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Child development stages are the theoretical milestones of
child development Child development involves the Human development (biology), biological, developmental psychology, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the conclusion of adolescence. Childhood is divided into 3 stages o ...
, some of which are asserted in nativist theories. This article discusses the most widely accepted developmental stages in children. There exists a wide variation in terms of what is considered "normal", caused by variation in genetic, cognitive, physical, family, cultural, nutritional, educational, and environmental factors. Many children reach some or most of these milestones at different times from the norm. Holistic development sees the child in the round, as a whole person – physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, morally, culturally and spiritually. Learning about child development involves studying patterns of growth and development, from which guidelines for 'normal' development are construed. Developmental norms are sometimes called milestones – they define the recognised pattern of development that children are expected to follow. Each child develops in a unique way; however, using norms helps in understanding these general patterns of development while recognising the wide variation between individuals. One way to identify pervasive developmental disorders is if infants fail to meet the development milestones in time or at all.


Table of milestones


Infancy


Newborn

Physical development * Infants are usually born weighing between and , but infants born prematurely often weigh less. * Newborns typically lose 7–10% of their birth weights in the first few days, but they usually regain it within two weeks. * During the first month, infants grow about and gain weight at a rate of about per day. * Resting heart rate is generally between 70 and 190 beats per minute. Motor development * Moves in response to stimuli. * Displays several
infantile reflex Primitive reflexes are reflex actions originating in the central nervous system that are exhibited by normal infants, but not neurologically intact adults, in response to particular stimuli. These reflexes are suppressed by the development of the ...
es, including: ** The rooting reflex, which causes the infant to suck when the nipple of a breast or bottle is placed in their mouth. ** The Moro reflex, which causes the infant to throw out their arms and legs when startled. ** The asymmetrical tonic neck reflex, which is triggered when the head is turned to one side and causes the infant's arm on that side to straighten and the arm on the other side to bend. ** The palmar grasp reflex, which causes the infant to grasp a finger placed in their palm and to curl their toes when the soles of their feet are touched. Communication skills * Turns head towards sounds and voices. * Cries to communicate needs and stops crying when needs have been met. Emotional development * Soothed by touches and voices of parents. * Able to self-soothe when upset. * Is alert for periods of time. Cognitive skills * Follows faces when quiet and alert. * Stares at bright objects placed in front of the face for a short period of time.


One month old

Physical development * Typically grows between and gains about . Motor development * Hands kept in tight fists. * Equal movement of arms and legs on both sides. * Able to briefly hold up head when in
prone position Prone position () is a body position in which the person lies flat with the chest down and the back up. In anatomical terms of location, the dorsal side is up, and the ventral side is down. The supine position is the 180° contrast. Etymolo ...
. * Arm thrusts are jerky. * Brings hands close to eyes and mouth. * Able to move head from side to side when prone. * Head flops backward if not supported. * Infantile reflexes are strong. Communication skills * Startles at loud noises. * Able to make noises besides crying. Social development * Able to recognize voices of parents. Emotional development * Responds to parents' comforting when upset. * Becomes alert upon hearing pleasant sounds. Cognitive skills * Stares at objects, particularly brightly colored ones, when placed in front of face. * Able to follow faces. Sensory development * Focuses on things about away. * Eyes wander and may cross. * Prefers black and white and high- contrast patterns, but prefers the human face over any other pattern. * Hearing is fully developed. * Has a preference for sweet smells and dislikes bitter and acidic smells. * Recognizes scent of mother's milk. * Enjoys soft and coarse sensations and does not like rough handling.


Two months old

Physical development * Typically grows at a similar rate to the previous month, usually growing between and gaining about . * Resting heart rate is usually between 80 and 160 beats per minute, and it typically stays within that range until the infant is about one year old. Motor development * Can hold up head and chest while in prone position. * Movements of arms and legs become smoother. * Can hold head steady while in
sitting Sitting is a List of human positions, basic action and resting position in which the body weight is supported primarily by the bony ischial tuberosities with the buttocks in contact with the ground or a horizontal surface such as a chair seat, in ...
position. * Certain infantile reflexes, such as the moro reflex and asymmetrical tonic neck reflex, begin to go away. * Able to open and close hands. Communication skills * Able to coo and make gurgling noises. * Able to turn head towards noises. * Begins to smile when interacted with. * Pays attention to speaking people. Social development * Tries to look at parents. Emotional development * Able to briefly calm self by sucking on hands. * Smiles when happy. Cognitive skills * Pays attention to faces. * Follows objects with eyes. * Capable of recognizing people from a distance. * Starts becoming fussy when activity does not change.


Three months old

Physical development * Typically grows and gains . Social development * Develops a social smile. * Communicates and expresses more using face and body.


Four months old

Physical development * By this age, infants may have doubled their birth weights. They typically grow about and gain about during this month. Motor development * May be able to roll from front to back. * Starts to reach and grasp for objects. * Brings hands and objects to mouth. * Able to control head while sitting. * Supports head and chest with arms while prone. * Pushes on legs when feet are on a hard surface. * Able to shake toys and swing at dangling objects. Communication skills * Able to smile, laugh, squeal, and blow bubbles. * Coos in response to parents' coos. * Turns towards voices. * Uses different cries to communicate hunger, tiredness, and pain. Social development * Responds to affection. * Begins to initiate social interaction by cooing or
babbling Babbling is a stage in child development and a state in language acquisition during which an infant appears to be experimenting with uttering articulate sounds, but does not yet produce any recognizable words. Babbling begins shortly after birth ...
. * Smiles spontaneously at people. * Enjoys playing with others. Language development * Starts to babble. * Begins to mimic sounds. Emotional development * Smiles in response to events. * Begins to imitate
facial expressions A facial expression is one or more motions or positions of the muscles beneath the skin of the face. According to one set of controversial theories, these movements convey the emotional state of an individual to observers. Facial expressions are ...
. * Able to soothe self. * Becomes excited when approached by caregivers. Cognitive skills * Begins to easily get distracted by surroundings. * Begins to predict and anticipate routines. * Repeats behaviors that result in a desired effect. * Grasps, mouths, and looks at toys. * Lets caregivers know about mood. * Able to reach for objects using one hand. * Able to use hands and eyes together to accomplish tasks. * Recognizes familiar things from a distance.


