Approximately 17% of children in the United States have some kind of developmental or behavioral problem, including those with early childhood development. This makes monitoring early childhood development stages essential.
But how can you tell if your child is reaching development milestones? Continue reading to learn about cognitive changes and physical transformations associated with these milestones.
Early Childhood Development Stages and Skills
It’s challenging to categorize children into specific early childhood development stages because each child develops at their own pace. However, there are some common skills to consider:
- Cognitive changes
- Social and emotional awareness
- Communication and language
- Movement and physical transformations
Each of these skills develops over time. As these skills grow and change, it indicates your child’s developmental milestones.
Stage 1: Birth to 5 Months
Your child can accomplish a lot in terms of early childhood development in just the first five months of their life. They grow curious about their surroundings and start to express emotions with their facial expressions.
In addition to these cognitive changes, they also exhibit physical transformations. They develop their neck muscles to hold up their head and push themselves up while laying on their stomach.
Stage 2: 6 to 9 Months
Your child’s physical transformations become even more apparent between the ages of 6 and 9 months. They gain a little more independence with their ability to sit without support and pick up objects.
Their personality and cognitive skills shine through as well. They may show you that they have a favorite toy or that they’re able to recognize faces.
Stage 3: 1 Year
One of the most noticeable developmental milestones for some one-year-olds is speaking or following simple directions. They may start to use simple words or phrases such as ‘mama’ or respond when you tell them no.
While walking comes later for many children, some may stand or take a few steps on their own. As these abilities develop, it’s essential to make sure your house is “toddler-proof” for when they start walking.
Stage 4: 18 to 24 Months
During these early childhood development stages, your baby becomes a toddler. They develop the ability to walk, understand more complex directions, and initiate playtime.
Children in this age group start to absorb everything they see and hear. It’s also the beginning of drawing development, vital for building motor skills.
Stage 5: 2 to 3 Years
Early childhood education becomes even more essential as your child enters their 2nd and 3rd years of life. By now, they likely can understand many of your directions and learn new words quickly.
The cognitive changes of a toddler are apparent in their ability to show a wide range of emotions and play pretend. The more you are able to foster their cognitive abilities during these developmental milestones, the better.
Stage 6: 4 to 5 Years
Once a child reaches five years of age, they can do some remarkable things such as speaking in whole sentences and completing simple chores. Their drawing development allows them to print letters and numbers as well.
Understanding Early Childhood Development Stages
Each early childhood development stage comes with its own set of physical transformations and development milestones. Monitoring these physical and cognitive changes can help guide you on your child’s progress.
If you want to help promote early childhood education for your little one, check out our programs to get started.