Developmental Milestones of a Child

What is a Developmental Milestones of a Child?

Developmental Milestones are a set of age appropriate skill sets involving the behaviour skills, functional skill, physical skill, language skills etc that the child learns to perform as they age.

A child is born without any kind of social, cognitive, emotional or speech developments. It undergoes the various developmental stages and gradually learns how to be a social being. The process is fast enough in the initial years and each stage of his/her life experiences a uniform pattern of development. That is to say, every child is destined to do certain tasks at a certain age and not before that. Although a little delay can be normal for a few, if the track is steady, as a parent, you can be quite assured that the baby is developing well. The baby undergoes the stage of growing into a toddler, from being an infant and to a preschooler through these developmental stages. These developments include motor skills, language skills as well as thinking skills or cognitive skills, along with learning social behaviours or communication parameters.

What is a Developmental Milestones of a Child?

Developmental Milestones of a Child at 0 to 3 Months of Age:

The early stage of development of a child is fast and quite astounding. During this stage, the baby starts to smile at people and tries to look at parents. As the baby is lifted in the sitting position, it will learn to hold the head firm. Baby gradually learns to kick legs vigorously. Looking at own hands and trying to fold it to hold objects gradually begins at this stage. Smiling at people, following them as they move around in the room are signs that the baby is developing properly. Cooing and babbling or trying to make vowel sounds is a common phenomenon at this stage. When they lie on their abdomen, their reflex would lead them to lift their heads. Upon stopping playing, the baby might start crying. When upset, a familiar voice can soothe them.

Developmental Milestones of 4 to 6 Months Old Child:

At this stage, the baby is a bit more developed. They try to reach out of their world with the help of their voice and hands. Rolling over becomes a habit. The baby rolls from front to back and vice versa. The head control becomes more developed and the child can start to sit on his/her own. Manipulating the toys and trying to grab all the objects that come to his way can be seen frequently. Every single babbling sound that the baby makes resembles a real word, as they focus more on consonants. All the perceptive abilities such as vision, touch, and hearing are controlled better.

Developmental Milestones of 7 to 9 Months Old Child:

Movement Milestones of the Child at 7 to 9 Months of Age: As the babies start to understand that they can sit on their own, they try to proceed further and get out of their crib. They will start from sitting without support and gradually lead to crawling.

Language and Communication Milestone of Child at Age 7-9 Months: Words like “mama” and “dada” will start to be babbled by the baby and it will start to react or respond to brief words like “no”. Listening to “no” will make the baby understand that the baby is supposed to stop when hearing this word. Copying sounds and gestures is greater at this stage.

Vision and Hearing Milestone of a Child at Age 7-9 Months: The distance vision is developed by this time and as the full colour vision is improved, the baby starts to show interest in mirror images. By this time, baby knows what he/she is called and reacts when the name is called. Also the name of the primary caregiver is understood and recognised by the baby and as the name is called, the baby reacts. It also seeks that the caregiver is always in its close proximity, as a sense of comfort and safety is felt by the baby.

Cognitive Milestone of Child at Age 7-9 Months: The child starts to understand simple games. Towards the end of this stage, it will try to stand up on its own and play games such as peek-a-boo and patty-cake. When a stranger comes in, the baby senses fear.

Developmental Milestones of Child at Age 10 to 12 months:

Hand & Finger Movement Milestone of 10-12 Months Old Child: At this stage, the baby is no more an infant. It is time to be called a toddler. The baby learns how to pick up things using the thumb and the index finger. The baby can feed himself or herself.

Cognitive Milestone of a 10-12 Months Old Child: The child starts to copy others and engage in ‘pretend’ games such as talking over phone, by watching others to do that. Senses like ‘bye-bye’ means leaving of a close and favourite person is evident to the baby and hence, it starts crying. Using the proper object in the proper task and do certain things by himself can be seen. Baby learns to hold a cup and drink from it by him or herself.

Child’s Developmental Milestone at 1 to 3 Years of Age:

Language Milestones of Child at Age 1 to 3 Years: Babbling more clearly with 2 to 3 repetitive words is common and he will start following simple commands. The baby will be able to tell his or her name and surname. Differentiating between males and females as well as understand the plurals and commands that include words like ‘in’, ‘under’ and ‘on’.

Motor Milestone of a Child at Age 1 to 3 Years: During the baby’s first birthday, it will be smart enough to stand holding furniture and then suddenly collapse by bumping, smiling and laughing at himself. Gradually it will learn to stand on his own; without the help of anybody else. Pulling out toys and letting them loose to see where they go, becomes a game for the baby. The baby will learn to eat with spoon and drink from a cup with proper holding and can be able to point at things that he seeks. The motor developments are very prominent in which kicking a ball, beginning to run and throwing objects become common.

Cognitive Milestone of a Child at Age 1 to 3 Years: When playing games, he will be able to construct towers with building blocks. He will also be able to identify and name the animals from a picture book. By age 2-3 years, when taught how to hold a pencil, the baby can make straight lines and circles. Solving 3 to 4 piece puzzles and opening bottle lids and jar tops as well as speaking up clearer sentences is more evident as the baby reaches its 3rd year of age. The tower building game with blocks will be more complex by this time as the baby will be able to build towers with more than 9 cubes.

Emotional Development Milestone of a Child at Age 1 to 3 Years: Showing affection to familiar faces and being shy or be afraid of strangers is common. Sometimes, the baby will seem selfish and self-centred.

Developmental Milestone of Child at Age 4 to 5 Years:

Cognitive and Language Milestone of a 4 to 5 Years Old Child: Sorting objects by shape and colour as well as stating multiword clear sentences will be seen at this stage. The child can count 10 or more objects.

Language Milestone of a 4 to 5 Years Old Child: The child will learn to sing simple songs or rhymes and do actions with it. He will be able to tell his name, his parents’ name and also address. By this time, the baby has a vocabulary of more than 2000 words. The child will be able to answer to ‘why’ questions. The baby’s imagination increases and he can tell stories.

Emotional Developmental Milestone 4 to 5 Years Old Child: Previous fears are outgrown and the baby learns how to be more responsible and says ‘I am sorry’ if makes a mistake. He also does not feel worried to get along with people outside the family.

Motor Milestone of a 4 to 5 Years Old Child: The baby can easily climb up and down from stairs or from other places with the help of railings. By this time, the baby will learn to ride a tricycle and he will be able draw square and better circles. The baby learns to copy a triangle. Skipping, hopping and jumping as well as practicing more active physical activities is evident when the baby becomes 5 years old. The baby can easily dress and undress himself by this age, without the help of others.

Developmental Milestone of Child at Age 6 to 12 years:

Tying up shoe laces and getting rid of incomplete sentences are significant changes in children of this age group. The child moves from self-centred activities to more social and reasonable activities.

Language Milestone of a 6 to 12 Years old Child: Language development is consistent and the vocabulary increases. By the age of 12, the child develops a vocabulary of 50,000 words.

Cognitive and Motor Milestone of a 6 to 12 Years old Child: The child learns to copy more complex shapes such as triangle and diamonds. The child starts to indulge in extracurricular activities and drawing figures becomes sharper with more distinguished heads, limbs and body. Coordination between body parts and cognitive or motor skills becomes more developed and the child learns to skip with alternative feet. Bicycling becomes easier. Following complex and several instructions gradually develop during this time.

Physical Milestone of a 6 to 12 Years old Child: He loses his milk teeth by the age 6 and starts getting permanent teeth. In some girls, menstruation may start by the age of 12.

Developmental Milestone of Child at Age 13 to 16 years:

By this time, the child no longer remains a child and is proceeding towards puberty. His or her communication becomes more focussed on relationships. Rather than cognitive development, physical changes and emotional changes are more significant. Almost all girls start menstruating by this age and boys experience erection of the penis and night falls as well.

Throughout these developmental stages, a baby seeks constant support from the parents. If at any stage, there is delay in these developments, it should be discussed with the paediatrician and they must seek for proper help without any delay.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 12, 2016

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