Six months old

Physical development * Typically grows between and gains between Motor development * Able to push up to a crawling position and may be able to rock on knees. * Able to sit with support. * Able to stand with help and bounce while standing. An explorative study found, however, that 3- to 5-month-old infants can be taught independent standing, which was considered safe. * Passes objects between hands. * Some infantile reflexes, such as the palmar grasp reflex, go away. * Grabs objects using a raking grasp, where fingers rake at objects to pick them up. * Able to roll from both front to back and back to front. * Rocks back and forth and may crawl backwards. Communication skills * Uses voice to get attention and to express emotions. * Enjoys taking turns making sounds with parents. Social development * Is socially active. * Smiles to attract attention and responds when interacted with. * Able to tell if a person is a stranger. * Enjoys playing with others, especially with parents. Language development * Able to blow raspberries and pronounce consonants such as "ba", "da", and "ga". * Recognizes own name and understands a few other words. * Makes sounds in response to sounds. * Makes vowel noises, such as "ah", "eh", and "oh", while babbling. Emotional development * Recognizes familiar faces and responds happily to them. * Startles at loud noises and may cry out of fear. * Expresses happiness, pleasure, sadness, and anger. * Responds to the emotions of others. * Often seems to be happy. * Likes to look at self in
mirror A mirror or looking glass is an object that reflects an image. Light that bounces off a mirror will show an image of whatever is in front of it, when focused through the lens of the eye or a camera. Mirrors reverse the direction of the im ...
s. Cognitive skills * Mouths objects to understand environment. * Reaches for everything in view. * Moves in the direction they wish to go. * Understands where dropped objects fall. * Looks at nearby objects.


Seven months old

Physical development * Typically grows between and gains between . Motor development * Begins to sit without support of hands. * Able to support entire weight on legs. Sensory development * Able to see in full color. * Abilities to see at a distance and to track moving objects improve. Language development * Responds to " no". * Able to tell emotions from tone of voice. Cognitive skills * Able to locate partially hidden objects.


8–12 months

Physical * Respiration rates vary with activity * Environmental conditions, weather, activity, and clothing still affect variations in body temperature. * Head and chest circumference remain equal. *
Anterior fontanelle The anterior fontanelle (bregmatic fontanelle, frontal fontanelle) is the largest fontanelle, and is placed at the junction of the sagittal suture, coronal suture, and frontal suture; it is lozenge-shaped, and measures about 4 cm in its ante ...
begins to close. * Continues to use abdominal muscles for breathing. * More teeth appear, often in the order of two lower
incisors Incisors (from Latin ''incidere'', "to cut") are the front teeth present in most mammals. They are located in the premaxilla above and on the mandible below. Humans have a total of eight (two on each side, top and bottom). Opossums have 18, wher ...
then two upper
incisors Incisors (from Latin ''incidere'', "to cut") are the front teeth present in most mammals. They are located in the premaxilla above and on the mandible below. Humans have a total of eight (two on each side, top and bottom). Opossums have 18, wher ...
followed by four more incisors and two lower
molars The molars or molar teeth are large, flat teeth at the back of the mouth. They are more developed in mammals. They are used primarily to grind food during chewing. The name ''molar'' derives from Latin, ''molaris dens'', meaning "millstone to ...
but some babies may still be waiting for their first. * Arm and hands are more developed than feet and legs (cephalocaudal development); hands appear large in proportion to other body parts. * Legs may continue to appear bowed. * "Baby fat" continues to appear on thighs, upper arms and neck. * Feet appear flat as arch has not yet fully developed. * Both eyes work in unison (true binocular coordination). * Can see distant objects ( away) and points at them. Motor development * Reaches with one hand leading to grasp an offered object or toy. * Adjustment from grip emerges around 8 months. * Manipulates objects, transferring them from one hand to the other. * Explores new objects by poking with one finger. * They adjust their grip based on touch at 8 months, not yet visual cues. * Infants will begin to use visual cues while reaching and grasping after 9 months of age. * Uses deliberate pincer grasp to pick up small objects, toys, and finger foods. * Stacks objects; also places objects inside one another. * Releases objects or toys by dropping or throwing; cannot intentionally put an object down because infants, at eight months, are not using visual sensory information while grasping an object. * Beginning to pull self to a standing position. * Beginning to stand alone, leaning on furniture for support; moves around obstacles by side-stepping. * Has good balance when sitting; can shift positions without falling. * Creeps on hands and knees; crawls up and down stairs. * The hip and knee joints exhibit a greater lag than the shoulder and elbow joints, which shows that motor skills develop in a cephalocaudal trend. * The lags between joints decreases as age increases. * The hip and knee joints are more strongly coupled than the shoulder and elbow joints in interlimb comparisons. This may be due to the weight bearing the hip and knee joints go through for standing and walking. * Walks with adult support, holding onto adult's hand; may begin to walk alone. * Walking alone leads to inconsistent steps, grasping objects for balance, and taking few steps without falling. * Walking usually occurs to explore environment and not to necessarily to obtain a specific task, goal, or object. * Watches people, objects, and activities in the immediate environment. * Responds to
hearing test A hearing test provides an evaluation of the sensitivity of a person's sense of hearing and is most often performed by an audiologist using an audiometer. An audiometer is used to determine a person's hearing sensitivity at different frequencies ...
s (voice localization); however, loses interest quickly and, therefore, may be difficult to test formally. * Recognizes objects in reverse * Drops thing intentionally and repeats and watches object * Imitates activities like playing a drum * Begins to develop expressive rather than receptive language – child actually responding to what is said to them instead of only receiving and watching the interaction.


