Main stages of child development

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Toddler is one stage of child development
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What are the main stages of child development to watch for as your child grows

Knowing what to expect and when to expect it when it comes to the main stages of child development can make parenting your child just a little bit easier. When it comes to doing the right thing raising your child you need all the help you can get. Understanding the different stages can be a valuable tool. 

These stages are also incredibly valuable for the child itself as there are different things he or she learns along the way. Each stage of development prepares the kid for the next step in their life cycle.

The Infant Stage

During the infant stage there are a number of different things to be on the lookout for and a number of behaviors that all infants go through. The infant will grow at a remarkable rate from birth up until the first 12 months of their life. According to most experts, the baby will grow an average of 2/3 of an ounce per day. By the end of the first year the baby will have tripled its birth weight. When you put it in perspective, think how much growth that would be if you tripled your current weight over a calendar year.

The baby will also need quite a bit of sleep during this stage, sometimes as much as 20 hours per day and will consume food (formula or milk most likely) as many as eight times a day. Crib bedding, bottles, diapers and nursery equipment will get their workout!

During the infant stage the child will also pick up quite a few skills like rolling over and learning to crawl. The baby will also begin to see colors as well as recognize shapes. Speech will also begin, though most infants will not yet be able to form words, the speech will be more in the form of babbling and making noises.

The Toddler Stage

As the child grows from infant to toddler there are several different milestones he or she will hit. 

One of the most important for wary parents is that the child will go from crawling to walking, giving it more chances to get into trouble. The child will also learn how to stand on their tiptoes and kick a ball. Perhaps the most scary is that the child will learn to walk up and down stairs as long as there is support to hang on to.

The Toddler stage will also see the child actually begin to speak, first single words and then whole sentences.  hey will also recognize different objects and point to them when you say the name. The toddler will also be able to begin scribbling, and drawing what are often referred to as "spider people" a circle for a face and the limbs being lines that are generally more numerous than actual human limbs.

The Pre-Adolescent Stage

The Toddler stage generally ends once the child hits school age. The main feature of this particular stage is that the child will begin growing quite quickly again.

On average a child will grow about 2.5 inches per year from the ages of about 5 to 11 or 12.  Sleep and proper nutrition are very important in this stage as the child will be experiencing some serious bodily changes.

The Adolescent Stage

This is the final stage of child development. Beginning around the age of 12 and going all the way up to adulthood, this stage encompasses puberty which is generally thought of as the final part of changing from child to adult. During this stage the child will usually hit their final height and they become able to have children of their own.

While Pre-Adolescents will begin to show their independence, adolescents are well known for forging their own path. Because their brains are not fully developed their path often leads to poor decisions at one time or another. 

On a social scale, adolescence is when a child begins to form lasting bonds with people other than their immediate family.  Both friendships and romantic relationships become more important and longer lasting.

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