A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Is my child keeping up? Understanding childhood development

Graphic of baby playing around

For many parents, they are often comparing their babies and toddlers to other children. While this may be natural for parents, childhood development is not always the same for every child.

Is it weird that my baby isn’t babbling yet? Should my 2-year-old be able to point to body parts? When should I expect my child to crawl? These are the types of questions pediatricians get during every well child visit.

For many parents, they are often comparing their babies and toddlers to other children. While this may be natural for parents, childhood development is not always the same for every child.

“Every child is different. They have different lived experiences and some are just better at things than others,” said Dr. Patrick McCann, pediatrician with Marshfield Children’s. “It is important to make sure your child is developing properly. A pediatrician is there to help you determine what is and is not important.”

When it comes to developmental milestones, there are four main categories:

  • Social and emotional: How children manage emotions and develop relationships.
  • Language and communication: Talking, but also other forms of understanding and communicating.
  • Problem-solving: Commonly referred to as cognitive development, but this is how children think.
  • Movement and physical development: Fine and gross motor skills.

For help navigating childhood development, use this list of milestones by age.

View infographic

childhood development infographic

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