Early childhood


Toddler (12–24 months)

Physical * Weight is now approximately three times the child's birth weight. * Respiration rate varies with emotional state and activity. * Rate of growth slows. * Head size increases slowly; grows approximately every six months; anterior fontanelle is nearly closed at eighteen months as bones of the
skull The skull is a bone protective cavity for the brain. The skull is composed of four types of bone i.e., cranial bones, facial bones, ear ossicles and hyoid bone. However two parts are more prominent: the cranium and the mandible. In humans, th ...
thicken. * Anterior fontanelle closing or fully closed, usually at the middle of this year. * Chest circumference is larger than head circumference. * Legs may still appear bowed. * Toddler will begin to lose the "baby fat" once he/she begins walking. * Body shape changes; takes on more adult-like appearance; still appears top-heavy; abdomen protrudes, back is swayed. Motor development *
Crawl Crawl, The Crawl, or crawling may refer to: Biology * Crawling (human), any of several types of human quadrupedal gait * Limbless locomotion, the movement of limbless animals over the ground * Undulatory locomotion, a type of motion characteriz ...
s skillfully and quickly. * Stands alone with feet spread apart, legs stiffened, and arms extended for support. * Gets to feet unaided. * Most children walk unassisted near the end of this period; falls often; not always able to maneuver around obstacles, such as furniture or toys. * Children first recognize when to apply muscular force when walking in order to conserve energy; soon after, children learn to fine-tune muscle tissues to stabilize themselves. * Uses furniture to lower self to floor; collapses backwards into a sitting position or falls forward on hands and then sits. * Enjoys pushing or pulling toys while walking. * Repeatedly picks up objects and throws them; direction becomes more deliberate. * Attempts to run; has difficulty stopping and usually just drops to the floor. * Crawls up stairs on all fours; goes down stairs in same position. * Sits in a small chair. * Carries toys from place to place. * Enjoys crayons and markers for scribbling; uses whole-arm movement. * Helps feed self; enjoys holding spoon (often upside down) and drinking from a glass or cup; not always accurate in getting utensils into mouth; frequent spills should be expected. * Helps turn pages in book. * Stacks two to six objects per day. Cognitive development * Enjoys object-hiding activities. * Early in this period, the child always searches in the same location for a hidden object (if the child has watched the hiding of an object). Later, the child will search in several locations. * Passes toy to other hand when offered a second object (referred to as "crossing the midline" – an important neurological development). * Manages three to four objects by setting an object aside (on lap or floor) when presented with a new
toy A toy or plaything is an object that is used primarily to provide entertainment. Simple examples include toy blocks, board games, and dolls. Toys are often designed for use by children, although many are designed specifically for adults and pet ...
. * Puts toys in mouth less often. * Enjoys looking at
picture book A picture book combines visual and verbal narratives in a book format, most often aimed at young children. With the narrative told primarily through text, they are distinct from comics, which do so primarily through sequential images. The images ...
s. * Demonstrates understanding of functional relationships (objects that belong together): Puts
spoon A spoon is a utensil consisting of a shallow bowl (also known as a head), oval or round, at the end of a handle. A type of cutlery (sometimes called flatware in the United States), especially as part of a place setting, it is used primarily f ...
in
bowl A bowl is a typically round dish or container generally used for preparing, serving, or consuming food. The interior of a bowl is characteristically shaped like a spherical cap, with the edges and the bottom forming a seamless curve. This makes ...
and then uses spoon as if eating; places
teacup A teacup is a cup for drinking tea. It may be with a handle (grip), handle, generally a small one that may be grasped with the thumb and one or two fingers. It is typically made of a ceramic material. It is usually part of a set, composed of a ...
on
saucer A saucer is a type of small dishware. While in the Middle Ages a saucer was used for serving condiments and sauces, currently the term is used to denote a small plate or shallow bowl that supports a cup – usually one used to serve coffee ...
and sips from cup; tries to make doll stand up. * Shows or offers toy to another person to look at. * Names many everyday objects. * Shows increasing understanding of spatial and form discrimination: puts all pegs in a pegboard; places three geometric shapes in large formboard or puzzle. * Places several small items (blocks, clothespins, cereal pieces) in a container or bottle and then dumps them out. * Tries to make mechanical objects work after watching someone else do so. * Responds with some facial movement, but cannot truly imitate
facial expression A facial expression is one or more motions or positions of the muscles beneath the skin of the face. According to one set of controversial theories, these movements convey the emotional state of an individual to observers. Facial expressions are ...
. * Most children with autism are diagnosed at this age. Language * Produces considerable "jargon": puts words and sounds together into speech-like (
inflected In linguistic morphology, inflection (or inflexion) is a process of word formation in which a word is modified to express different grammatical categories such as tense, case, voice, aspect, person, number, gender, mood, animacy, and defi ...
) patterns. * Holophrastic speech: uses one word to convey an entire thought; meaning depends on the inflection ("me" may be used to request more cookies or a desire to feed self). Later, produces two-word phrases to express a complete thought ( telegraphic speech): "More cookie", "Daddy bye-bye." * Follows simple directions, "Give Daddy the cup." * When asked, will point to familiar persons, animals, and toys. * Identifies three body parts if someone names them: "Show me your nose (toe, ear)." * Indicates a few desired objects and activities by name: "Bye-bye", "cookie"; verbal request is often accompanied by an insistent gesture. * Responds to simple questions with "yes" or "no" and appropriate head movement. * Speech is 25 to 50 percent intelligible during this period. * Locates familiar objects on request (if child knows location of objects). * Acquires and uses five to fifty words; typically these are words that refer to animals, food, and toys. * Uses gestures, such as pointing or pulling, to direct adult attention. * Enjoys rhymes and songs; tries to join in. * Seems aware of reciprocal (back and forth) aspects of conversational exchanges; some turn-taking in other kinds of vocal exchanges, such as making and imitating sounds. Social * Less wary of strangers. * Helps pick up and put away toys. * Plays alone. * Enjoys being held and read to. * Often imitates adult actions in play. * Enjoys adult attention; likes to know that an adult is near; gives hugs and kisses. * Recognizes self in mirror. * Enjoys the companionship of other children, but does not play cooperatively. * Begins to assert independence; often refuses to cooperate with daily routines that once were enjoyable; resists getting dressed, putting on shoes, eating, taking a bath; wants to try doing things without help. * May have a
tantrum A tantrum, temper tantrum, lash out, meltdown, fit or hissy fit is an emotional outburst, usually associated with those in emotional distress, that is typically characterized by stubbornness, crying, screaming, violence, defiance, angry ranting ...
when things go wrong or if overly tired or frustrated. * Exceedingly curious about people and surroundings; needs to be watched carefully to prevent them from getting into unsafe situations. Walking development * Young toddlers (12 months) have a wider midfoot than older toddlers (24 months). * The foot will develop greater contact area during walking. * Maximum force of the foot will increase. * Peak pressure of the foot increases. * Force-time integral increases in all except the midfoot. * The lateral toes did not show a pattern in development of walking. * Loading parameters of the foot generally increase, the midfoot develops opposite of the other regions in the foot.


