Main Stages of Child Development from Birth to 19 Years

Topics: Child development, Developmental psychology, Infant Pages: 19 (5576 words) Published: October 6, 2011
Main stages of child development from birth to 19 years

1. From birth to 19 years of age, children and young people tend to follow a broad developmental plan. Although children and young people are different, the way they grow and develop is often quite similar. This means we can work out a pattern for development and from this we can pinpoint particular skills or milestones that most children can do at different age ranges. Milestones describe when particular skills are achieved, such as walking, usually achieved by 18 months. These milestones have been draw up by researchers looking at children’s development and working out an average from their recordings. However as children grow older the variations between individuals grow larger. This is especially true when it comes to learning skills such as reading or mathematics, but it is also true in terms of their emotional maturity, this makes it harder to draw up a pattern of development.

Babies at Birth

Most babies are born around the 40th week of pregnancy. Only 3% of babies arrive exactly on time. Some are a week early or a week late. Babies who are born earlier than the 37th week are known as premature. Premature babies are likely to need more time to reach the same developmental targets as babies born around the 40th week. Many people think that babies are helpless when they are born, but in reality they are born with the ability to do a quite a few things. They can recognise their mothers voice and smell. They are able to cry to let everyone they need help. They also actively learn about their new world through their senses, particularly touch, taste and sound.

These are things you may expect to observe in a new born:-

Physical Development
Reflexes babies are born with many reflexes, which are actions they do without thinking. Many reflexes are linked to survival. Here are some examples of these reflexes:- • Swallowing and sucking reflexes these ensure that the baby can feed and swallow milk. • Rooting reflex the baby will move its head to look for a nipple or teat. • Grasp reflex the baby will automatically put its fingers around an object that has touched the palm of its hand. • Startle reflex when babies hear a sudden sound or bright light, they will react by moving their arms outwards and clenching their fists. • Walking and standing reflex when babies are held upright with their feet on a firm surface, they usually make stepping movements. • Falling reflex this is known as the ‘Moro reflex’. Babies will stretch out their arms suddenly and then clasp inwards in any situations in which they feel as if they are falling.

Communication and Intellectual Development
Babies at birth cry in order to communicate their needs. They also begin to look around and react to sounds.

Social, Emotional and behavioural Development
Babies and their primary carers, usually their mothers, begin to develop a strong, close bond from very early on. You might see the baby at times stares at the mother and the mother is very aware of her baby.

Babies at one month
In a short month, babies have changed already. They may appeared less curled up and more relaxed. Babies at one month have usually settled in to a pattern. They sleep quite a lot of the time, but will gradually start to spend longer time awake. They cry to communicate their needs and their parents may be starting to understand the different types of cries. Babies too are learning about their parents or carers. They may stop crying when they hear soothing voices. They also try hard to focus on the face of whoever is holding them.

These are things you may expect to observe in a baby at 1 month:-

Physical Development
Some reflexes are not as strong as at birth.

Communication and Intellectual Development...
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