All the behaviors that children exhibit, from their first smile to their first step to their first word, are known as developmental milestones. The easiest way to monitor a child’s development is to track their developmental milestones, which offer important clues about each child’s developmental health. Developmental milestones are things that most children learn how to do by a certain age. Each child reveals their developmental milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move. Therefore, by monitoring your child’s behavior, you can determine whether your child’s development is on track. So, what are the examples of developmental milestones, let’s say, in infancy or preschool, and why is it important to monitor such milestones? Let’s take a closer look at the developmental milestones that play an important role in your child’s development.
Developmental Milestones in Infancy
Children’s developmental milestones begin with the behaviors they exhibit from the moment they are born. This period starts from birth until the age of two. In the first three months of their lives, babies discover their basic senses, and they try to learn more about their bodies and their surroundings. In their first two years, toddlers, who are on track developing physically, emotionally, and cognitively, explore their surroundings and develop their language skills by simply moving around the house. In addition, children start using basic phrases and forming simple three-word sentences.
Lacking verbal skills, babies who are busy learning to walk during infancy may exhibit impatient and angry behaviors, which is normal. It is important to keep your baby safe when she starts crawling around the house, or tries to walk up and down the stairs or climb the furniture. It is up to you, as a parent, to create positive and safe experiences for your toddler by babyproofing your house, providing foods with healthy nutrients, and promoting healthy sleeping regimens. By the age of two, your toddler is expected to crawl around vigorously and start walking alone. This is also when your child should be able to tell you that she needs to go to the toilet. Toilet training is an important developmental milestone.
Developmental Milestones in Preschool
The preschool period is when your child transitions from infancy to childhood. Between the ages of three and six, your child learns some of the fundamental concepts, including the concept of gender, and acquires vital life skills. Your child’s emotional and social growth in the preschool period constitutes an important developmental milestone. This is the time when your child starts learning to express herself and control her emotions, as she seeks to interact and play with other kids. If your child goes to kindergarten, she may have a fun time playing games with her new friends.
The way your child plays with other children can give you some important clues about her development. When playing, your child may occasionally appear somewhat egocentric. Do not worry. Although your child may at times exhibit a moody behavior, preschool kids also tend to be very affectionate, curious to learn, and playful. This is the period when your child should also start developing the sense of right vs. wrong. Your child should be able to understand that lying and wrongdoing is not OK.
Moreover, you should encourage your preschooler to start taking care of herself. For example, to support her independence, you should let her try to dress herself. You should also monitor her feeding and sleeping patterns.
How to Track Developmental Milestones?
As a parent, you want to raise and support your child the best way you can. By monitoring your child’s developmental milestones and recognizing whether your child’s behavior follows the common guidelines can help you detect any deviations from the expected milestones. Using a simple milestones checklist to monitor your child’s development, you can know which skills are typical for your child’s age, what to expect next, and what precautions you should take to ensure your child’s healthy development.
Developmental milestones mark the behavioral patterns that can best explain your child’s behavior. For example, if your 1-year-old child cries when you leave for work in the morning, this means that your child is in a healthy infancy. By monitoring whether your child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive skills are appropriate for her age group, you can get a better picture of how well she has developed and grown.
Some children reach the milestones as expected of their age group; others may do so a little later. Remember that the milestones are only guidelines. A child’s development may vary, depending on her individuality. Do not worry if you have noticed something unusual in your child’s development. Your baby will develop at her own pace. If, however, you have observed a significant delay in your child’s development, you should consult your primary healthcare provider or get a referral to a child development specialist.
As a Parent, What Can You Do to Help Your Child During This Time?
As a parent, you hold a unique position in terms of guiding and promoting your child’s development. You can significantly contribute to the healthy growth of your child by creating for her an exploration-safe environment, where she can safely touch, recognize, and describe the objects that surround her. Try to devise games and activities to nurture your child’s curiosities and desires to explore the world around her.
As your child continues growing, make sure to be very patient with her: try to answer any questions she may have as clearly as possible and, whenever is appropriate, ask her questions that may help her solve a problem in a more creative way. This way, you can contribute to your child’s intellectual development as well as encourage her self-confidence.
You can easily observe your child’s development by following the developmental milestones specific to each children’s age group.