Now Reading
Developmental Milestones: It’s All About the Climb

Developmental Milestones: It’s All About the Climb

Little girl in preschool
by Molly Sullivan Taylor

Reaching developmental milestones is important for children, and most typically developing children will reach most of these milestones on their own. Taking your child to his or her pediatrician for monthly and yearly check-ups is crucial; it is under the care of that physician where children are checked for both health-related issues and also developmental issues. Local pediatricians will give caregivers developmental checklists detailing what milestones your child should be reaching. All children develop at a different rate, but they all develop in a similar pattern. For example, most children will crawl before they walk and most children will develop the ability to pick up small objects before they can feed themselves. These types of skills often come naturally for young children, but if you feel that your child is not acquiring these skills appropriately, your pediatrician is the first person with whom you need to share your concerns.

All kids are different

Children develop at different rates. Often if a child is focusing his developmental energy on gross motor skills like walking, he will only use simple sounds, but once he is up and moving, you will begin to see him shifting his focus to language.

Sometimes young children are content sitting still and will babble many sounds and words. Some children never crawl well and will army crawl or even roll from one place to another. Another example of this progression is oral motor development. Babies first learn to move their tongues in a pattern associated with sucking. As their fine motor skills develop and they can hold an object, they begin to put toys in their mouths and they learn to move their tongue from side to side. This side to side movement is very important for eating and also very important for language development. “Dada” is easier to say than “Mama” because the “D” sound is made with the tongue and the “M” sound uses the lips. Once a baby can eat by moving food around in his or her mouth he or she should simultaneously begin to make more sounds. As with all types of development, these small building blocks must be laid down before the next step can be achieved. The most important thing to remember about child development when you are assessing your child is progression. Each day you should be noticing a developmental change as your child adjust to his or her ever changing bodies and world.

Is my child a genius? 

According to Paula Spencer, co-author of Bright from the Start: The Simple, Sience-backed Way to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, it’s hard to resist looking for signs of greatness. “The growing fascination with giftedness is a natural impulse,” she says “to see our little ones as special.” The term “gifted” has become one of the most commonly used words by parents. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most misused. Only 2 to 5 percent of children are truly gifted. Of those, only one in 100 is considered highly gifted. Prodigies are considered to be about one to two in a million. Although infant-stimulation techniques, educational DVDs, learning toys, and enrichment classes, are quite popular, those numbers of truly gifted children have not been increasing. “You can’t build giftedness; it’s mostly built in,” writes Spencer.

Spencer says, “True giftedness may be rare but the good news is that there’s loads you can do to help your child reach her full potential.” So start talking to that baby about everything you are doing, take that toddler for a nature walk and play I-Spy in the car. After all, it’s all about the climb — the top of the mountain is still a long way off. Enjoy those steps to the top — you will be there before you know it.

Three important areas of development

Physical Development

Gross Motor Skills are large muscle movements like crawling, walking and
jumping. Fine Motor Skills are small muscle skills like picking up small objects, pointing, and holding an eating utensil or crayon.

See Also

Cognitive Development

This area of development addresses the ability to think, reason and make decisions. Examples of cognitive development for very young children include following simple commands by imitating and exploring objects in different ways. Another example is finding objects that are hidden and looking at the correct picture when the image is named.

Social Skills

This area of development pertains to interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal relationships are those relationships between the child and other people. An example of this for a young child is making good eye contact with others and crying when a parent leaves.

© 2022 Texarkana Parent Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top