Why Developmental Milestones are Important
How you raise your kids in the early stages of their lives will have a huge impact on how they will be as teenagers, adults, and soon-to-be parents. It’s extremely important that you put an immense amount of time and effort into making sure that from infancy to their young adolescence stage, they have developed emotionally, socially, mentally, and physically. As a parent, you need to fully invest in very young children so that you can maximize their well-being in the future.
Numerous studies have proven that the early years of your child plays a key role in their brain development. Even inside their mother’s womb, babies begin to learn about the world around them.
Your child’s early experiences such as the bond that they form with you and everything that’s going on around them can deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. It’s best if you optimize your child’s early years so that you can ensure their success in the future.
Developmental Milestones Checklist
Even though your baby is still at his or her early stages, they will give you the most important information – how they like to be treated, talked to, held, played with, and comforted. It’s important to create a good connection with them while they’re still in their early months because this can help you form a strong bond with them.
- Can raise their head and chest when on the stomach
- Can stretch and kick on their back
- Can and closes hands
- Can bring their hand to their mouth
- Can grasp and shake toys
- They enjoy playing with people
- They begin to develop a social smile
- They can communicate more
- They are now more expressive with face & body
- Can imitate some movements and expressions
- They prefer sweet scents
- They prefer soft sensations over coarse sensations
- They start to use their hands and eyes in coordination
- They start to follow moving objects
- They can recognize familiar objects and people at a specific distance
- Can now support their whole weight on legs
- Can roll both ways
- Can sit with and without the support of hands
- Can reach using one hand
- Can transfer any object from one hand to another
- They enjoy social play
- They are interested in mirror images
- They respond to emotions
- Starts to explore with hands and mouth
- Will struggle to reach out objects that are far from them
- They can learn to find partially hidden objects
- Can get up to a sitting position without any assistance
- Can crawl on their bellies
- Can assume a hand-and-knee positions
- Can pull themselves up to stand
- Can walk while holding on to furniture
- Gets shy and agitated when strangers are around
- Starts crying when parents leave
- Prefers certain toys and people
- Starts to test parental response
- Enjoys imitating people who play with them
- Can easily find hidden objects
- Will start to explore objects in many different ways
- Imitates gestures
- Can look at the correct picture when the image is named
- Will begin to use objects correctly
Toddlers (1-3 Years Old)
Your child is now slowly advancing to their preschool years from infancy. During this period, your child’s motor development and physical growth will slow down, however, you should expect to see some tremendous improvements in their intellectual, social, and emotional changes.
- Can walk without any help
- Can pull their own toys behind them while walking
- Begins to run
- Can stand on their tiptoes
- Can kick a ball
- Can imitate the behavior of people around them
- They are very enthusiastic about the company of other children
- They are now aware that they are different and separate from others
- Can sort shapes and colors
- Loves to play make-believe
- Can find objects that are hidden even 2 or 3 levels deep
Preschool (4-5 Years Old)
Before you know it, you just closed your eyes for just one bit and they’re already four or five years old. From a timid, cute, and somewhat calm child, they have turned into a dynamo of energy, drive, bossiness, and generally out-of-bounds behavior.
- Can walk up and down the stairs in alternate steps
- Can kick a ball
- Doesn’t have a hard time running
- Can pedal a tricycle
- Can bend over without falling
- Can climb well
- Can show affection to their constant playmates
- Can imitate and follow adults and playmates
- Can understand “mine” and “his/hers”
- Can take turns in games
- Can match an object in hand to pictures seen on books or screens
- Loves to play make-believe
- Can make mechanical toys work
- Can understand the concept of “two”
- Knows how to complete a 3-4 piece puzzle
- Can sort objects by shape and color
Once your child enters grade school, you have a lot to think about. You should encourage healthy living and help your child develop and maintain a positive self-image all throughout their young journey into puberty. Kids will have a lot of challenges. Be there for them as much as you can.
Your child should have healthy habits and that includes an appropriate exercise for them. Physical activities should be incorporated as part of their routine as part of their lives.
“We are what we eat”. This means that you, as a parent, play a huge role in your child’s nutrition. Nutrition is important for your child’s normal growth processes. Put an effort into ensuring that your child will consume a well-balanced diet. Your child needs enough calories in order to grow properly and healthy.
This is such a sensitive topic that you should discuss with your child. You have to make them understand all the physical and emotional changes that they will go through once they hit puberty. You should be able to make them understand their hormones, once they have menstruation, once they notice any physical changes in their bodies.
One of your top priorities, aside from ensuring their healthy habits and lifestyles, is to make sure your child receives a good education. Education plays a crucial factor in your child’s future.
Once your kids hit their adolescent stage, this is where some of your problems in handling them really kick in. As they face new challenges in school with all the bullying and mingling with other types of people, you have to make sure that you can still guide them properly in order not to make them stray away from the right path.
Dating & Sex
Who else would better explain dating and sex to your kids than you? If you make them understand properly – with all the right information and guidance when it comes to sex, sexuality, dating, and love – chances are they will know how to handle it properly. You can initiate “The Talk” if you think it’s appropriate. And, never dismiss your kid’s questions especially when it comes to sensitive topics such as this.
Unlike children, teenagers have to want total control of what they eat especially if they start to get conscious with their body weight. They want to be independent of you when it comes to their food intake. However, you can talk to your teenager when it comes to body weight and food. Also, one way you can assure that your teen is eating healthy and nourishing meals is to practice family meals together.
Aside from healthy meals, healthy lifestyles, proper exercise, another thing you, as a parent, should ensure is to safeguard your teens. Instill in them to make sure that they have respect for other people when it comes to firearms, motor vehicles, and other potential hazards. If you think your kids are ready to drive, make sure they get their license properly and they know the responsibility of driving a car.
The school is the best place where your teenager can hone and develop their skills and knowledge. As a parent, you need to be supportive in their education and help them out as much as you can so that they can feel that you’re always there for them. Don’t pressure them too much because this can mentally, physically, and emotionally stress them out.
Aside from sex and dating, there are other things that you should be scared your teenagers would be pressured in trying – drugs, smoking, and alcohol. You have to remind them again that these substances should never be abused, if possible, should never be used. Let them understand the consequences that they’re going to face when they get pressured into trying by the people that surround them.
Once your kids are off to college, it’s going to be very different for both you and your young adult. Without them around on your watch 24/7, it’s going to be hard for you to ensure their well-being.
If you have any concerns about your child development call us at our Fresno office (559) 728-4133 or to our Madera office (559) 673-6085.