Two-year-old

Physical * Posture is more erect; abdomen still large and protruding, back swayed, because abdominal muscles are not yet fully developed. * Respirations are slow and regular * Body temperature continues to fluctuate with activity, emotional state, and environment. * Brain reaches about 80 percent of its adult size. * 16 baby teeth almost finished growing out Motor development * Can walk around obstacles and walk more erectly. * Squats for long periods while playing. * Climbs stairs unassisted (but not with alternating feet). * Balances on one foot (for a few moments), jumps up and down, but may fall. * Often achieves
toilet training Toilet training (also potty training or toilet learning) is the process of training someone, particularly a toddler or infant, to use the toilet for urination and defecation. Attitudes toward training in recent history have fluctuated substantial ...
during this year (depending on child's physical and neurological development) although accidents should still be expected; the child will indicate readiness for toilet training. * Throws large ball underhand without losing balance. Holds small cup or tumbler in one hand. Unbuttons large buttons; unzips large zippers. * Opens doors by turning doorknobs. * Grasps large crayon with fist; scribbles. * Climbs up on chair, turns, and sits down. * Stacks four to six objects on top of one another. * Uses feet to propel wheeled riding toys. * Most likely in the emerging stage of learning to run. Cognitive * Eye–hand movements better coordinated; can put objects together, take them apart; fit large pegs into pegboard. * Begins to use objects for purposes other than intended (may push a block around as a boat). * Does simple classification tasks based on single dimension (separates toy dinosaurs from toy cars). * Seems fascinated by, or engrossed in, figuring out situations: where the tennis ball rolled, where the dog went, what caused a particular noise. * Attends to self-selected activities for longer periods of time. Discovering cause and effect: squeezing the cat makes them scratch. * Knows where familiar persons should be; notes their absence; finds a hidden object by looking in last hiding place first. (This is what Piaget termed
object permanence Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be sensed. This is a fundamental concept studied in the field of developmental psychology, the subfield of psychology that addresses the development of ...
, which usually occurs during the sensorimotor stage of Piaget's childhood
theory of cognitive development Piaget's theory of cognitive development is a comprehensive theory about the nature and development of human intelligence. It was originated by the Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896–1980). The theory deals with the nature of k ...
) * Names familiar objects. * Recognizes, expresses, and locates pain. * Expected to use " magical thinking", the causal relationships between actions and events. * Tells about objects and events not immediately present (this is both a cognitive and linguistic advance). * Expresses more curiosity about the world. Language * Enjoys participating while being read to. * Realizes language is effective for getting desired responses. * Uses 50 to 300 words; vocabulary continuously increasing. * Has broken the linguistic code; in other words, much of a two-year-old's talk has meaning to them. * Receptive language is more developed than expressive language; most two-year-olds understand significantly more than they can talk about. * Utters three- and four-word statements; uses conventional word order to form more complete sentences. * Refers to self as "me" or sometimes "I" rather than by name: "Me go bye-bye"; has no trouble verbalizing "mine". * Expresses negative statements by tacking on a negative word such as "no" or "not": "Not more milk." * Uses some plurals. * Some stammerings and other dysfluencies are common. * 65 to 70 percent of speech is intelligible. * Is able to verbalize needs. * Asks a lot of questions. Social and emotional * Shows signs of
empathy Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Definitions of empathy encompass a broad range of social, co ...
and caring: comforts another child if hurt or frightened; appears to sometimes be overly affectionate in offering hugs and kisses to children * Continues to use physical aggression if frustrated or angry (for some children, this is more exaggerated than for others); Physical aggression usually lessens as verbal skills improve. * Temper tantrums likely to peak during this year; extremely difficult to reason with during a tantrum. * Impatient; finds it difficult to wait or take turns. * Enjoys "helping" with household chores; imitates everyday activities: may try to toilet train a stuffed animal, feed a doll. * "Bossy" with parents and caregivers; orders them around, makes demands, expects immediate compliance from adults. * Watches and imitates the play of other children, but seldom interacts directly; plays near others, often choosing similar toys and activities ( parallel play); solitary play is often simple and repetitive. * Offers toys to other children, but is usually possessive of playthings; still tends to hoard toys. * Making choices is difficult; wants it both ways. * Often defiant; shouting "no" becomes automatic. * Ritualistic; wants everything "just so"; routines carried out exactly as before; belongings placed "where they belong".Harding, J. (2013) ''Child development: an illustrated handbook''. Oxon: Hodder Education.


