Developmental Stages, Tasks and Milestones

While each child grows and develops at his own pace, his overall development follows a pattern. People often talk about children’s development in stages, tasks and milestones.

Development happens in stages. A stage is a period of time when your child is learning specific tasks or a set of skills. Your child needs your help to learn these skills. Each stage of development builds on the stages that came before it.

The learning that occurs in each stage gets your child ready for more difficult tasks in the stages to come. By giving your child lots of chances to practice skills as he learns them, you help him move to the next stage. For example, when you give your child comfort each time he cries, he learns from experience that he can trust you.

Each stage also has specific developmental milestones. Milestones are markers that tell you how a child usually develops and whether your child is developing as expected. Each developmental milestone has an age range. Children typically reach milestones anytime in that age range.

Developmental Charts

Birth to 3 months

3 to 6 months

6 to 12 months

12 to 18 months

18 months to 2 years

2 years olds

3 to 4 year olds

5 year olds

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