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Fascinating and Fundamental Physical Developmental Milestones in a Child’s First Five Years

Fascinating and Fundamental Physical Developmental Milestones in a Child’s First Five Years

Fascinating and Fundamental Physical Developmental Milestones in a Child’s First Five Years

Babies across the animal kingdom need to grow up fast to make themselves less vulnerable to predators and more likely to reach adulthood — and human children are no different. It is no less than astonishing how quickly babies grow and develop, from a helpless newborn to a walking, talking household helper in a handful of months. In fact, the first five years of a child’s life are filled with so many changes to a person’s body and mind that it is important for parents and other caregivers to track a child’s progress and provide interventions when necessary.

Those working with young children might consider earning an early childhood development degree to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to raise babies into healthy and productive kids and adults. However, everyone — parents, grandparents, foster parents, aunts and uncles, older siblings and more — needs to know these essential milestones of a young child’s life:

Birth to 3 Months

Evolutionary science suggests that human babies are born a little too early, which ensures that their massive heads have a chance of moving safely through the birth canal. Thus, newborns must develop quickly to life outside the womb, gaining skills associated with eating and controlling their bodies. In the first three months, babies will begin to manipulate their hands, learning to clench them into fists or bring them to their mouths, and they should gain slight control over their heads with the capability of holding their heads steadily up for a few seconds at a time.

3 Months to 6 Months

After leaving the newborn period, babies begin to gain skills at a faster pace. Dexterity and strength come more rapidly in the three- to six-month period, meaning that they should be seen rolling over, sitting up (with some support), pulling themselves forward and playing with toys by reaching for them and bringing them to their mouths.

6 Months to 9 Months

Advancements in mobility should occur during this period. After developing greater strength and dexterity, babies should become capable of transferring objects from hand to hand, sitting without support and pulling objects toward them. Many babies also begin to crawl between six and nine months, either through commando-crawling or classic cross crawling.

9 Months to 12 Months

Physical skills continue to build during this period, when babies are transitioning into toddlerhood. Most babies learn to pull themselves into sitting and standing, and some babies begin to take their first steps, either unassisted or along objects. Babies are also interacting more with the world around them in the form of picking up objects, as well as shaking, rolling and throwing them. Advanced find motor skills may begin to manifest as babies explore their ability to grasp objects between one finger and thumb.

1 Year to 2 Years

From birth to 12 months, babies grow in size and strength rapidly, seemingly changing every week if not every day. However, after their first birthday, little ones’ development begins to slow. In addition to consistently improving their walking ability, early toddlers should gain skills such as picking things up while standing and walking up and down stairs. Their fine motor skill should continue to advance, and they should become able to scribble with markers or crayons and turn knobs and handles with ease.

2 Years to 3 Years

Between two years and three years old, toddlers are easily engaging their gross motor skills with feats like running, jumping, kicking balls and perhaps standing on one foot. With their dexterous little fingers, kids this age should become capable of turning the pages of a book, holding a marker between their thumb and fingers and perhaps drawing a circle — though not a perfect circle, by any means.

3 Years to 4 Years

Around this period of a child’s development, they are transforming from a bumbling toddler into a little kid. Many children become capable of pulling and steering toys without assistance, which includes riding tricycles and scooters. Before their fourth birthdays, kids should be able to build a tall tower with blocks and manipulate clay into different shapes. Some may even be able to catch and throw balls with some degree of accuracy.

4 Years to 5 Years

The last time in early childhood development before a kid is truly a kid, the four-to-five-year period sees the attainment of remarkable fine and gross motor skills. By this time, little ones should be capable of jumping on one foot and doing somersaults like tiny, uncoordinated gymnasts. As they come closer to beginning kindergarten, little kids should be practicing printing letters and other shapes with writing utensils, and they should begin cutting paper with scissors.

Childbirth is often regarded as a miracle, but a healthily developing child is no less miraculous. All types of caregivers should pay attention to babies, toddlers and kids as they grow up — to make sure they are developing properly but also to revel in the magic that is gaining new skills and abilities.

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Fascinating and Fundamental Physical Developmental Milestones in a Child’s First Five Years