Three-year-old

Physical * Growth is steady though slower than in first two years. * Adult height can be predicted from measurements of height at three years of age; males are approximately 53% of their adult height and females, 57%. * Legs grow faster than arms. * Circumference of head and chest is equal; head size is in better proportion to the body. * " Baby fat" disappears as neck appears. * Posture is more erect; abdomen no longer protrudes. * Slightly knock-kneed. * Can jump from low step * Can stand up and walk around on tiptoes * "Baby" teeth stage over. * Needs to consume approximately daily. Motor development * Walks up and down stairs unassisted, using alternating feet; may jump from bottom step, landing on both feet. * Can momentarily balance on one foot. * Can kick big ball-shaped objects. * Needs minimal assistance eating. * Jumps on the spot. * Can walk unassisted. * Bends over without falling. * Climbs objects well. * Starts to run easily, with knee flexion being used to support body weight. * Full control of feet in running movement * Pedals a small tricycle. * Throws a ball overhand; aim and distance are limited. * Catches a large bounced ball with both arms extended. * Enjoys swinging on a swing. * Shows improved control of crayons or markers; uses vertical, horizontal and circular strokes. * Holds crayon or marker between first two fingers and thumb (tripod grasp), not in a fist as earlier. * Can turn pages of a book one at a time * Enjoys building with blocks. * Builds a tower of eight or more blocks. * Enjoys playing with clay; pounds, rolls, and squeezes it. * May begin to show hand dominance. * Carries a container of liquid, such as a cup of milk or bowl of water, without much spilling; pours liquid from pitcher into another container. * Manipulates large buttons and zippers on clothing. * Washes and dries hands; brushes own teeth, but not thoroughly. * Usually achieves complete
bladder control Urinary incontinence (UI), also known as involuntary urination, is any uncontrolled leakage of urine. It is a common and distressing problem, which may have a large impact on quality of life. It has been identified as an important issue in geria ...
during this time. Cognitive development * Listens attentively to age-appropriate stories. * Makes relevant comments during stories, especially those that relate to home and family events. * Likes to look at books and may pretend to "read" to others or explain pictures. * Enjoys stories with riddles, guessing, and "suspense". * Speech is understandable most of the time. * Produces expanded
noun phrase In linguistics, a noun phrase, or nominal (phrase), is a phrase that has a noun or pronoun as its head or performs the same grammatical function as a noun. Noun phrases are very common cross-linguistically, and they may be the most frequently oc ...
s: "big, brown dog". * Produces verbs with "ing" endings; uses "-s" to indicate more than one; often puts "-s" on already pluralized forms: , mices. * Indicates negatives by inserting "no" or "not" before a simple noun or verb phrase: "Not baby." * Answers "What are you doing?", "What is this?", and "Where?" questions dealing with familiar objects and events.Hobart, C. Frankel, J. and Walker, M. (2009). ''A practical guide to child observation and assessment''. (4th Edition.) Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes Publishers


Four-year-old

Physical development * Head circumference is usually not measured after age three. * Requires approximately daily. * Hearing acuity can be assessed by child's correct usage of sounds and language, and also by the child's appropriate responses to questions and instructions. Motor development * Walks a straight line (tape or chalk line on the floor). * Hops on one foot. * Pedals and steers a wheeled toy with confidence; turns corners, avoids obstacles and oncoming "traffic". * Climbs ladders, trees, playground equipment. * Jumps over objects high; lands with both feet together. * Runs, starts, stops, and moves around obstacles with ease. * Uses arm movement to increase running speed * Throws a ball overhand; distance and aim improving. * Builds a tower with ten or more blocks. * Forms shapes and objects out of clay: cookies, snakes, simple animals. * Reproduces some shapes and letters. * Holds a crayon or marker using a tripod grasp. * Paints and draws with purpose; may have an idea in mind, but often has problems implementing it so calls the creation something else. * Becomes more accurate at hitting nails and pegs with hammer. * Threads small wooden beads on a string. * Can run in a circle * Can jump Cognitive * Can recognize that certain words sound similar * Names eighteen to twenty uppercase letters. Writes several letters and sometimes their name. * A few children are beginning to read simple books, such as alphabet books with only a few words per page and many pictures. * Likes stories about how things grow and how things operate. * Delights in
wordplay Word play or wordplay (also: play-on-words) is a literary technique and a form of wit in which words used become the main subject of the work, primarily for the purpose of intended effect or amusement. Examples of word play include puns, phon ...
, creating silly language. * Understands the concepts of "tallest", "biggest", "same", and "more"; selects the picture that has the "most houses" or the "biggest dogs". * Rote counts to 20 or more. * Understands the sequence of daily events: "When we get up in the morning, we get dressed, have breakfast, brush our teeth, and go to school." * When looking at pictures, can recognize and identify missing puzzle parts (of person, car, animal). * Very good storytellers. * Counts 1 to 7 objects out loud, but not always in order * Follows two to three step directions given individually or in a group * May use the "-ed" ending improperly; for example: "I goed outside." Language * Uses the prepositions "on", "in", and "under". * Uses possessives consistently: "hers", "theirs", "baby's". * Answers "Whose?", "Who?", "Why?", and "How many?" * Produces elaborate sentence structures: "The cat ran under the house before I could see what color it was." * Speech is almost entirely intelligible. * Begins to use the past tense of verbs correctly: "Mommy closed the door", "Daddy went to work." * Refers to activities, events, objects, and people that are not present. * Changes tone of voice and sentence structure to adapt to listener's level of understanding: To baby brother, "Milk gone?" To Mother, "Did the baby drink all of his milk?" * States first and last name, gender, siblings' names, and sometimes own telephone number. * Answers appropriately when asked what to do if tired, cold, or hungry. Recites and sings simple songs and rhymes. Social development * Outgoing; friendly; overly enthusiastic at times. * Moods change rapidly and unpredictably; laughing one minute, crying the next; may throw tantrum over minor frustrations (a block structure that will not balance); sulk over being left out. * Imaginary playmates or companions are common; holds conversations and shares strong emotions with this invisible
friend Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. It is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an "acquaintance" or an "association", such as a classmate, neighbor, coworker, or colleague. In some cultures, the concept of ...
. * Boasts, exaggerates, and "bends" the truth with made-up stories or claims of boldness; tests the limits with "bathroom" talk. * Cooperates with others; participates in group activities. * Shows pride in accomplishments; seeks frequent adult approval. * Often appears selfish; not always able to take turns or to understand taking turns under some conditions; tattles on other children. * Insists on trying to do things independently, but may get so frustrated as to verge on tantrums when problems arise: paint that drips, paper airplane that will not fold right. * Enjoys role-playing and make-believe activities. * Relies (most of the time) on verbal rather than physical aggression; may yell angrily rather than hit to make a point; threatens: "You can't come to my birthday party." * Name-calling and taunting are often used as ways of excluding other children. * Can be bossy at times, telling their parents to stop talking, or telling their friends to "Come here right now." * Establishes close relationships with playmates; beginning to have "best" friends. * Begins to ask questions about own and others' bodies * May attempt to see others naked in the bathroom


