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Developmental Stages: When should my child know how to do what?

Everyone has heard parents brag about how their child is advanced for their age. How do they know if their child is advanced? There have been studies that show what age range certain skills should be learned called Developmental Milestones. When teaching your child you should be aware that some skills need to come before others. Babies should learn to crawl before they walk. There have been some children who learned to walk and skipped crawling. To an excited parent this might seem like a good thing but when a baby learns to crawl that forms certain pathways in the brain. If they skip that step those pathways didn’t form. Those babies had to go back and learn how to crawl later as an older child.

Developmental milestones are a great guideline for your child's growth.
Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

The Developmental milestones are skills that are broken up not only by age but also by domains. There are five domains:

Gross Motor- These use the big muscles in the body. Gross motor skills are things like sitting, crawling, walking, and jumping.

Fine Motor- These skills use the smaller muscles in the body. Fine motor skills are picking things put with fingers, eating, and getting dressed.

Cognitive- These skills are thinking skills. These are the skills like learning, problem solving, and putting things in logical order.

Language-These skills are learning how to communicate. Language isn’t only learning words. Language is learning how conversations work, gestures, and body language.

Social and Emotional- These are interactions with peers, teachers, and family members, as well as their own feelings.

“Developmental Milestones for Children” is an easy to follow chart that will give you an idea of what skills are appropriate for what age range. University of Michigan Health System “Developmental Milestones” is another good resource for milestones. If you are concerned about the development of your child you should talk to your child’s doctor.

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