Child development from birth to age 5

As a parent, you are proud of your child’s accomplishments, as if their overall success reflects 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 their lives. The rest of their lives will never match these first few years in terms of changes.

During their first year of life, your child will

  • Triple their weight and increase their height by 33 %,
  • Change from being in a 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.

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

Even if a child still needs their parents, they will slowly build a sense of autonomy and express the desire to accomplish things on their own. They can do it!

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

  • With their friends, your child will also learn to share, negotiate and experience moments of great complicity filled with laughter!
  • They will love to use role-playing to take example on adults; especially you as a parent.
  • Your child now has complete control over their body and they can jump, climb, go upstairs and even stand on one leg!
  • They learn to draw, paint, and craft. They 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 they will be ready for school! Wow!
To each their own rhythm and interests: your child is unique!

Rationally, you already know that each child is different in their 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 their development as a person. It may not be the same aspect as the neighbor’s daughter or son but it is definitively a feature of your child’s life they find important enough to invest time on. Your child will instinctively spend time on activities that are linked to their personal interests. For example, an athletic child will quickly improve their motor skills by running and climbing; whereas a quiet child will develop cognitive skills by doing puzzles or reading more often. Why? Because they feel like they are good at it and by using their skills they will gain social recognition. It is completely normal, even adults do it!

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