Middle childhood


Five-year-old

Physical * Head size is approximately that of an adult's. * May begin to lose "baby" (deciduous) teeth. * Body is adult-like in proportion. * Requires approximately daily * Visual tracking and binocular vision are well developed. Motor development * Walks backwards, toe to heel. * Walks unassisted up and down stairs, alternating feet. * May learn to turn somersaults (should be taught the right way in order to avoid injury). * Can touch toes without flexing knees. * Walks a balance beam. * Learns to skip using alternative feet. * Catches a ball thrown from away. * Rides a
tricycle A tricycle, sometimes abbreviated to trike, is a human-powered (or gasoline or electric motor powered or assisted, or gravity powered) three-wheeled vehicle. Some tricycles, such as cycle rickshaws (for passenger transport) and freight trikes ...
or wheeled toy with speed and skillful steering; some children learning to ride bicycles, usually with
training wheels Training wheels (or stabilisers in British English and Hiberno-English) are an additional wheel or wheels mounted parallel to the rear wheel of a bicycle that assist learners until they have developed a usable sense of balance on the bicycle. Ty ...
. * Jumps or hops forward ten times in a row without falling. * Balances on either foot with good control for ten seconds. * Builds three-dimensional structures with small cubes by copying from a picture or model. * Reproduces many shapes and letters: square, triangle, A, I, O, U, C, H, L, T. * Demonstrates fair control of pencil or marker; may begin to color within the lines. * Cuts on the line with scissors (not perfectly). * Hand dominance is fairly well established Cognitive * Forms rectangle from two triangular cuts. * Builds steps with set of small blocks. * Understands concept of same shape, same size. * Sorts objects on the basis of two dimensions, such as color and form. * Sorts a variety of objects so that all things in the group have a single common feature (classification skill: all are food items or boats or animals). * Understands the concepts of smallest and shortest; places objects in order from shortest to tallest, smallest to largest. * Identifies objects with specified serial position: first, second, last. * Rote counts to 20 and above; many children count to 100. * Recognizes numerals from 1 to 10. * Understands the concepts of less than: "Which bowl has less water?" * Understands the terms dark, light, and early: "I got up early, before anyone else. It was still dark." * Relates clock time to daily schedule: "Time to turn on the TV when the little hand points to 5." * Some children can tell time on the hour: five o'clock, two o'clock. * Knows what a calendar is for. * Recognizes and identifies
coin A coin is a small, flat (usually depending on the country or value), round piece of metal or plastic used primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, and produced in large quantities at a mint in order t ...
s; beginning to count and save money. * Many children know the
alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written graphemes (called letters) that represent the phonemes of certain spoken languages. Not all writing systems represent language in this way; in a syllabary, each character represents a syllab ...
and names of upper- and lowercase letters. * Understands the concept of half; can say how many pieces an object has when it has been cut in half. * Asks innumerable questions: Why? What? Where? When? How? Who? * Eager to learn new things. Curious and inquisitive. Language development * Vocabulary of 1,500 words plus. * Tells a familiar
story Story or stories may refer to: Common uses * Story, a narrative (an account of imaginary or real people and events) ** Short story, a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting * Story (American English), or storey (British ...
while looking at pictures in a book. * Defines simple words by function: a ball is to bounce; a bed is to sleep in. * Identifies and names four to eight colours. * Recognizes the humor in simple
joke A joke is a display of humour in which words are used within a specific and well-defined narrative structure to make people laughter, laugh and is usually not meant to be interpreted literally. It usually takes the form of a story, often with ...
s; makes up jokes and
riddle A riddle is a statement, question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: ''enigmas'', which are problems generally expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that requ ...
s. * Produces sentences with five to seven words; much longer sentences are not unusual. * States the name of own city or town,
birthday A birthday is the anniversary of the birth of a person, or figuratively of an institution. Birthdays of people are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with birthday gifts, birthday cards, a birthday party, or a rite of passage. Many re ...
, and parents' names. * Answers telephone appropriately; calls person to phone or takes a brief message * Speech is almost entirely grammatically correct. * Uses "would" and "could" appropriately. * Uses past tense of irregular verbs consistently: "went", "caught", "swam." * Uses past-tense
inflection In linguistic morphology, inflection (or inflexion) is a process of word formation in which a word is modified to express different grammatical categories such as tense, case, voice, aspect, person, number, gender, mood, animacy, and ...
(-ed) appropriately to mark regular verbs: "jumped", "rained", "washed". Social development * Enjoys and often has one or two focus friendships. * Plays cooperatively (can lapse), is generous, takes turns, shares toys. * Participates in group play and shared activities with other children; suggests imaginative and elaborate play ideas. * Shows affection and caring towards others especially those "below" them or in pain * Generally subservient to parent or caregiver requests. * Needs comfort and reassurance from adults but is less open to comfort. * Has better self-control over swings of emotions. * Likes entertaining people and making them laugh. * Enjoys conversing with other people. * Boasts about accomplishments. * Often has an imaginary friend


