What Are the Different Stages of Child Development?


Children go through distinct stages of development throughout childhood. During each of these child development stages, changes take place in the brain. Most of this is determined through genetics, but environmental circumstances can influence how the child develops as well.

Let’s take a look at how children develop.

Development timeline for child

Children vary in their development; however, there are a number of growth milestones they should be hitting at each age. While they’re infants, it’s important to check on these regularly, as babies develop at a rapid pace. As children get older, their development isn’t quite as brisk, and you can check in annually. Talking to your pediatrician at regular appointments will ensure that your child doesn’t miss any important milestones.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a list of child development stages for reference. This includes children from ages two months to five years old. Parents can use these charts to check on their children’s physical, cognitive and behavioral development.

Development of skills and milestones

Children are learning all the time. Whether they’re playing pretend, flipping through a picture book or having a conversation, they’re learning. Many parents tend to focus on more academic learning tasks (like mastering their numbers and letters), but there’s plenty of other learning that’s essential. For example, children playing with their peers leads to vital social learning.

Development milestones fall into the following areas:

  • Fine motor and visual motor skills
  • Grooming skills
  • Dressing skills
  • Speech and language skills

Often, children seem to hit milestones all at once. Often, toddlers won’t be talking much at all, and their parents begin to worry about their speech development. Then, seemingly overnight, the toddler is babbling all day long. If your child doesn’t hit a development milestone right on time, there’s no need to panic. Take a deep breath, wait a little while and see how the child changes. If they don’t, then it’s time to speak with a pediatrician.

Physical development and growth charts

As you might expect, each child grows at their own rate. There’s a wide variety of shapes and sizes among children that are considered healthy. Genetics, nutrition, level of physical activity and environment all play roles in determining a child’s height and weight. These often vary considerably among families.

If you feel like your child is having a physical development problem, it’s a good idea to speak with a medical professional. For example, it could be an issue if a child’s height and weight percentiles change very suddenly. If a child was in the 50th percentile in weight until they were four years old and then suddenly dropped to the 10th percentile, this could be an issue.

To help with staying on a development timeline for child, you want a preschool that offers a warm, nurturing environment. At My Second Home Early Learning Center, we offer a Biblically-based education for children of all skill levels and abilities. Contact us today to learn more about our curriculum and enroll your child in one of our programs.