If you’re a parent or a guardian of a child, we’re sure you know how important developmental milestones are.
It’s these milestones that occur throughout their lives that tell us whether our children are growing at a healthy rate, both mentally and physically.
By following the guidelines below, you’ll be able to understand what your child is going through and give them the help and support they need.
So keep reading and take notes about all the developmental milestones your child is supposed to cross over the course of their lives from infancy to adolescence.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Child Development Stages
- 0-1 Year Developmental Milestones
- 1-3 Years Old Developmental Milestones
- 3-5 Years Old Developmental Milestones
- 5-7 Years Old Developmental Milestones
- 7-10 Years Old Developmental Milestones
- 10-13 years Old Developmental Milestones
- 13-16 Years Old Development Milestones
- 16-19 Years Old Developmental Milestones
- Final Thoughts
Child Development Stages
There are four different types of developments your child will go through as they grow. They are:
1. Physical Developments
Physical developments include the bodily changes your child will go through as they grow. This includes the changes in weight, size, shape, and appearance of your child’s body.
They also explain the development of your child’s coordination skills and the physical activities your child will be able to do at certain ages.
2. Cognitive Developments
Cognitive development is the process of a child’s ability to solve problems. These developments dictate how well a child will be able to reason and understand logic.
It includes the development of your child’s organizational skills as well as their intellectual capacity. A child’s cognitive development also determines how well they will be able to communicate.
3. Emotional Developments
Emotional development has to do with the mental state of your child. They deal with feelings and how your child will respond to the different things they go through in life.
A child’s emotional development will also determine how they express themselves and how aware they are of their own feelings.
4. Social Developments
Social developments explain how well your child interacts with others and understands social norms. It describes your child’s relationships with other people at different stages of their life.
It also explains how your child will behave and the kind of people they will be surrounded by. Below is a brief overview of all the developmental milestones children will reach each phase of their lives.
0-1 Year Developmental Milestones
The time from the birth of your baby to their first birthday is known as ‘infancy’. Here are the milestones you can expect from your infant:
In the first few months, your baby will learn to balance their head. Gradually, their neck muscles will become stronger and this will be followed by better hand coordination. Your baby will be able to flex their little fingers, make fists and grasp things.
Your infant will soon begin rolling over and learning to sit up with support. At seven to nine months, they will know how to crawl and navigate around the house.
By the end of the year, your baby might even be able to stand up with a little help. They’ll also be able to hold onto things and play with toys properly.
Initially, your baby will just be babbling but later on, they may be able to string sentences together with random sounds, including consonants and vowels. They’ll make noises excitedly and sometimes inquisitively.
By the end of the year, your baby will be able to wave goodbye, understand the word ‘no’ and most likely say their first words such as ‘mama’ or ‘dada’.
Your baby will have a lot of feelings and will realize when they’re hungry or uncomfortable. They’ll also want things and cry when they don’t get it. They’ll want to be around you all the time, and will feel restless when they’re not able to see you.
At around 3 months, your baby will start smiling and between four and six months old, they’ll be laughing as well. By seven to nine months, your child will be playing and be able to clap as well.
Additional Read: Baby Development – Milestone of Your First Year Infant
1-3 Years Old Developmental Milestones
Congratulations! You’ve survived the year. Your child is now an adorable little toddler.
At first, toddlers will be able to walk unsteadily but by the end of three years they will be running and climbing stairs and other furniture.
They’ll be able to kick things and throw balls in a certain direction. They might even try to catch with both their hands.
At this age, they will be able to feed themselves and dress as well. This is the best period to start toilet training your baby.
By the end of three years, your toddler will be able to recognize things from picture books and TV, as well identify different parts of their body. They’ll also be able to say the names of colors and categorize things according to these colors.
They’ll be playing a lot of pretend games and perhaps using objects in place of other things such as playing with Legos as though they are cars.
Kids this age will be able to identify at least three colors. They will love learning rhymes and listening to songs.
Toddlers at this age go through extreme emotional developments. They’ll learn to understand other people’s feelings and throw a lot of tantrums as well. At this age, you should be able to leave your kids at school or with other adults without any crying or anxiousness.
This is a good age for your child to start socializing with others through play dates. However, they will be impatient and grab the things they want.
Children this age don’t understand the concept of sharing yet. They’ll have very little impulse control but will still be able to feel guilty.
- 1-Year-Old Baby Developmental Milestones
- 2-Year-Old Baby Developmental Milestones
- 3-Year-Old Child Developmental Milestones
3-5 Years Old Developmental Milestones
3 years old and above is a pretty big deal because now your child will start going to preschool.
Pre-schoolers will be able to walk and run steadily and avoid obstacles. They’ll be able to hop, skip and jump around. At this age, they’ll also be able to pick up tiny objects, use scissors and stack things in an organized way.