Six-year-old

Physical * Weight gains reflect significant increases in muscle mass. * Heart rate and respiratory rates are close to adults. * Body may appear lanky as through period of rapid growth. * Baby teeth beginning to be replaced by permanent ones, starting with the two lower front teeth * 20/20 eyesight; if below 20/40 should see a professional. * The most common vision problem during middle childhood is myopia, or nearsightedness. * Uses a day. Motor development * Gains greater control over large and fine motor skills; movements are more precise and deliberate, though some clumsiness persists. * Enjoys vigorous running, jumping, climbing, and throwing etc. * Has trouble staying still. * Span of attention increases; works at tasks for longer periods of time. * Can concentrate effort but not always consistently. * Understands time (today, tomorrow, yesterday) and simple motion (some things go faster than others). * Recognizes seasons and major activities done at certain times. * Has fun with problem solving and sorting activities like stacking, puzzles, and mazes * Enjoys the challenge of puzzles, counting and sorting activities, paper-and-pencil mazes, and games that involve matching letters and words with pictures. * Recognizes some words by sight; attempts to sound out words * In some cases the child may be reading well. * Functioning which facilitates learning to ride a bicycle, swim, swing a bat, or kick a ball. * Enjoys making things. * Reverses or confuses certain letters: b/d, p/g, g/q, t/f. * Able to trace objects. * Folds and cuts paper into simple shapes. * Can tie laces, string (like shoes). Language * Can identify right and left hands fairly consistently. * Holds onto positive beliefs involving the unexplainable (magic or fantasy) * Arrives at some understanding about death and dying; expresses fear that parents may die. * Talks a lot. * Loves telling
joke A joke is a display of humour in which words are used within a specific and well-defined narrative structure to make people laughter, laugh and is usually not meant to be interpreted literally. It usually takes the form of a story, often with ...
s and riddles; often, the humor is far from subtle. * Experiments with
slang Slang is vocabulary (words, phrases, and linguistic usages) of an informal register, common in spoken conversation but avoided in formal writing. It also sometimes refers to the language generally exclusive to the members of particular in-g ...
and
profanity Profanity, also known as cursing, cussing, swearing, bad language, foul language, obscenities, expletives or vulgarism, is a socially offensive use of language. Accordingly, profanity is language use that is sometimes deemed impolite, rud ...
and finds it funny. * Enthusiastic and inquisitive about surroundings and everyday events. * Able to carry on adult-like conversations; asks many questions. * Learns 5 to 10 words a day; vocabulary of 10,000–14,000. * Uses appropriate verb tenses, word order, and sentence structure. Social and emotional * Uses language rather than tantrums or physical aggression to express displeasure: "That's mine! Give it back, you dummy." * Talks self through steps required in simple problem-solving situations (though the "logic" may be unclear to adults). * Has mood swings towards
primary caregiver A caregiver or carer is a paid or unpaid member of a person's social network who helps them with activities of daily living. Since they have no specific professional training, they are often described as informal caregivers. Caregivers most commo ...
depending on the day * Friendship with parent is less depended on but still needs closeness and nurturing. * Anxious to please; needs and seeks adult approval, reassurance, and praise; may complain excessively about minor hurts to gain more attention. * Often cannot view the world from another's point of view * Self-perceived failure can make the child easily disappointed and frustrated. * Cannot handle things not going their own way * Does not understand ethical behavior or moral standards especially when doing things that have not been given rules * Understands when he or she has been thought to be "bad"; values are based on others' enforced values. * May be increasingly fearful of the unknown like things in the dark, noises, and animals./>


Seven-year-old

Motor development * Well-developed hand-eye coordination * Good sense of balance * Capable of basic gymnastics moves such as somersaults Writing grips * The dynamic tripod grip is the final stage of holding writing implements Language * Vocabulary now numbers at least a few thousand words * Capable of telling time * Begins to understand how sounds form words Social and emotional * Highly self-critical and eager to please * Can understand right and wrong * Increased ability at problem solving and reasoning * Can feel shame and guilt * Complains a lot and has strong emotional swings * Occasionally has meltdowns over minor frustrations, mainly for attention * Ability to deal with mistakes and failure improves * Beginning of sexual attraction to/interest in peers * Explore genitalia with other children their age. This occurrence typically begins with children "playing doctor" or who say "show me yours and I'll show mine." The event is the child showing interest in "naughty parts" which are perceived as forbidden * Reluctant to undress in front of others and wish to have more privacy from parents


Eight-year-old

Motor development * Has good finger control * Increased physical strength and endurance * Almost able to converse at an adult level * Wants to understand how and why things work * Clear, logical thinking skills * Exhibits a clear preference for certain subjects and activities Language skills * Enjoys reading * Can start to understand how opposites work Social and emotional * Starts to develop a close circle of same-gender friends * Becomes more susceptible to peer pressure * Enjoys group activities * Prone to
mood swing A mood swing is an extreme or sudden change of mood. Such changes can play a positive part in promoting problem solving and in producing flexible forward planning, or be disruptive. When mood swings are severe, they may be categorized as par ...
s and melodramatics * Extremely impatient and may have a hard time waiting for special events


