Child Development Prenatal to Adolescence

  • Fertilization

    The sperm meets the ovum after the mother and father have intercourse.The sperm has an arduous process of traveling to the egg. It must travel through the vagina, through the cervix, up the uterus, and ultimately to the egg in the fallopian tube
  • The Germinal Stage

    The first and short stage the future being endures. The blastocyst, fertilized egg, travels to the mother’s uterus to be implanted. The cell is constantly doubling in size to get to about 150 cells at week two.The cells at this point are already determining what the must do, whether they be apart of the placenta, what keeps nutrients and oxygen supply available to the fetus, or apart of the protective barrier for the future fetus.
  • The Embryonic Stage

    The Embryonic Stage
    Between weeks two and eight, the blastocyst is attached to the uterus. And the embryo is comprised of the ectoderm, the outer layer, which will make up the skin, hair, teeth, sense organs, brain and spinal cord. The endoderm is the next deepest layer: this produces the digestive system and respiratory system. The mesoderm, which is between the other two layers, makes up the bones, blood, muscles, and circulatory system. They look like strange little structures now but there is an amazing and fas
  • The Fetal Stage

    The child is now discernible, and is called a fetus. The organs are now beginning to organize their purpose, while the fetus grows very rapidly. By four months the mother can feel movement of the child, and a few months later so can others. During the fetal stage the brain becomes more advance. And ultimately the baby’s weight, normally around 7-8 pounds, is prepared for birth.
  • Labor

    As time gets nearer, the mother and father grow anxious to meet the little one who has been developing during the approximate 9 month journey. Provided that the mother was responsible and made healthy choices during her pregnancy she will have a healthy baby.A hormone is released, called CRH, corticotropin-releasing hormone. This leads to the release of other hormones including oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the mother to start contractions. These start out short and far in between but increase in b
  • Birth

    The second stage of labor ends when the baby has completely exited the mother’s body. The third stage is when the umbilical cord and placenta are expelled from the mother.
  • Infancy

    This new person that was brought into the world will gain weight and size rapidly over the next months. The infant is born with millions of neurons and will go through pruning to get rid of those that do not make connections or those that have no meaning or necessary information. (Picture:
  • Eyesight in Infants

    Eyesight in Infants
    Infants also develop their eyesight in the first few months going from blurry to 20/20 vision by 6 months. Babies can recognize, color, faces, shapes, and patterns. (Picture:
  • Reach for the Sky!

    Reach for the Sky!
    Infants can begin reaching in front of the in the 3rd-4th month, and across in the 7th month and behind them from the 7th and beyond. As babies get older they go from grasping with their whole hand to using the pincer grasp, just the index and thumb. Infants also begin to move by rolling over, sitting without support around the 6th month, standing and holding objects around the 7th month, standing alone and walking around the 12th month. (Picture:
  • Now It's Here and then It's Gone!

    Now It's Here and then It's Gone!
    Infants begin to understand object permanence and explore the world around them by means of experiments. For example, dropping things from a high chair or even dropping things from the top of the stairs. (Picture:
  • Exploration of the World and the Babies' sounds

    Exploration of the World and the Babies' sounds
    Around the 2nd or 3rd month babbling begins as a prelinguistic start to a babies’ language skill.
    Infants also begin to express different temperaments and activity levels. (Picture:
  • Toddlerhood: Move it, Move it!

    Toddlerhood: Move it, Move it!
    Going from flipping over onto the belly crawling and pulling themselves up in the first year, toddlers begin to walk well and start to jump, but also fine motor skills begin to develop very well by the pincer grasp as mentioned earlier. (Picture: Personal)
  • Helping Others

    Helping Others
    Toddlers begin to feel empathy for others and can sometimes be found trying to comfort someone. Many times you will find toddlers will offer a blanket or stuffed animal to a family member or other child, often assuming what helps them will help someone else. (Picture:
  • Toddlers: Using Referencing

    Toddlers: Using Referencing
    Toddlers use referencing to understand how they should feel about a situation, either from a parent, sibling, grandparent, or other child. Sometimes they may be confused by a look of amusement from one and anger from another.
  • Toddler Talk

    Toddlers start with one word sentences then around 16 months they use two word sentences increasing the amount of word knowledge from 50 to 400. Most toddlers can understand more than they can speak.
  • Growing like a beanstalk!

    Growing like a beanstalk!
    As children get older they seem to sprout overnight, especially if you have not seen them for a while (even if that is not overnight). BY the time a child is two their head makes up a fifth of the body and a sixth around the age of 6.
  • Athleticism

    Their bodies become more muscular and less rounded as the 'baby fat" would seem to disappear. Gross and fine motor skills become more mastered. Many children can run, jump, and stop while running with ease around the age of 5. Also around the age of 5, they begin to show handedness.
  • Can you handle how fast my brain is growing?

    Can you handle how fast my brain is growing?
    It's amazing the strides that happen between ages 2 and age 5. The brain grows larger while neural connections develop more and lateralization occurs. Lateralization is where development or certain functions happen on one side of the brain more than the other. This is often where we get the term right/left brained. As the brain is growing and making connections it is making more available space for the child to learn more and retain more information.
  • Memory and Thinking!

    Children begin to show egocentrisim. This means that many kids cannot think for others. For example a 2 year old may hide under a blanket on the couch and think they are not seen by an older playmate because the 2 year old cannot see them. As for memory children can begin to recall things around the age of three, it may not be in great detail and it may not be ture but they are beginning the process of memory, which is autobiographical memory.
  • Language of love, storytelling, anger, happiness, sadness, frustration...and however many other ways you could put it.

