Development in children is a complicated and multi-faceted process. In understanding the process, it should not be forgotten that there is a biological process at its foundation, it takes shape under the influence of the environment and it is ultimately the result of mutual interaction between the biological make-up and environmental factors. If raising a child is art, then, in order to be an artist, the parents need to know the steps in the normal development of a child.


Motor development:

First 3 months:

The baby, while in the prone position (belly down), is able to lift its chin during the first month and its chest during the second month. During the third month, the baby is able to lift its head high and move its arms when held in the arms of the parent, and tries to reach out and grab. The baby is able to follow moving objects with its eyes.

Between 3-6 months:

Between 4-5 months, the baby is able to sit with assistance or sit on the lap, and is able to grab objects given to its hands. While 6 months old, the baby is able to sit on the child seat and is able to grab objects swung in front.

Between 6-12 months:

The baby is able to sit unaided at 7 months, stand with assistance at 8 months, stand holding onto furniture at 9 months, crawl on all fours at 10 months. Towards the end of 12 months, the baby may stand independently for very short periods, move feet when kept standing, roll small objects and toys by pushing, move between toys using hands, roll over when lying supine (face up) and point at objects with the index finger.

Between 12-18 months:

At the end of 15 months the baby is able to walk. Towards the end of 18 months the baby is able to go up stairs when held by the hand, kneel down from standing, kick a ball while standing, bend down towards the ground and jump with assistance.

Between 18-24 months:

The child is able to open the door, independently walk up and down the stairs, starts to use one of the hands more often and is able to demonstrate dexterity when playing with toys (e.g. can build a tower with 2-3 cubes).

Between 2-6 years:

The child is able to run without falling, easily go up and down the stairs unaided, unbutton his clothes, ride a tricycle, stand on one leg for a short period, carry a glass of water, easily kneel down and stand up, walk backwards. After age 3, the child is able to put on own shoes, feed self, draw a straight line, slide down a slide unaided, dance, keep a beat with music. After 4 years, the child is able to cut paper with scissors. Close to age 6, the child is able to write numbers 1 to 8-9, and if taught, write own name, play hopscotch, copy triangles and squares, dress and undress unaided, tie shoelaces, wash own face and brush teeth. At age 6, the child is able to ride a bicycle and dexterous abilities improve visibly.


Language Development:

From birth to 1 month: Apart from crying, no other sound is made.

Between 2-5 months: The baby starts babbling.

Between 6-12 months: The baby starts repetition.

At 12 months: The first word and the first time a word is consistently and regularly used to refer to an incident or object.

Between 12-18 months: The first word in place of a sentence, the first use of a phrase with two syllables/words.

Between 18-24 months: The use of two words commonly in a sentence.

Between 24-60 months: Increase in vocabulary, words used in a sentence and a speedy development in terms of language.


Social and Emotional Development:

First three months: The baby recognizes and reacts to the mother, listens when talked to, becomes silent when picked up, follows objects and smiles.

Between 3-6 months: The baby hugs the parents, takes objects and food to the mouth, smiles and extends hand.

Between 6-12 months: The baby plays with toys for 10-15 minutes, responds to “Where’s the baby?”, plays interactive games, recognized strangers, makes sounds to those recognized, gets anxious when away from the mother and starts to communicate using words such as mama and dada.

Between 12-18 months: The baby is able to drink water from a glass, eat using a spoon, has increased interaction with toys, helps parents while dressing, keep a beat with music, signal unwanted things and take off socks.

Between 18-24 months: The baby is able to signal his bathroom need, start interacting with adults by following simple instructions when asked, play games based on imitation (imagining and driving a box as a car), develop a curiosity to other children, play toys with other children, become jealous of other kids with regards to toys, drinks water and eats easily.

Between 2-6 years: The child plays house, helps with chores, uses a fork, dresses self, signals bathroom needs, shows special attention to some friends. After 3-4 years, influence from and interaction with other kids has considerably increased. The child understands most of what adults say, tries to obey the rules in games, is able to take all clothes off, gains control of toilet needs at night, washes face and brushes teeth. Between the ages of 4-6, the child tries to adapt to social life, has increased harmony with friends, starts following some programs on TV, exhibits personal traits and increased interaction with surroundings, and is able to tell stories.