Preteen/late childhood years


Nine-year-old

Motor skills * Quite good at handling tools * Manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination are well-developed * Capable of drawing in detail * May persist with a particular physical activity to the point of exhaustion Language skills * Good at memorizing and recalling information, but typically does not show a deep understanding of it * Capable of concentrating and resuming a task after an interruption * Eager to learn skills * Starts to understand right vs wrong in place of good vs bad Social skills * Often displays an intense revulsion of the opposite gender * Will use physical complaints as a means of getting out of undesired tasks * Generally dependable and can be trusted with basic responsibilities * Prone to wide mood swings


Ten-year-old

Motor skills * Capable of demanding motor/endurance tasks like bicycling and team sports * Some girls may begin
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child's body matures into an adult body capable of sexual reproduction. It is initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads: the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a bo ...
, starting with
breast development Breast development, also known as mammogenesis, is a complex biological process in primates that takes place throughout a female's life. It occurs across several phases, including prenatal development, puberty, and pregnancy. At menopause, bre ...
and followed by a change in facial shape * Adult-like motor planning * Motor planning includes an individual's choice of movements and trajectory of such movements. Children begin to display motor planning in preference of certain body parts such as hand preference. For instance, left-handed children will start to plan how they can perform a motor skill, like throwing a ball, but execute it with their left hand. The preferred hand selection of children would also be displayed in other motor tasks. * Children show significant increase in sensitivity to end-state comfort (ESC) * ESC is the preference to initially use unusual uncomfortable postures and movements to end in a comfortable position. One common method of studying end-state comfort is the task of over-turned glass. In this task, individuals are asked to use one hand to pick up a drinking glass that is placed up-side down, turn it upright, and pour water from a given cup into the glass. Once the children begins to grab the upside-down glass with thumb pointing down, then they have displayed end-state comfort. As a result, once they have turned over the glass, the child would have ended with palm holding the glass in a comfortable position. * The number of grips conforming to ESC strongly increased with age. Language skills * Still does not display a deep understanding of subjects * Does not yet fully understand right from wrong * Not yet good at organizing or planning things in a practical way Social skills * Some sexual attraction to/interest in peers * Not as moody as 7- to 9-year-olds; overall disposition tends to be cheerful and fun-oriented * Friendships are highly important, with friends usually of the same gender. This is not consistent to every individual, nor important overall * Can have a short temper, but has learned to adjust anger levels according to the appropriateness of the situation * Gets along well with parents, eager to please * Has fewer fears than at younger ages


Eleven-year-old

Motor skills * Extremely jumpy and has a hard time sitting still * Girls typically begin breast development and growth of pubic hair; usually no puberty in boys * Rapid height gains * Better ability at making decisions * Begins to understand that not everyone holds the same beliefs * Early acne is common in girls Language skills * Able to use logic and debate others quite well * School reports may combine visual, oral, and written material Social and emotional development * Often critical of others, stubborn, and egotistical * Tends to display anger physically by hitting people/objects, throwing things, or slamming doors * Friends are important, but with more arguments than before * May be worrisome and afraid of things * Caring about what others think is more common


Twelve-year-old

Motor skills * Usually a substantial appetite * Most girls are developing breasts, filled-out pubic hair, fine
underarm hair Underarm hair, also known as axillary hair, is the hair in the underarm area (''axilla''). Development Underarm or axillary hair goes through four stages of development, driven by weak androgens produced by the adrenal in males and females du ...
, and may begin menstruation * Puberty normally begins for boys at this age with enlargement of the
testicle A testicle or testis (plural testes) is the male reproductive gland or gonad in all bilaterians, including humans. It is homologous to the female ovary. The functions of the testes are to produce both sperm and androgens, primarily testoste ...
s and later the
penis A penis (plural ''penises'' or ''penes'' () is the primary sexual organ that male animals use to inseminate females (or hermaphrodites) during copulation. Such organs occur in many animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate, but males d ...
along with the growth of fine pubic hair and frequent, random erections Language skills * Capable of categorizing information to make better sense of it * Reads adult books and magazines on subjects of interest * Capable of proofreading homework for spelling, grammar, and logic Social skills * Overall disposition is pleasant and upbeat * Can become extremely excited over subjects of interest or accomplishments * Strongly prone to peer pressure and following trends * More stable friendships with fewer melodramatics than at 11 * May begin to have sexual attraction to/interest in peers


Teenaged years


Thirteen-year-old

* Menstruation in girls is common * Growth spurts, ejaculations and voice changes are common in boys, as well as "peach fuzz", small strands of facial hair above their lip along with fine underarm hair * Moody and uncomfortable with themselves and their surroundings * Likes to be alone and values privacy * May believe the world is out to get them * Insecure about their bodies * May not get along well with adults


Fourteen-year-old

* Boys may begin growth of fine facial hair * Generally pleasant, sunny disposition * Often a high interest in extracurricular activities * May want to please and be popular * Has a large circle of both-gender friends * May show signs of depression


Fifteen-year-old

* Typically quarrelsome and unwilling to share their problems with others * May want to be independent and free of their family * Typically gets along better with siblings than parents * Friendships are highly important * Romantic interests are common


Sixteen-year-old

* Boys typically begin to grow thick facial hair * Good overall relationship with family * Begins to see parents as human beings instead of authority figures * Friendships highly important, may have a wide circle of both gender friends


Seventeen-year-old

* Most teens have reached sexual maturity * Sexual intercourse is more common * Romantic interests are more common * Love interests can be intense


See also


References

*


Further reading

* Doherty, J. and Hughes, M. (2009). Chapters 6 and 7. ''Child Development Theory and Practice 0-11''. Essex: Pearson. * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Child Development Stages Child development Childhood Medical lists