Child development

Child Development Timeline

  • Prenatal - Physical - Fertilization

    Prenatal - Physical - Fertilization
    Life begins with fertilization: the joining of sperm and ovum to create the single-celled called zygote. This single cell contains all the genetic data necessary to produce a new human. Photo Source:
  • Prenatal - Physical - Embryonic Stage

    Prenatal - Physical - Embryonic Stage
    Between 2 an 8 weeks after conception, the embryo starts developing the skin, hair, teeth, sense organs, brain, spinal cord, liver, pancreas, digestive system, respiratory system, muscles, bones, and circulatory systems. At this stage, it is only an inch long, and does not quite look human. It has a tail-like structure and what appears to be gills. Photo Source:
  • Prenatal - Physical - Fetal Stage

    Prenatal - Physical - Fetal Stage
    By 12 weeks, the developing child (now called a fetus), can swallow and urinate. Also, hands, fingers and nails start to develop. Photo Source:
  • Prenatal - Physical - Finishing Touches

    Prenatal - Physical - Finishing Touches
    During the last 8 weeks of pregnancy the body puts the finishing touches on the various organs and functional capacities. Fat is formed rapidly over the entire body, smoothing out the wrinkled skin and rounding out body contours. Dull red color of skin fades. Photo Source:
  • Infancy - Physical/Cognitive - Brain Waves

    Infancy - Physical/Cognitive - Brain Waves
    As infants grow, they develop repetitive, cyclical patterns of behavior, called rhythms. An infant's state, or the degree of awareness it displays to both internal and external stimulation, is one of the major body rhythms. Some of those states produce changes in electrical activity in the brain. Those brain waves are somewhat irregular at the beginning, but at 3 months, a more mature brain wave pattern develops and the brain waves become more regular. Source:
  • Infancy - Physical - Sitting up

    Infancy - Physical - Sitting up
    As infants grow, they begin to develop their gross motor skills like lifting their heads, pushing theselves up with their arms, etc. By the time they are 6 months most infants can sit without support, which is one of the major milestones. Photo Source:
  • Infancy - Cognitive - Object Permanence

    Infancy - Cognitive - Object Permanence
    Between 8-12 months, infants start developing object permanence, which means that they realize that object and people exist even when they cannot be seen. Photo source:
  • Infancy - First Words - Cognitive

    Infancy - First Words - Cognitive
    Infants start babbling between 2-3 months and normally speak their first actual words between the age of 10-14 months. Some people consider the first word to be something that sounds close to a word spoken by adults, while others restrict "first word" to cases in which the infant gives a clear, consistent name to a person, object or event. Photo Source:
  • Toddlerhood - Motor Development - Physical

    Toddlerhood - Motor Development - Physical
    By age 1 toddlers are usually walking or will begin walking shortly after. By 14 months, they can build towers of two cubes. By 16 months, they can walk up steps. By 23 months they can jump in place. Photo Source:
  • Toddlerhood - Sound Localization - Physical

    Toddlerhood - Sound Localization - Physical
    By age 1, toddlers develop the sound localization ability, which permits them to pinpoint the direction from which a sound is emanating. Photo Source:
  • Toddlerhood - Fine Motor Skills - Physical

    Toddlerhood - Fine Motor Skills - Physical
    Between 12-18 months, toddlers start doing thinks like pointing to pictures in books, building a tower using 2 blocks, using their hands together to hold a toy at the middle of their body, scribbling with a crayon, pointing with their pointer finger, holding their own cup and drink (with some spilling) and removing their own socks, among other things.
    Photo source:
  • Toddlerhood - Pretend Play - Cognitive

    Toddlerhood - Pretend Play - Cognitive
    By the time children are close to 2 year old, they have developed teh skill of pretend play. Piaget refers to this skill as deferred imitation. Children pretend to do things that they have seen someone else do, like cooking, driving a car and feeding a doll. Photo Source:
  • Early Years - Centration - Cognitive

    Early Years - Centration - Cognitive
    Centration is the process of concentrating on one limited aspect of a stimulus and ignoring other aspects. Toddlers are unable to consider all available information about a stimulus, so they focus on superficial, obvious elements that are within their sight. When preschoolers are shown a row with 10 buttons close together, and another one with 8 buttons but spread out to form a longer row, and then asked which one contains more buttons, most would say the 2nd one.
    Photo Source:
  • Early Years - Brain Growth - Physical