Getting them ready will be an easier process as they’ll be able to brush their own teeth and feed and dress, with a little push from you.
At this age, your child will have an amazing sense of imagination. They’ll be able to keep themselves busy in their own worlds for hours. They’re going to be very creative and love arts and crafts.
Children this age will be able to start counting and telling time by the age of five. They will also be able to draw and identify shapes like circles and triangles.
Pre-schoolers have a lot of emotions and very little control over them. They’ll have immediate but fleeting reactions to things. So, you can expect a lot of tantrums.
Kids this age act according to impulse and may resort to kicking, biting or pushing if they don’t get their way. They’ll also find it difficult to distinguish reality from the imaginary.
Pre-schoolers will be able to stay for longer periods without their parents and follow instructions from their teachers.
They’ll also grasp the concept of routines and discipline, and enjoy playing with other kids. Friendships will form, but they will not be very serious.
5-7 Years Old Developmental Milestones
The magic number 5 and above means it’s time to send your child to proper grade school. Schoolwork and routines are a lot more official, and this might take time to get used to.
At this age, children will be highly energetic and physically active. They’ll have a much better hand, muscle, and eye coordination.
They’ll be able to enjoy activities like swimming, cycling, jump roping, and climbing monkey bars. Your child will even be able to walk backward without falling over.
Your child will know their ABCs properly and be able to write full sentences. Their vocabulary might be limited but their speaking will be clear. Their attention spans will increase as well.
They’ll be able to relay information like their address and phone number. Their handwriting may be a little messy, and schoolwork won’t be as easy as they won’t have a proper sense of responsibility yet.
At this age, kids will learn the difference between imagination and reality. They’ll also be very expressive about how they feel and what they want. However, they will understand to some extent that they can’t have everything they want.
These kids will be a lot more stable mood wise and will be able to calm themselves down. There will be fewer tantrums and their independent personality will begin to form.
Kids this age are beginning to understand and accept social norms. They have a small circle of trusted adults and are expanding their circle of friends as well.
Friendships are more meaningful than they used to be and girls and boys will be more comfortable playing together.
Bad behavior like stealing, yelling and lack of manners might be common initially as they are testing their boundaries and learning basic etiquette.
7-10 Years Old Developmental Milestones
Your child is now right in the middle of their childhood. The life of a 7-year-old and above is fun, but it also has its hardships.
Kids this age will be a little more mature in the games they play. They’ll understand and follow rules better than before.
This is a good time to enter your child into team sports. They’ll be good at immediate physical reflexes, like catching and hitting balls on the spur of the moment. Some girls might start showing signs of puberty at this phase, which is described in more detail later on.
At this age, your child’s memory will improve. They will have good handwriting and work neatly. Schoolwork will become a bit more challenging as they will become more invested in doing well. They’ll be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
They will enjoy solving puzzles and learning fun facts. They will also be extremely curious and will ask a lot of questions about things they don’t understand.
Your child will develop a vague sense of right and wrong. They’ll realize that emotions are a lot more complex and that different people may feel different emotions. They will still have trouble controlling emotions like jealousy and anger, but they won’t resort to violence.
Kids this age start to think more rationally and every little problem will no longer be the end of the world. However, this does not mean that they have matured fully. They’re just better at controlling their reactions.
Your child will start to have more serious and close friendships. They might have a few innocent crushes as well. They’ll be very interested in becoming ‘cool’ and will care a lot about what others think of them.
These kids will be much better at working in teams and doing group activities. They’ll also be able to control their impulses and behave well in social situations.
- 8-Year-Old Child Developmental Milestones
- 9-Year-Old Child Developmental Milestones
- 10-Year-Old Child Developmental Milestones
10-13 years Old Developmental Milestones
So, your child has lived for a decade now. Phew! But now is the hardest part because guess what? It’s nearly time for puberty! These kids in their pre-teen phases are usually referred to as tweens.
Tweens will be at the ‘pre-puberty’ stage, where they will just start to go through massive bodily changes. Girls might gain a little body fat and get a narrower waist and wider hips. Their breasts will start developing and there will be hair growth in the pubic region and underarms.
Girls might also get their periods at this time. They will also have a rapid growth spurt, often grow taller than boys the same age.
As for boys, they will become more muscular and their testicles and scrotum will grow in size. There will also be hair in the pubic area, legs, and underarms.
At this age, kids will have more abstract and complex thinking and will approach problems logically. They’re better at on the spot thinking and organizing things. They’ll be well accustomed to the routine and will have a better sense of responsibility.
A tween will be a lot more mature than before, but they will also be ruled by their emotions. So, you can expect a lot of mood swings. At this point, your child has a strong sense of right and wrong.
