In the first 5 years of your child’s life they are developing and learning many new skills daily. Major achievements like learning how to talk, picking up things and walking are developmental milestones. During this 5 year span, your child will gain motor, cognitive, communication/language and social/emotional skills that they will use for the rest of their life.
This week, we’re going to share about how developmental milestones are an important part of your child’s early years. Champions supports families in understanding these milestones and offers developmental check ups to ensure your child is on track. Our Baby Bungalow Program Director, Paula Wyne also shares some tips and examples of each developmental milestone in this video: https://youtu.be/CpVk0-vPDZ4
What are developmental milestones?
Developmental milestones are a list of guidelines in a child’s development to determine what the average child is able to do at a particular age. Knowing the developmental milestones for each age aids in the understanding of what to expect during a child’s development. It also helps to gauge and identify potential problems with delayed development.
There are four main areas of development that the milestones check for: physical or motor skills, cognitive skills, communication/language skills and social/emotional skills.
Motor skills include things like sitting up, crawling and walking. As your child gets older, they will begin to conquer the skill of picking up small items and using a spoon or fork to eat versus their hands.
Cognitive skills include your child’s ability to think, learn and solve problems on their own. For example, a child at the age of 2 being able to point to things or pictures when named or being able to follow simple instructions shows that their cognitive skills are on track.
Communication and language skills refer to your child’s ability to respond and communicate verbally and non-verbally. An example of non-verbal communication is a child at the age of 12 months using simple gestures like shaking their head to motion “no” or waving good-bye.
An example of verbal communication is a child at the age of 18 months being able to say several single words.
Social and emotional skills include a child’s ability to express their own emotion and respond to social interactions they have with other people. For example, a child at the age of 2 showing interest and playing with other children or a 2 month old baby smiling at someone shows that their social and emotional skills are on track.
For additional information on each developmental milestone for ages birth to 5 years old, see the “Links to resources” at the end of this post.
What are the general ranges of developmental milestones by age for my child?
It’s important to know that all babies develop at their own pace. Developmental Milestones are only guidelines. Experts do however have a clear idea about how your child should be progressing as they age. Check out the graphic below provided by our TALK. READ. SING. community initiative. In this graphic, you will see how your child should be progressing from birth to 5 years old. You can use this graphic to track your baby’s progress and share your child’s milestones with your doctor at every wellness visit.
Champions also offers developmental check ups using the Brookes Publishing Ages and Stages Questionnaires, children as young as 1 month of age to 5.5 years of age are eligible for a complimentary developmental checkup. Learn more about your child’s milestones, how to best foster their development, and community resources that may support you and your family. Contact us via the Parent Warm Line to schedule your child’s developmental checkup today (813-673-4646 ext. 7)!
Concerned about your child’s development?
If you are concerned about your child’s development, act early to figure out what you can do to best assist your child. According to the CDC, possible signs that your infant may have a developmental delay include:
- Doesn’t respond to loud sounds
- Doesn’t watch things as they move
- Doesn’t smile at people
- Doesn’t bring hands to mouth
- Can’t hold head up when pushing up when on tummy
Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you feel they are behind so they can recommend options to help. You can also use Champions developmental check ups to learn about your child’s developmental milestones and how to best foster their development. We can refer you to community resources to help your child get back on track. Acting early can make a real difference for you and your child!
Links to Resources: