The National Network for Child Care (NNCC) is a source for information related to child care and development. NNCC produces a brochure that lists the ages and stages of important milestones in your child's development. Although children grow and develop at their own rate, the organisation pinpoints certain norms every child's development should follow. In their early years, children will exhibit signs you can observe and use to monitor whether they are showing the "normal," age-related stages of development.
0 to 12 Months
The first year of your child's development is full of changes. Your child will learn new things and improve their motor skills considerably before their first birthday. Your three-month-old should lift her head and chest when lying on the floor, turn her head toward bright colours or a voice, follow a moving object with her eyes and grasp a toy when you give it to her. By six months, your child should be able to hold her head steady, reach and grasp for objects and sit with little support. In addition she should babble, laugh and squeal, especially if you encourage her. By 12 months, her skills should include drinking from a cup and feeding herself with finger foods. Your child should also be able to point toward objects or people, recognise names of family members, crawl, stand alone momentarily, say her first word and understand simple commands.
12 to 24 Months
According to the NNCC, children between one and two years of age are "on the go." They begin to develop a greater sense of independence, love to imitate and, of course, love to walk, run and climb. Physically, they should be able to walk well, feed themselves with a spoon, open cabinets and pick up objects without falling. Intellectual development stages include an increased vocabulary of hundreds of words, pointing to eyes, ears and nose when asked and using "please" and "thanks" when promoted. Stages of social development include being possessive and impatient, throwing temper tantrums, beginning to say "no", enjoying attention, pretend play and showing affection by returning a kiss or hug.
The favourite words for two year-olds are "I do it," "mine" and "no," according to the NNCC. You will see your child become more independent, exploring and interested in other children. Features of physical development include scribbling with crayons, walking backward, squatting and readiness for potty training. The features of social and emotional development include acting shy around strangers, getting easily frustrated, affection toward family members, insisting on doing tasks without help, possessiveness, demanding, persistence and throwing tantrums due to the inability to express herself.
Your three-year-old spends a lot of time observing, imitating and exploring his world and perfecting motor skills. Time and past are relative concepts, and your child does not understand "yesterday" or "tomorrow" as adults do. The stages of physical development include dressing and feeding himself, pedalling a tricycle, hopping and climbing up and down stairs. Stages of intellectual development include talking in complete sentences, repeating words and sounds, and understanding time concepts, such as "now," "soon" and "later." Your little one is also becoming more interested in his surroundings and may ask "why," "who" and "what" questions constantly.