Tweens are trying to deal with their new physical changes and hormones, which makes them feel a lot of things all at once. They’re a lot more sensitive and opinionated as well.
This is when your child starts becoming extremely self-conscious and socially aware. They’ll prefer to hang out with their friends rather than their family.
Tweens are just beginning to develop interests of their own, but at the same time, they are trying to fit in with their peers. Cliques and close friends, as well as romantic interests, are common as well.
13-16 Years Old Development Milestones
Your little human is now entering their teens. They will be experiencing fully fledged puberty along with many other adolescent changes.
When your child is a teen, they will be going through puberty and their bodies will be in the process of maturing into adulthood.
Girls will be in the middle of puberty, and if they haven’t had their period yet, they will get them at some time between 13 and 16 years old.
They’ll have oily skin, greasy hair, and acne, along with hair growth on their arms, legs and pubic region. Boys will begin the process of puberty. Their testicles, scrotum, and penis will get larger in size and they will grow facial and body hair.
Their voices will crack and become deeper and they might even develop Adam’s apple. Teen boys will grow and gain weight and muscle as well.
Teens will have a fully developed brain, but in no way are they fully matured. They can approach problem-solving systematically and logically. They will be flawless in their speech and should understand grammatical rules by the age of 16.
They will read more complex books and understand the hidden meanings behind poems and movies. If your child has reading problems, you should definitely get them checked out for dyslexia by a doctor.
Your child will be making snarky comments and will also be quite impatient. Although they will have fewer worries about their future, they’re still capable of taking up responsibilities.
The initial teenage years are an emotional mess. These kids are trying to cope with all of the physical and hormonal changes happening inside their bodies.
You should be prepared for arguments and mood swings. Teens might develop social anxiety, depression and have a lot of insecurities about their bodies. It is important for kids this age to have a normal-looking role model, that won’t set unrealistic standards.
Young teens will begin to expand their circle of friends. They will have a desperate need for people to like them. They’ll also change their behavior according to the kind of people they are around.
Kids can be very easily influenced to do bad deeds at this age like smoking, bunking class and hanging out with the wrong crowd.
They might be heavily influenced by celebrities and TV shows as well. Crushes and the beginnings of serious relationships can be expected.
16-19 Years Old Developmental Milestones
Although this age group falls under teenagers, they’re older and wiser.
When your child is a teen, they will be going through puberty and will be in the process of changing into adulthood.
In the older years, acne and hair growth will be common problems. Girls should be getting their period before the age of 17. If it’s still not here, you should consult a doctor.
Boys will get taller and develop facial hair. Their Adam’s apple will become more prominent. They will finally have their real, deeper voice.
Older teens are more concerned about their future and will start making long-term plans. They’ll understand complex concepts like politics and philosophy and will form their own opinions about them.
They will debate these issues and be more socially aware. They will also become a lot more sarcastic and not communicate as freely as before.
The teenage years are a rollercoaster of emotions. These kids are trying to discover themselves and fit in with society at the same time.
They’ll start to question morals and traditions and your authority as well. Mood swings will be common. Teens are vulnerable to developing depression, anxiety and body image issues.
They’ll constantly be comparing themselves to their peers and measuring their success based on others. At this age, they will feel as though nobody understands them or their feelings.
However, they will be a lot more mature and be able to handle conflicts with people better. There won’t be tantrums, just silent brooding.
Teens will have a larger social circle with a very active social life. They will have a desperate need for people to like them.
They’ll also be influenced by the people around them and may develop bad habits like smoking, drugs, excessive drinking and partying.
This is the peak time for developing romantic relationships. Your teen will be exploring their sexuality and so it is important that you talk to them about safe sex and birth control.
Social media and the internet will play a very important part of your teen’s life. They will most likely follow trends and do reckless things to appear ‘cool’.
You should explain the dangers of the internet to your kid, especially how information can be misused and how not everything online is true.
Raising a child is a lot of responsibility and as a parent, you’ve got to be fully aware of whatever is going on in their lives.
Understanding your child and the difficulties and changes they are experiencing is vital for giving them a happy life.
Hopefully, now you’re well aware of the developmental milestones to look out for. However, remember that not all children grow up at the same pace.
It’s normal for some children to experience these milestones ahead of others, and others even much later. But if you do notice significant speech delays or physical development problems, definitely consult a doctor.
- Best Toys for 1 Year Old Boys – Gift Ideas & Buying Guide
- Best Toys for 1 Year Old Girls – Gift Ideas & Buyer’s Guide
- Best Toys for 2 Year Old Boys – Gift Ideas & Buyer’s Guide
- Best Toys for 2 Year Old Girls – Gift Ideas & Buyer’s Guide