Your Child’s Development
There are some universal milestones that mark the journey of your infant, toddler and preschooler. The timing of these is unique for each child. You can watch for these developmental milestones and find ways you can support that development in the everyday moments you are already sharing with your child.
An infant’s emotions are the only way it has to communicate – they are able to demonstrate a range of both positive and negative emotions. The toddler stage is an exciting but challenging one – testing out their independence can be filled with emotional swings. As a preschooler, 3-5 year olds express a wide range of emotions and are able to use them appropriately to express their feelings.
Fine Motor Development
Fine motor skills develop slowly over the first 18 months; at approximately 6 months a baby’s vision is more fully developed. Older infants can pick up and drop objects with their thumb and forefinger. Older infants begin using a cup and spoon to feed themselves. A toddler’s skill set includes stacking blocks, scribbling and picking up objects; overall preschoolers have much greater small muscle control, unsnapping, unbuttoning and lacing their own shoes.
Gross Motor Development
As newborns, infants cannot control their body movements. At 4 months, most babies have some control of their muscles and nervous system. As toddlers, jumping and walking up a single stair with a rail to much improved balance where climbing is a feature. As preschoolers, they can jump horizontally, gallop, hop on one foot, skip and ride a tricycle, as well as throw a ball overhand and catch a ball.
Intellectual Development involves the creative and abstract thinking that evolves as children move from infancy through toddlerhood to preschool age. Learning how to pay attention, solving problems, developing keen judgment and ultimately creating a foundation for lifelong learning are the qualities of intellectual development.
Newborn babies communicate first with crying, to making cooing, gurgling, and squeals. At four months, these sounds turn into babbling. Older infants are able to understand simple commands such as wave goodbye. As toddlers, they start to take in two word sentences and answer simple questions. As preschoolers, they can speak in full sentences and enjoy talking to others.