventually by himself)
  • Pulls toys while walking
  • Can help undress himself
  • Drinks from a cup

Developmental Milestones from 2 to 3 years old

Social/Emotional

  • Copies others – adults, older kids, and friends
  • Gets excited with other children
  • Shows more independence
  • Plays alongside other children
  • Learns to take turns
  • Shows concern and affection for friends

Language

  • Able to point to things, pictures, or body parts
  • Says short and simple sentences
  • Repeats words
  • Follows instructions with 2 to 3 steps
  • Able to say his name

Cognitive

  • Finds hidden things
  • Sorts shapes and colors
  • Remembers and recites nursery rhymes
  • Plays pretend or make-believe
  • Can do simple puzzles
  • Can build towers with 4-6 or more blocks

Physical

  • Can stand on tiptoe
  • Can kick a ball
  • Walks, runs, and climbs
  • Can start to pedal a 3 or 4-wheel bike
  • Can go up and down stairs

Developmental Milestones from 4 to 5 years

Social/Emotional

  • Enjoys doing new things
  • Prefers playing with other children
  • Can tell apart what’s real and make-believe
  • Talks about what he likes or is interested in
  • Shows more independence in day-to-day tasks

Language

  • Able to use pronouns like he or she
  • Sings nursery rhymes from memory
  • Tells stories
  • Can say his first and last name, or other details about himself
  • Starts speaking more clearly

Cognitive

  • Can identify names, colors, numbers, and letters
  • Can count up to 10 or more
  • Remembers parts of a story told
  • Starts to use scissors
  • Can make simple drawings of people
  • Starts to write

Physical

  • Can hop, skip, and stand on one foot
  • Can throw and catch balls
  • Can pour, mash, and cut with supervision

And that’s it! Always remember, dear parents, that this is just a quick guide of the various developmental milestones. Do not be too anxious if your child is unable to meet one or two of them. Make sure to check with your pediatrician, and read this guide to spot development delays.

 

Sources:

Child Care Resource Center

Child Development Institute

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