Every child is born with a set of potential characteristics or traits. Some of these are shared by all human beings and some of these traits come from genetic links inherited from birth parents and family. After a baby is born, development proceeds in stages. No stage can be skipped. Each stage is important for the next one. For example, children often crawl and pull themselves up before they begin to walk.
Each child may go through similar growth and developmental stages, but at a different rate. Though a wide range in development is normal, being significantly behind or delayed can indicate a problem. Trauma and stress can delay developmental growth and progress and even cause regression to earlier stages. For example, children who have been potty trained may start wetting or soiling again when a new baby comes into the family.
Being slow to reach a particular stage, and even the experiences of trauma and stress, do not mean that a child will not eventually reach the next stage of growth and development. But, it will take a lot of care and patience from resource parents, who need specific knowledge and skills, and know when to bring in professional help, to overcome the delays.
The following information provides a quick guide to child development. If your child’s development seems delayed, or otherwise not following the expected patterns according to this guide, ask your child’s doctor or your child’s child welfare specialist about getting help.
Continue to Developmental Checklists