Infant (Birth to 12 months old)
- The first stage in a child’s development is the infant stage. A baby will grow more in this stage than in any other stage in his life. By his first birthday, an infant will have doubled his weight and height. In just 12 months, he will learn to roll over, sit up, creep or crawl, pick up small items with his hands and fingers and, possibly, walk and talk.
Mentally, a baby will learn to coo, laugh, babble, play a game of peek-a-boo, and maybe say a few words such as “Momma, Dadda or ball.” In terms of play, he can now join in on games like patty-cake and peek-a-boo, instead of just being a passive (but enchanted) observer.
Teetering Toddler (1 to 2 1/2 years old)
- By 15 months old, most toddlers have learned how to walk. In this stage of child development, they will also be able to run, draw and color with “chunky” crayons, stack blocks, eat with a spoon and fork, drink from a non-spill cup and put on their clothes and shoes (with help). Most, but not all, children will begin to potty train at this age.
A toddler’s mental development includes speaking about 50 words by the age of two and using short sentences by age three.
Preschooler (3 to 4 1/2 years old)
- Preschoolers are soaking up information like small sponges at this stage in child development, although their mental abilities will range greatly.
Most will know their name and can sing their alphabet as well as several songs. Some preschoolers can read before they enter kindergarten.
Potty training is usually accomplished in the preschool developmental stage, and dressing themselves is also usually mastered during this time.
School Age (5 to 9 years)
- Between five and nine years of age, children are in the school age stage of child development. In these years, children develop friendships with others and are also more able to perceive stress.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website, “In middle childhood, pressures may come from a number of sources-from within the child herself, as well as from parents, teachers, peers and the larger society in which the child lives. Pressure can take many forms that challenge children and to which they must respond and, often, adapt. Whether these are events of lasting consequence like the divorce of their parents, or merely a minor hassle like losing their homework, these demands or stresses are a part of children’s daily existence.”