Health

Child development from birth to 5 years of age

As a parent, you are proud of your child’s accomplishments, as if his overall success was reflecting your aptitudes as a parent.

If your child does not seem to mature as swiftly as expected, you feel just as concerned and responsible. How about learning to go with the flow and respecting your child’s rhythm, interests and uniqueness?

Children’s development: take a trip on a jet plane!

Here is a quick overview of everything your child will learn in the first five years of his life. The rest of his life will never match these first few years in terms of changes.

During his first year of life, your child will

  • Triple his weight and increase his height by 33 %,
  • Change from being in foetal position to standing up,
  • Learn to interact and create meaningful relationships with people,
  • Experience the basics of communication by giggling, yawning and by discovering the different senses: touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight.

From 1 to 3 years of age, your child continues to explore the world, sometimes to your greatest dismay.

  • He will easily walk, run and climb.
  • Your child will learn how to express himself, beginning with gestures, words and finally small sentences.
  • He will learn self-assertiveness, mostly by using the word “NO”!
  • He will discover the joys of being surrounded by other kids, as well as the frustration caused by having his favourite toy taken away.
  • He will gradually control his sphincters and learn to potty train.

Even if your child still needs his parents, he will slowly build a sense of autonomy and express the desire to accomplish things on his own. He can do it, like he says!

Finally, from 3 to 5 years of age, your child will have his first meaningful friends with whom he will create a colourful imaginary world to discover!

  • With his friends, your child will also learn to share, negotiate and experience moments of great complicity filled with laughter!
  • He will love to use role-playing as a way to take example on adults; especially you as a parent.
  • Your child now has complete control over his body and he can jump, climb, go upstairs and even stand on one leg!
  • He learns to draw, paint and craft. He can recognize different symbols or images and associate them with the appropriate word. Your child will also be introduced to reading and writing and soon he will be ready for school! Wow!
To each his own rhythm and interests: your child is unique!

Rationally, you already know that each child is different in his own way. However, emotionally, you might feel uneasy if you notice your child’s development to be a little slower than average.

Remember that your child is always working on improving one aspect of his development as a person. It may not be the same aspect as the neighbour’s daughter or son but it is definitively a feature of your child’s life that he finds important enough to invest time on it. Your child will instinctively spend time on activities that are linked to his personal interests. For example, an athletic child will quickly improve his motor skills by running and climbing; whereas a quiet child will develop cognitive skills by doing puzzles or reading more often. Why? Because he feels like he is good at it and by using his skills he will gain social recognition. It is completely normal, even adults do it!

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