Developmental Stages of children (6, 12, 18 and 24 months old)

child-development

6 months

Cognitive development

  • Six-month-old babies are very interested in people. They make eye contact and smile.
  • They are also very interested in grabbing, holding and tasting everything that they can hold in their small hands, since mouthing things is the babies’ way of exploring the world.
  • Playing peek-a-boo teaches the child that things that go away come back.
  • They also enjoy small books with simple pictures. Remember that children need human-to-human interaction in order to learn and thus they need us to dedicate them our time and play.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Even though children at this age have already developed a relationship with the close people around them, they exhibit “stranger anxiety”.
  • Sometimes, they focus on they play and the next moment they turn they gaze to another direction, ignoring the adults and their games. This happens because they feel over excited by the stimuli and need to calm themselves down. If you understand that this is happening, bring them in another room, turn the lights down and maybe you would like to put relaxing music.
  • They also begin to show many different emotions, like fear, happiness, joy, disappointment, surprise and curiosity (Gottman, 2011).

Language and Communication Development

  • Children at this stage may make loud noises and wave their hands.
  • They also react to the emotions of others and they start to copy their parents’ facial expressions. (See a study about the face-to-face interaction between mother and infant, Tronick & Cohn, 1989).
  •  Moreover, when parents talk to them, they will make sounds back and use babbling sounds.
  • In order to enhance your baby’s listening skills, start to talk to them about everything, name the things that the baby is staring at and explain how they are used.

Muscle Development

  • While sitting, the baby can hold his head steady and his body straight but he may need some support to sit. Use pillows and cushions to support him sitting and soften his fall.
  • They can roll over from tummy to their back and vice versa.
  • It is important to encourage a baby’s motor or small muscle development by giving him toys he can explore with his fingers and/or encourage him to use both hands. However, it will take some more weeks before he is able to use his thumb and fingers to pick up small object and to exhibit a hand preference.

!If your child seems to have tight muscles, or very floppy, refuses to cuddle, shows no special reaction for his guardians, does not respond to sounds or has difficulty in getting objects to his mouth contact your pediatrician or your health care provider!

Here is a video you can watch about the development of 6-months-old babies.

Sources: http://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/index.htm

Tronick, E. Z., & Cohn, J. F. (1989). Infant-mother face-to-face interaction: Age and gender differences in coordination and the occurrence of miscoordination.Child development, 85-92.

Gottman, J., 2011. Raising an emotionally intelligent child. Simon and Schuster.

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12 months

Cognitive development

  • At 12 months babies are learning by copying, so they copy sounds and actions and gestures that parents make.
  • Their memory is growing.
  • They enjoy throwing objects just for fun.
  • They show interest in their favourite story by listening and pointing on the book familiar for them items.

Social and Emotional Development

  • One-year-old children become more and more aware of the emotions of others and show affection to familiar adults.
  • Sometimes they may become anxious when you leave them.
  • They may show fear about strangers.
  • Even though they have not learnt how to co-operate with other children yet, they like to watch them play (Gottman, 2011).

Language and Communication Development

  • At this stage the child makes many sounds and repeats sound he hears.
  • This is the age that first words are heard
  • He uses pointing to communicate what he wants.
  • Understands simple requests
  • Help you child improve his language skills and vocabulary by naming all the people, places and objects the child sees.

Muscle Development

  • The baby can sit well without support and crawl.
  • He may also take some steps holding onto furniture or walk if you hold his hand. They may start walking!
  • He is able to hold two objects in one hand, use a finger to point or poke, place small blocks in and take them out of the container, knock two blocks together and feed himself finger food.

!If your child is not interested in playing, does not react to loud noises, does not make a range of sounds, is not pointing to show you something, he is not crawling or trying to stand up contact your pediatrician or your health care provider!

 

Sources: http://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/index.htm

Gottman, J., 2011. Raising an emotionally intelligent child. Simon and Schuster.

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18 months

Cognitive development

  • At eighteen months old a child is no long a baby but a toddler.
  • The child’s thinking and learning skills are blossoming.
  • He enjoys turning pages in a book and points to familiar objects when you name them.
  • The child follows one-step simple directions such as: ‘Can you give me the spoon?’.
  • He can use toys with buttons or movable parts.

