In this article for parents, you will learn more about the growth & development of your children when they are under the age of three.
In the toddler years, your kid will undergo a dramatic shift in their physical and mental development and their ability to engage with the outside world. The term “development” refers to this process, which involves cognitive, physical, language, and social growth.
Areas of Development in Toddler
Your child will experience rapid development during the toddler years. These areas are projected to experience growth in the near future.
Development of the mind.
Mental talents such as thinking and reasoning are included in cognitive development, including knowledge acquisition and information processing skills. It is common for parents to see rapid development in this area throughout their child’s toddler years.
Development of the body
Toddlers’ gross and fine motor skills, as well as their growth, are all part of their physical development. You may expect a lot of growth in this area from 1 to 3 years old, although it won’t be as noticeable or rapid as in the infant stage.
A child’s fine motor abilities include utilizing their fingers and hands. To describe a child’s ability to use major muscles, such as his legs and arms, we use the term “gross motor development.”
Competence in a Foreign Language
Toddlers’ language skills are an important part of their development. At this age, toddlers often progress from using only a few words to making connections between pictures and objects, and finally to utilizing whole sentences to express increasingly complicated ideas.
When a child is developing socially, they are learning how to engage and play with other children of the same age and how to communicate their wants, ask for help, and interact appropriately with the adults in their lives.
A time of rapid transformation
Parents will be astounded by the changes they witness in their toddlers over the next two years as they attempt to keep up with all this growth and development.
Children develop at their rate, even if they tend to accomplish certain developmental milestones at roughly the same time as other toddlers of the same age and stage.
In addition, it isn’t unusual for a child to choose one sort of growth over another. When it comes to gross motor skills, for example, a vocal child may appear to be lagging behind his peers and vice versa. Even if there is a little gap between a child’s chronological age and another child’s, it is not usually a symptom of a developmental delay.
In what ways can you encourage growth?
What can you do as a parent to encourage your child’s growth? Many factors influence a toddler’s development, both favorably and negatively, at this early age. A look at some of the most important things that can affect the growth of any project:
1. Nutrition and Food
Young children are known for being picky eaters, but parents must ensure that their children consume a balanced diet of nutritious food. In order to meet their nutritional needs, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers eat three meals and one or two snacks each day, which should include a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables and meat.
A child’s cognitive and physical growth can be stunted, their teeth can rot, or they could be set up for weight difficulties if they aren’t getting enough food, the proper nutrients, or the right minerals in their meals. A toddler’s basic nutritional demands must be supplied by their parents.
2. A Protected Space
A child’s emotional and social growth and health are greatly aided by living in a safe community and home. A mother’s depression or other mental health concerns, domestic violence, drug use or abuse, and poverty are some of the risk factors that may cause developmental delays in a child.
Choosing the ideal nanny or caregiver is crucial for parents who work outside the home because a child will spend most of their waking hours in their care. To help your child develop their cognitive, gross motor, fine motor, emotional, and social skills, you must locate a safe, healthy, and caring setting for your child.
3. Having Fun and Interacting with Others
Caretakers must connect with toddlers in loving and caring ways and allow them to explore, create, and play to help them learn and grow. Ensure children in daycare or preschool have access to creative play, such as toys, books, and art equipment.
Toddlers need to engage in both physical and creative play to help them develop their cognitive and fine motor skills. Parents and other caregivers should also communicate with their young charges. Toddlers’ emotional and social development is aided by talking to them, playing with them, and encouraging them. It is critical to learn a new language by interacting with people of different ages and backgrounds.
Although we know that a lack of sleep can make toddlers disagreeable, prone to tantrums, and generally grumpy, the importance of sleep cannot be overstated. As a rule of thumb, toddlers need between 11 and 14 hours of sleep every day, including one or two naps, depending on the child’s age.
It is not uncommon, however, for a toddler who slept well as a baby to develop sleep issues as an older child. Nighttime anxieties, nightmares, separation anxiety, and a desire to be more independent can all contribute to difficulty sleeping. Still, working with your toddler is important to ensure they’re getting enough sleep.
5. I’m worried about my health.
Multiple hospitalizations due to major illnesses can hinder social development, and hearing or sight impairments can disrupt normal toddlers’ social development. Medical difficulties can also limit normal toddler development.
Children born preterm or prematurely have different developmental timetables and milestones in the early years of their life. It’s possible to determine your baby’s corrected age by subtracting how many weeks early they arrived from the actual number of weeks on the birth certificate. For example, if your 9-month-old child was born three months early, their developmental milestones should be the same as those of a 6-month-old child delivered at term.
By the age of 2.4, most prematurely born infants have made developmental progress within the normal range. If your kid has not, she may require further assistance and measures that your pediatrician will recommend.
6. How Is Progress Regulated?
There are developmental milestones that doctors hope to observe in a specific timeframe. Therapies such as speech, physical, or occupational therapy may be advised if a toddler has not attained a developmental milestone within a given range. Checkups and vaccinations are common at good visits, which normally occur at 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, and 36 months for children under two years old.
As part of your child’s growth, the pediatrician will ask you questions about how your child acts when alone and interacts socially with other children, as well as how they feed themselves and dress themselves. As a common screening tool for children between the ages of one and six, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire is frequently used by pediatricians.
Before the visit, parents are invited to complete a questionnaire that evaluates their child’s communication, problem-solving, personal and social skills, and gross and fine motor abilities. The questionnaire has been devised to detect children at risk for developmental delays and increase parental involvement in their child’s development.
The purpose of “early intervention,” whether you use a questionnaire or just talk to your doctor, is to find out whether your child has any delays and then give the necessary resources to help them.
7. Preventative measures
Autism, intellectual disability, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder affect 13% of children in the United States between 3 and 17 years old. Many youngsters’ language and other development are also delayed, which might influence their preparation for school.
As soon as these delays and problems are discovered, early intervention programs can be provided to help the kid. An infant or toddler who receives early intervention therapy can make substantial progress in their development. A variety of therapies are available to assist a kid in learning to socialize, walk, communicate, and respond appropriately to various sensory inputs.
8. The Right Time to Call Your Physician
It is important to remember that children grow at different rates and have distinct strengths and weaknesses. Just like adults, every toddler has some talents that are more developed than others. Warning signs can be ignored, but they must be aware of them. If you’re worried about your child, make an appointment with the pediatrician first. Your child’s pediatrician may recommend an early intervention specialist for a more thorough evaluation.
The professional will keep an eye on your child during the games or exercises. The specialist will recommend early intervention services for the kid based on these interactions and interviews with the parents or caregivers. Re-screening may be necessary if your child does not require more treatment after the initial assessment.