Developmental Learning and Milestones for Infant and Toddlers


A child usually undergoes a number of developmental milestones in life before transforming to adulthood. Such milestones majorly are physical and psychological together with emotional. Outline of the developmental stages is as discussed in the preceding topics and follow a chronological sequence.

Physical development among the infants and toddlers

A child day by day grow, develops and shows interest in what they come across. At every age, a child learns various activities. The first most evident measures of growth and development in a child are the physical aspect. This is the visible and most measurable development milestone. The physical milestones are based on movement and speech aspect. From infancy to the time a child attains twelve months he or she can hold, kick or throw anything lighter to them, for example, a ball, a grain of popcorn or even a pen. How fast a child can access, this items will determine how faster the child will learn.


Between the ages of twelve to eighteen months, the child learns how to pull or push objects. By this age, the child is presumed to be walking and most often, he or she enjoys dragging and pushing lighter objects. During this stage, affluent parents buy items like toys to keep these children busy. The push and pull development mechanism the children undergo sharpens their coordination tips, and they develop to be more accurate later in life. Children at this stage of life need utmost attention and supervision as their curiosity to touch, push and pull objects predisposes them to hazards related to strangulation.

In the same age of between twelve to eighteen months, the developing child also learns how to squat. The bones in the developing child become flexible prompting the child to have the ability to bend and try standing upright. He or she can stoop and bend the knee so as to squat. This stage strengthens their movement development and helps in bone stability. This stage also will make the parents or the guardians of the child draw conclusions whether they have an active a perceive child.

At the age of between twelve to twenty-four months, a child graduates to become climbers. The chairs, desks and beds in the house prompt the child to be curious about getting to the top. Due to inability to gauge the risks involved, close monitoring by an adult is necessary as the children can fall. Climbing also improves their locomotive prowess and strengthens their bones.

The ages of between the months of eighteen to twenty-four, the child, learns how to run. However, some kids tend to learn very fast compared to others depending on the availability of space. Running is usually accompanied by crawling especially when they fall. Interest to play with other children and even adults increases as they can run after them.

By the time, the child clocks between twenty-four to thirty-six months, the parent or the caretaker get a relief of buying the diapers as the child develops the ability to defecate in the potty. They start to pull nappies away from them while others cry when they defecate on the diapers. The child begins to learn and respond to changes taking place in their bodies. Some begin to squat or demonstrate the urge to defecate or urinate by crossing their legs. Some very keen enough begin to get concerned about where the contents of the potty are disposed of, and words like poo-poo or pee-pee are used to signal their care givers that they need to defecate. Some children in affluent families can go to the toilets pull off their pants and start to defecate. Others may defecate or urinates anywhere, even on chairs, in the living rooms or in a place comfortable to them followed by a cry to inform their guardian of the mess they have caused. This stage is essential in training and close monitoring due to hygiene concerns.

Between the same ages of twenty-four to thirty-six, the developing child gets interested in jumping. They climb stools, chairs, stairs and beds then they jump to lower levels. Even if you hold them on your laps, the curiosity to jump supersedes calmness making them jump. The assistance of the caregiver to guide them through and warn them is paramount. They may jump to objects hazard to them such as swimming pools, bath tabs or even from the balcony.

Emotional and psychological milestones

This developmental stage involving emotional and psychological growth incline to the intellectual reason and how to integrate facts and opinions. This intellectual development depends on the social and cultural environment the child is brought up in. Those children from highly affluent families tend to be quick and more proactive as they encounter a lot and attend many social gatherings.

The months between twelve and thirty-six set a stage in gaining knowledge and interpretation. Still and motion pictures attracts the attention of the children during these ages. Moreover, sounds and music fascinates them a lot. In fact, some may not sleep at night before their mother, father or any other caregiver sings them a lullaby song. Books also attract them prompting others to begin flipping through the pages and enjoy photos and images within.

Speech development in children takes center stage in the periods of between eighteen and twenty-four months. The child mumbles simple and primitive sentences coupled with gestures. The child gets interested in speech and is keen on sounds. If the child is brought up in settings where there are many people or children, then their chances in speech development tend to go higher. By the time toddlers attains twenty-four months, they begin to connect and relate their feelings with those people within their reach. They learn to develop feelings like sadness, happiness and anxiety among others.

Recent theoretical perspectives on human development

A number of theories have been brought forth to provide an outline of the stages in human development. They include behaviorism, psychoanalytic, sociocultural, epigenetic and cognitive theories. The theories delve in the concept of mind as an aspect of intellectual development. A number of factors influence the development of the mind amongst them being the interactions they encounter with other humans, the societal and the cultural framework they are raised in. Mental functioning in human, primarily relies on the social and cultural influence rather than on their level of maturity. This implies that the environmental exposure a child is brought up in has an influence in their intellectual capacity and state of judgment in their later stages of life. A child brought up in affluent families in an affluent environment where there is access to a variety of things tend to be more intelligent compared to a less exposed child.

Chosen lifespan development theory: Cognitive development theory

This theory focuses on thought processing and how the developing human can comprehend various concepts in life. Infants and toddlers construct their own understanding of the contemporary world based on four progressive cognitive development stages. They are as follows, from birth to age two, sensorimotor period, age two to seven years, pre-operational theory, age seven to eleven, concrete operational theory and at age eleven to adulthood is the formal operational period. During this stages, distinct and unique ways of reason are experienced.

In view of this theory, equilibrium in cognitive development occurs when a new concept or an idea gets into the mind of an individual’s existing intellectual framework and this is termed as assimilation. When there is an imbalance, modification of old ideas takes center stage, and this is known as accommodation, resulting in cognitive growth.

Contributions of the chosen theory

The cognitive development theory enhances the understanding of all the chronological sequence involved in concept thinking and evaluation from infancy to adulthood. It elaborates on the thought development in the course of the human lifespan. This theory also provides a basis of judging the competency of the child. The theory, moreover adds that the availability of a trainer accelerates further development of a child’s intellectual capacity. Favorable environmental factors will also advance the cognitive development of the growing child.

Current research in lifespan development

The recent studies concerning the growth and development in humanity postulates that intellectual programming from childhood to adulthood is varied and diverse and socio-cultural, and environmental factors play a major role. On the socio-cultural view, parenting and the social interactions will determine the ability of a child to integrate knowledge. Educational, programs also improves the literacy levels of the child, and this advances their intellectual development. The research also presumes that the nature of parenting has an impact in the developing of a child.


As outlined in the previous discussions, development in the child is a gradual process, and every stage of development is important. By view of the theories, a child’s intellectual development and growth provide a basis for defining their competencies. Education and proper parenting have an impact in molding an emotional and morally upright child, being that their fast encounters in life are the parents or caregivers.

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