Muscle Development

  • Probably your child must be walking by now or need to hold on to your hand.
  • They like to climb stairs (keep an eye on him!), pull, push, throw and move all the time.
  • They usually cannot sit still and concentrate in one thing. Give them plenty of room to move around.
  • Since they want to explore the world, be sure that they cannot reach drinks or food. Look around the house from his perspective to find what might be dangerous. Place, instead, safe and interesting things for them to explore.
  • Their hand and finger movements are more precise.
  • Eye-hand coordination has been developed. Simple puzzles are very helpful for enhancing this ability.
  • Since he is able to turn his wrists, your child can begin to use a spoon.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Most children at this age experience frustration and exhibit negativity. This is because they may not be able to do something. An outburst of emotion can simply communicate frustration. So, help him take a break and relax.
  • They often compete for toys with their peers.
  • They need help learning self-control. Remember to stay calm, especially at times that your child is not! This helps him to learn to calm himself.
  • Children at this age become anxious when separated from parents. Try comforting your child by hugging or distracting him. If he pulls away from you, just ignore the behaviour (Gottman, 2011).

Language and Communication Development

  • Every day the child learns new words. Most of them are nouns.
  • The child may use around 10 words or put two words together to make sentences. Expand your child’s words or sentences. For instance, if your child says: ‘More juice!’, you can say: ‘Do you want more juice in your cup?’
  • He may echo words he hears you say.
  • By 18 months, when children want something they point or use the word.
  • He understands far more when you speak and he may look at you when you talk to him. When you read to him, ask him questions about the pictures and the story.
  • Toddlers at this age understand and follow simple instructions, such as: ‘Put the block in the box’.

!If your child faces difficulties to walk even with some help, he is not able to speak at least five words, he does not point to show you things, he is not interested in toys or exploring what is around him or does not seem to know his name when someone calls him, contact your pediatrician or your health care provider!

Sources: http://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/index.htm

Gottman, J., 2011. Raising an emotionally intelligent child. Simon and Schuster.

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24 months

Cognitive development

  • At this age the child is able to point and name many things.
  • He is able to recognise himself in a photo.
  • He starts to sort and match. Encourage him by pointing out things that match.
  • By now he can follow two-step instructions.
  • Children at this age start the make-believe play and imitate what your do, like house work

Language and Communication Development

  • Your two-year-old knows and uses 200-300 words, which most of them are nouns and their favourite words are probably ‘no’, ‘me’, ‘mine’.
  • He enjoys hearing others speak and repeats some of the words he hears.
  • They use sentences with two or three words.
  • They communicate in many different ways, through words, body language, facial expressions and tantrums.
  • At this age toddlers begin to ask questions about everything in the world around them.
  • You can help your child develop his language by talking about what they are doing. Remember to read to your toddler or tell him stories daily. Ask him to find or name objects, animals, body parts. Play matching games and sing songs.
  • Provide them with plenty of activities which promote creativity. See here a series about how to create play experiences in 30 days
  • Make sure your house is child proofed.

Social and Emotional Development

  • A child at this age shows many tantrums. Remember to stay calm during this behaviour. He needs to learn to control his intense feelings.
  • He may feel anxious when separated from you.
  • A two-year-old child is very interested in playing with peers. Give them plenty of chances to play with other children, since this helps them develop friendships, learn to cooperate and practise sharing. Teach them social skills when they argue for toys (Gottman, 2011).

Muscle Development

  • The child moves all the time. He is able to move around obstacles or walk backwards.
  • He enjoys playing with a large ball. They generally games and songs that involve actions.
  • Children at this age have developed ways to use their fingers and hands. They can pick up small objects and manipulate them. He may put toys together and take them apart,
  • He enjoys playing with blocks.
  • You may notice a hand preference. Try to place objects in the middle and let the child decide about which hand he prefers.
  • He learns by looking and touching objects.

!If your child is not able to walk at this age or walk on his tip-toes, does not speak at leat 50 words, is not using two-words sentences, does not imitate words, sounds or actions, does not follow simple instructions, contact your pediatrician or your health care provider!

Source: http://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/index.htm

Gottman, J., 2011. Raising an emotionally intelligent child. Simon and Schuster.

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