What is Child Development?
Children grow, develop, and learn throughout their lives from birth and infancy to adulthood. A child’s development can be measured through social, physical, and cognitive developmental milestones. If children fail to develop properly they may be unable to reach their full potential. However, healthcare professionals and parents can work together as partners to help children grow up healthy and strong.
Importance of Early Development
The first three years of life are a period of incredible growth in all areas of a baby’s development. A newborn’s brain is about 25 percent of its approximate adult weight. But by age 3, it has grown dramatically by producing billions of cells and hundreds of trillions of connections, or synapses, between these cells.
By age three, the brain has twice as many connections in the brain as needed for adulthood. The number of synapses remains constant in the middle childhood years and then begins to decline in late childhood and through adolescence.
Domains of Development:
- Cognitive: How children play with toys and everyday items, how they solve problems and how they use their senses to explore (looking, hearing, noticing, etc.).
- Social/Emotional: How children interact with others, cooperate and respond to changes in routine activities.
- Adaptive: How children participate in daily care activities (such as mealtime, dressing, bathing, etc.).
- Motor (Fine and Gross): How children gain control over their muscles and coordination. How children move around their environment and manipulate items/objects within it.
- Communication: How children respond to what is being said, how they express their thoughts and feelings, how they communicate with others to express their wants and needs.
Between birth and age 3, babies learn to roll, crawl, stand, walk, and run. They learn to follow directions, talk and sing. But development doesn’t happen in the same way, at the same time, for all children. Some children will develop certain skills faster or slower than others. These differences are very normal. However, if you or your child’s pediatrician suspect that your child is not reaching their developmental milestones on time, there are resources available to you. Call the Babies Can’t Wait Program below for more information.
For more information, call the Babies Can’t Wait Program: 770-514-2759.