Basic Child Development Stages: Clues and Facts

What to Expect From Birth to Age 2

Imagine the shock an infant experiences leaving a comfortable, cozy, safe womb and being thrust into an environment full of sounds, smells, and lights. As a parent, be prepared for these things:

  • Initially, infants spend most of their time sleeping. When they are awake the two things they need most are feeding and changing. When they are awake, be sure to interact with them. Talking, singing, and physical contact are ideal. During this stage they are absorbing all they can about their new surroundings.
  • By 3 months, your infant will have a longer attention span and will enjoy stroller rides. The fresh air and sensory stimulation are very important now.
  • By 5 months chances are the babbling has begun! How fun! Your child is communicating with the outside world. She is a sponge for learning as she interacts with you.
  • By 9 months your child will be active and able to get around by crawling. As a responsible parent, now is the time for cabinet locks and baby proofing.
  • By 18 months junior’s vocabulary is expanding and his personality is becoming evident. This is the time to introduce a routine to ensure a stable environment.
  • As the 2-year period of child development stages draws to a close, your child will have begun showing signs of independence. Allow this to happen, within boundaries, and get ready to follow them around; a lot! :)

Progressing Through Years 3 to 5

This period of the child development stages is critical for preparing your child for preschool and kindergarten. Your job as a parent here is to spend time reading to them and working on topics such as identifying colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. Socializing with peers is also important. Your child is now very physically active, and you will have to set prudent limits. Although this is sometimes difficult, offering your child, 2 choices will resolve most situations.

During this period, your child will have all her teeth and will be gaining weight and getting stronger as she becomes more agile.


Sailing Through Years 6 to 9

Now your child is in “big kid” school and is involved with all that goes with it.

  • His circle of friends has grown. He is learning much more about interpersonal relationships.
  • Daily routines are now more important than ever to ensure stability in an increasingly complex world.
  • Although your child is becoming more independent, he still needs your attention and feedback.
  • Accomplishments and responsibilities are now more important to him. Give him tasks to do but don’t go overboard. This is where the seeds of the work ethic are planted. Abundant praise for a job well done goes a long way!


Although maneuvering through these child development stages is not rocket science, it does take common sense, patience, an awareness of each situation, and adequate preparation. To ensure that everything is proceeding as it should, develop a strong relationship with your child’s pediatrician and keep accurate records. Above all, enjoy this time with your child! It doesn’t come back.

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