Child Development Stages
If your growing baby increasingly reminded you of a ‘little person’ before, here’s the point where they’re really going to start impressing you! The ‘toddler years’ are when many basic human functions start their development process. This is not only an exciting time for parents, but also for the toddlers themselves. They’re starting to grow up… and they know it! This is a time when parents’ roles shift ever-so-slightly. Instead of merely being a caregiver, you are now also a teacher. Your child is learning primarily from you! This is why it’s important for any parent to have a grasp on what to expect, what to encourage, and what to look out for when raising a growing child.
Movement: A child will typically start walking when they are a year to two years old. This starts out small, with only ‘baby steps’, but slowly develops into something much more solid within the year. Your child will start carrying items soon, or even running. A child will also start to develop fine motor skills. Encourage them to start writing and drawing with pencils and crayons. This will help them develop their conceptual skills as well.
Independence: As a child’s motor skills improve, he or she will start learning how to take care of themselves. While it will start small (such as walking, rather than crawling or being carried), it will eventually lead into more complex tasks, such as feeding themselves, brushing their own teeth, or going to the bathroom on their own.
With this also comes the time when parents must push other responsibilities onto the child that he or she may be reluctant to adopt. Despite your child’s pleas, you must make them learn that they can be perfectly fine on their own once in a while. Don’t let them become too attached. It would also be beneficial to encourage them to clean up after they have made a mess.
Social: Your child may start off with entirely non-verbal communication, such as using their hands to communicate or giving someone a toy. Eventually they will begin talking, with only a few word combinations at first that will soon turn into complex sentences.
When first developing language, the child will use it for its most basic function – communicating needs. They might scream out, “Baba!” if they want a drink, or “Hungry!” if they are hungry. They might learn someone’s name (Dada/Mama) if only to get that person’s attention. During this time, encourage your child to learn labels. Give objects you show them names. “This is a spoon. Spoooooon.” You won’t have to do that for long, however, because eventually they’ll start asking you the question that (once it starts) never stops: “Mama… What’s this?”
When to be Concerned: Although there are general guidelines about how long it should take a toddler to achieve any milestone, it could also vary a great degree. So do NOT be alarmed if your child doesn’t walk and talk right away! While one baby could learn to walk as early as under one year of age, it could take another baby twice as long… even if both children are completely normal!
If your child is experiencing difficulty in any of these areas to the point of concern, it would be best to talk directly to your pediatrician about it. Your pediatrician will be the best-equipped person to assess your child’s specific situation and needs.
Sarah Danielson writes for Landscape Design where you can find information about how to care for your lawn and browse through do-it-yourself lawn care tips.