Jul. 2014 31

The Different Child Developmental Stages From Birth To 3 Years Old


A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture).

We know that all children develop at different rates and that we shouldn’t compare our children to those of others to see if they are ahead enough. However, there are certain development stages that all children must hit at some point. If they don’t, then there is reason to be concerned as they are experiencing developmental delay. There are certain stages you can expect as your baby gradually progresses into adulthood, but let’s take a look at the particular stages you should see from birth to 3 years old.

The First Six Months

During the first six months, babies are completely dependent on you for all of their needs. They have difficulty in focusing on things, they will smile at anything and they are unable to express their needs or emotions in any other way except crying. As helpless as they may seem, however, there are still a few things you should look for that could be considered red flags, such as difficulties in eating and not being startled by loud noises. But what matters most during these precious first months is that you give your child all the love in the world.

Get close and make eye contact with your baby when you talk, sing, and read to her. Play simple games when she’s alert and in the mood, such as peekaboo or mimicking her sounds.

Six Months to One Year and a Half

Once they have gone through the first six months, babies will start to discover things about themselves. They will learn to crawl or shuffle and eventually walk. They will learn their first words and they will be able to manipulate objects and feed themselves, for instance, albeit in a very messy way. Babies are now learning about themselves, who they are, how their bodies work and how they feel. As with every stage in a child’s development, the most important thing continues to be showing them that you love them.

I feel important and loved when you listen to, talk to, and play with me; when you love and cuddle me; when you encourage me to explore and join in my discoveries; when you show that you are proud of me.

One and a Half to Three Years

During this time, your child will go through a stage of accelerated development. Some say that these are the most important years in a child’s life. Children at this stage learn who they are and what they can do. They will develop their personality, learn to speak and start to grasp the difference between right and wrong. By the time children are three years old, they should be able to show (or copy) affection, don’t fret when physical contact with their parents is removed, have attachment to certain friends, undress themselves, follow instructions, know their age and name, have short conversations, play with blocks and books, have a rudimentary understanding of numbers, run, climb, walk up and down stairs, and pedal a tricycle.

You must, at all times, remember that every child develops differently. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that every child be regularly reviewed.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be screened for general development using standardized, validated tools at 9, 18, and 24 or 30 months and for autism at 18 and 24 months or whenever a parent or provider has a concern.

Furthermore, parents are encouraged to always act promptly if they have any concerns. Oftentimes, parents feel as if they are being a burden by constantly asking questions of their healthcare professionals, but they must remember that this is what they are there for. If a child does have developmental delay, help should be sought out for them.

Jul. 2014 29

How To Cope With Your Children’s Religious Beliefs


Talking about religious beliefs with children is often a controversial issue. Indeed, it has been a child protection issue in some cases, particularly if medical treatment is withheld to a child because of their parents’ religious beliefs. Those are the more extreme cases, but the debate on the extent to which parents can impose their [...]

Jul. 2014 27

Going On Vacation With Children Of Multiple Ages


If you have more than one child, there will inevitably come a time where one of them is too old for a certain activity while the other is too young. Or, if you have a large family with many nieces and nephews, you will be faced with the same problem. This is a shame, because [...]

Jul. 2014 25

How To Switch To A Vegan Diet


More and more people are becoming vegetarian because they oppose the way animals are seen as a mass-produced commodity with no rights or concerns for welfare. As this movement grows, and it appears that there are certain strong health benefits to cutting out meat from a diet, more people are following a vegan diet, which [...]

Jul. 2014 22

Helping Your Children Deal With Death


When someone you care for dies, your children are affected by that as well. It can be incredibly difficult to help them cope with this, particularly if you are grieving yourself. The understanding children have about death depends on various factors. Your openness as a parent, their age, their personality and experiences they have had [...]

Jul. 2014 19

Are Your Children Picky Eaters? Top Tips To Feed Them A Nutritious Diet


Parents all over the world will empathize with the image of coming home after a long day at the office, only to have to start World War III with their children over a piece of broccoli or a single pea. It tends to be for this reason that so many parents simply start to serve [...]

Jul. 2014 17

How To Tell Your Child The Tooth Fairy And Santa Aren’t Real


Some people say that as soon as our children are born, we teach them not to lie, but we lie to them every step of the way. We tell them that there is a Santa Clause, an Easter Bunny and a Tooth Fairy. Of course, although this is indeed lying, it is also a way [...]