    Language of love, storytelling, anger, happiness, sadness, frustration...and however many other ways you could put it.
    The way children combine words and phrases is called syntax. Between 2 & 3 years the syntax doubles each month. By age 6 children have a knowledge of upwards of 14000 words. According to the book this means preschoolers must learn a word every 2 hours, 24 hours a day. This process is called fast mapping. The one cute thing is, is that many preschoolers still have some problems every once in a great while with past tense & plurals but otherwise have them mastered fairly well.
  • Understanding One's Self

    Understanding One's Self
    As children get older the begin to draw concepts of themselves, as well as gender concepts. Many times a child will tell you when asked to descirbie themselves, they reply "I'm the fastest runner in the world." To them it is true because they still cannot understand maybe others are. Gender roles begin when boys and girls say that or do an acitivity is for a boy or they only play with dolls or trucks.
  • Friendship

    Children beign to form friend ships in preschool and kindergarten. Many of these through similar likes and trust. Children also begin to see their peers as individual people. These people can be viewed as playmates.
  • Play

    Play is important for children. Around age 3, functional play is what is usually engaged in, it is simple and repetitive. Constructive play is where the child has a goal in mind. Parallel, Onlooker, and Associative play are similar where the kids play in the same room with different toys, just looking on and sharing toys amongst each other. <a href='' ></a>
  • Theory of Mind

    At age 2 children can see others emotions as disscused earlier. By age 3-5 childern can discern something in their mind that is not actually there. As children develop more brain memory and language skills, their theory of mind expands.
  • Moral Judgement

    Children eventually begin to develop a sense of right and wrong and what to do in situations where they have to make a decision. This moral development is a major milestone because it provides a way to show kids they know whats right when they do something wrong, but they chose to be "bad" anyway. The herteronomus stage is where children do not take in account if a somone else had done something wrong intentionally or not. Many children also use other people as models.
  • Growing a little everyday.

    Children are now to the point where they grow more slowly, their muscles develop and they lose "baby fat". Children also begin to master gross motor skill like biking, running, skating. Fine motor skills are continuing to get better like typing, writing, closing buttons.
    Here is a link to a video, it shows a girl go from birth to age 12 you see her grow.
  • Health of the Child

    The child is very active but as our population gets more sedentary the obestiy rate in children goes up, opportunities to be active and better nutritional choices can help reverse this trend. Children will often go through several colds, and at least one major illness between age 6 and 12 some help to build an immunity for children as they get older. This video provides a great tool to show kids how to eat healthy:
  • The Ever Expanding Mind

    The Ever Expanding Mind
    Children begin to decenter. Theory of mind is coming into play where they can take other perspectives into mind. Social conventions and self-monitoring improve is improving dramatically during this time. Another change is that children can understand that taking a round cup half full of water and dumping the water into a square glass contains the same amount of water, also known as conservation and transformation.
  • Personality and Social Interaction

    Personality and Social Interaction
    Sense of self becomes pronounced. Kids become more understanding of themselves, for example they begin to identify who they are like between their parents or siblings. Kid's self-esteem is building now, it is important to provied support and enrich self efficacy. Friendships among boys and girls differ, boys in groups and girls in more of pairs.
  • Other Factors in Social Interaction

    Children often will become friends with others of a different race but statistics show it decreases with age, while still showing a high mutal acceptance of one another. Households often change with divorces, single parent houses, and multi-generational houses. Many children with working parents, now participate in self-care, a term that says children stay home for a period of time after they get home from school until parents get home from work.
  • Girls Grow Faster than Boys, No Way!

    Girls Grow Faster than Boys, No Way!
    GIrls begin their growth spurt around 10, for boys around 12, for adosolence.
    Boys and girls begin puberty about a year to two after their growth spurt.
    Many of the sexual characteristics begin to develop, the reproductive organs begin to produce hormones curtoesy of the pituitary gland, as well as development of physical characteristics, ie underarm hair, breasts in girls, and a deeper voice in boys. Source:
  • Nutriton

    As more options toward an non-healthy lifestyle continue there are and needs to be more changes to fix this. The obesity rate has gone up significantly and teens are the highest consumers of sugar per day. As for the opposite of obesity, eating disorders also become prevalent as body concious girls and boys try to conform to the mainstream media. Source:
  • Knowledge is Power

    Knowledge is Power
    Most adolescents are beginning to think in relative but not absolute terms, also their verbal, math and spatial skills increase. Metacognition, or the ability to monitor one's own cognition is present while they think through hypothetical situations, as well as divide attention. Source:
  • Knowledge is Power Continued

    Knowledge is Power Continued
    Finally, during adolesence they become egocentric and create an audience that always seems to be "watching" them an imaginary audience, as well as having a sense of "that can't happen to me" which can be dangerous. Personal fables become more experienced as egocentrisim appears, for example a teen believeing they just went through the "first" worst experience of getting a bad grade after studying hard for an exam. Source:
  • Understanding One's Self and Others

    Understanding One's Self and Others
    Self concept and self esteem begin to become more accurate and grows differentiated. Many teens identify themselves with the likeness of their peers. Semiautonomy begins as both parents and the child have control of their life. As sexual characteristics have progressed identity importance forms and social encounters begin between sexes dating beginss. Source:
  • Popularity Among Friends

    Many teens find cliques to be friends with, crowds are larger than these 2-12 people groups. Reference groups are groups that are used as comparison for others. There are four different types of adolescents popular, controversial, rejected, and neglected. These differentiate between popular and controversial are considered "high status" these are liked and maybe disliked by some other peers. "Low status" is made of rejected, or unifromly disliked, and neglected are neither liked nor disliked.