    Early Years - Brain Growth - Physical
    The brain grows faster than any other part of the body. The main reason why this happens is that there is an increase in the number of interconnections among cells. By age two, children who have received proper nutrition have brains that are about 75% the size and weight of an adult brain.
    Photo Source:
  • Early Years - Gross Motor Skills - Physical

    Early Years - Gross Motor Skills - Physical
    By the time children turn 3 years old, they have mastered skills like jumping, skipping, running and hopping on one foot. By the time they are 4 and 5 years old, their skills have been refined because they have gained more control over their muscles, so at age 4 they can throw a ball with enough accuracy that someone else can catch it, and by age 5 they can toss a ring and have it land on a peg 5 feet away. Photo Source:
  • Early Years - Fine Motor Skills - Physical

    Early Years - Fine Motor Skills - Physical
    At this stage, children are also working on their fine motor skills, like using a spoon, cutting with scissors and stacking blocks. At age 3, children can take off their clothes and put a simply jigsaw puzzle together. By age 4, their fine motor skills are considerably better, and they can do things like fold a paper into triangular design and print their name with a crayon. By age 5, most kids can hold and manipulate a thin pencil properly.
    Photo source:
  • Middle Childhood - Physical Development - Physical

    Middle Childhood - Physical Development - Physical
    Physical growth is slow, but steady during middle childhood. During this stage children grow an average of 2-3 inches per year. This is the only time during the life span that girls are, on average, taller than boys. They also gain around 5-7 pounds a year, and weight is redistributed.
    Photo Source:
  • Middle Childhood - Fine Motor Skills - Physical

    Middle Childhood - Fine Motor Skills - Physical
    The amount of myelin in the brain increases significantly between the ages of 6 and 8. This allows children 6-7 years old to learn to tie their shoes, children 8 years old to use each hand independently and children 11-12 years old to manipulate objects with almost as much dexterity as they will have in adulthood.
    Photo Source:
  • Middle Childhood - Memory - Cognitive

    Middle Childhood - Memory - Cognitive
    During this stage, short-term memory capacity improves significantly. For example: Children are increasingly able to hear a string of 5 digits and then repeat the string in reverse order. At the start of the preschool period, the could only remember and reverse only about 2 digits.
    Photo Source:
  • Middle Childhood - Social Comparison - Cognitive

    Middle Childhood - Social Comparison - Cognitive
    Children in the middle childhood stage begin to follow the same sort of reasoning as adults when they seek to understand how able they are. They use social comparison processes, comparing themselves to others, to determine their levels of accomplishment.
    Photo Source:
  • Adolescence - Puberty - Physical

    Adolescence - Puberty - Physical
    The period during which the sexual organs mature, begins with the pituitary gland signaling other glands in children's bodies to begin producing the sex hormones, androgens (male hormones) or estrogens (female hormones), at adult levels. The pituitary gland also signals the body to increase production of growth hormones. Girls start puberty at aorund 11 or 12 years of age, and boys around 13 or 14 years of age. Photo Source:
  • Adolescence - Brain Development - Cognitive

    Adolescence - Brain Development - Cognitive
    The prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that allows people to think, evaluate and make complex judgements, undergoes considerable development throughout adolescence. This change underlies the increasingly complex intellectual achievements that are possible during adolescence.
    Photo Source:
  • Adolescence - Transformation in Abilities - Cognitive

    Adolescence - Transformation in Abilities -  Cognitive
    According to Piaget, adolescents grow increasingly sophisticated in their understanding of problems, their ability to grasp abstract concepts and to think hypothetically, and their comprehension of the possibilities inherent in situations.
    Photo Source:
  • Adolescence - Egocentrism - Cognitive

    Adolescence - Egocentrism - Cognitive
    Adolescents' newly sophisticated metacognitive abilities enable them to readily imagine that others are thinking about them, and they may construct elaborate scenarios about other's thoughts. This is a state of self-absorption in which the world is viewed as focused on oneself. This makes adolescents highly critical of authority figures such as parents and teachers, unwilling to accept criticism and quick to find fault with other's behavior. Photo source: