Parents, grandparents, caregivers, and teachers often remark that children change quickly. Research confirms this as babies through teens demonstrate many developmental milestones.
Let’s talk about early childhood development, and when and where children should reach the children’s doctor in Tampa, FL.
What Is a Developmental Milestone?
Experts categorize early childhood development into stages, each falling within a particular age range and expressive of the physical, cognitive, emotional, language, and speech skills. Your doctor for children in Tampa, FL, plays a key role in assessing where your child is in the developmental timeline, and if any variations in reaching milestones, or benchmarks, are normal or should be investigated.
Developmental milestones include physical skills, such as walking or being able to grasp a pencil. Language skills, including babbling as an infant or putting words into sentences as a toddler. Cognitive and emotional behaviors include being able to read as a school-age child and forming long-standing friendships as a preteen and teen.
What Are the Five Stages of Early Childhood Development?
Childhood development is fluid, i.e., it varies from child to child, and there may be quick advances and even regression from time to time. Parents, caregivers, and pediatricians often expect these variations, but in general, skills develop within normal ranges.
Nonetheless, if a parent is concerned about a child’s development, further investigation by the pediatrician in Tampa, FL, or by another specialist may be needed. If the child needs some kind of intervention, such as speech therapy, the sooner it starts, the better the long-term outcomes will be.
- In general, the five stages of early childhood development are as follows:
- School-age child
Newborn, 0 to 3 months
A new baby reacts to stimuli, such as noise, light, and temperature variations in the environment. He or she also can turn head and upper body, cry, and see close objects clearly.
Infant, 3 to 6 months
A young baby gradually learns to sit unsupported, recognizes faces (especially mom’s), babbles, and has good neck strength and head control. He or she will reach for and grasp small toys, such as rattles.
Infant, 6 to 9 months
These babies easily sit and bounce. They recognize their names when called and exhibit a wide range of gestures, such as flapping their hands when excited. Parents can begin to introduce a wide range of solid foods as baby teeth begin to erupt.
Infant, 9 to 12 months
At this stage, babies point, clap, play peek-a-boo, and pick up the toys which interest them. They also start to crawl and stand when supported. Some may even walk.
Toddler, 1 to 3 years
Toddlers stand unsupported and eventually, climb and walk independently. They wave, follow simple instructions, and say single words, simple sentences, and short paragraphs. They wave, clap, and develop fine motor skills, such as drawing with a crayon or marker.
Preschooler, 3 to 5 years
This young child basically stops looking or acting as a baby does. In fact, movement, speech, language, emotions, and thinking become much more refined as a toddler skips, runs, hops, draws, and puts thoughts together in three or more sentences.
Potty training finishes during this stage. However, using the toilet independently and having nighttime accidents can differ from preschooler to preschooler, even within families.
School-Age, 6 to 17 years
These children readily express independent ways of thinking and acting. They acquire school skills quickly, are expressive verbally, and pursue friendships, and shared hobbies and experiences. Puberty is a challenging part of this developmental stage.
Your Board-certified Pediatricians in Lutz, Palm Harbor, Trinity, and Westchase, FL
Your child’s doctor in the Tampa area delivers services pertinent to overall health and development. If it’s time for your little one’s routine check-up, please contact the location near you for an appointment. The pediatrician will assess those important early childhood milestones and partner with you in raising a happy and healthy functional youngster.
To know more, call us today at (727) 787-6335, or go online to see contact information for the location convenient to you.