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Unsure About What to Expect Regarding Your Child’s Development?

Updated: Jul 10

You know, there are plenty of books and resources on pregnancy and how your child develops in the womb, but what about once your baby is born and starts growing up? What is your child supposed to be learning and doing and when?

As your child develops from an infant, to a child, to a teen and then to an adult, they will go through a series of developmental stages. Your job, as their parent or caregiver, is to provide support and encouragement, as well as to give them access to activities that will enable him/her to master key developmental tasks.

So what exactly is child development? Think of it as a journey from total dependence to full independence. Child development covers the full scope of skills that are mastered over a child’s lifetime in the following areas:

  • Cognition – the ability to learn and problem solve

  • Speech and Language – understanding and using language, using sounds and words

  • Motor – fine motor (finger) skills and gross motor (whole body) skills

  • Social interaction and emotional regulation – interacting with others and mastering self-control

  • Sensory awareness – the registration of sensory information for use

Every child is different and develops at a different pace, however, there are developmental milestones that can help guide parents/caregivers and professionals in determining if a child is developing with a delay or not. Developmental milestone checklists and charts are used as a guide for what is typical for a particular age range. They can be used to highlight the areas in which a child might be delayed, but it is important to be aware that while child development has a predictable sequence, all children are unique in their developmental journey. The time frames for when each child meets the many developmental milestones may vary.

You, as the parent/caregiver, know your child the best. Anytime you have concerns about your child in any area of development, you should contact your pediatrician or a healthcare professional. The earlier you are able to get services for your child, the sooner you can change their developmental path and improve outcomes for not only your child, but for your family as well.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog: How do Children Develop Speech and Language?

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