From Terrible Two’s to The Threenager
Toddler’s physical development may slow down, but these are the formative years for their cognitive and emotional development. During this two part blog series, we will dive into the different stages of development and talk about how we can help our children grow and develop optimally.
Long before your baby utters her first word, she has already started communicating with you, using smiles, looks, movements, and sounds. Children develop at different rates, but they usually are able to do certain things at certain ages. By 12 months or one year, most babies will look in the direction of a sound, especially in response to their name. They will babble and may even say their first word.
By the end of their first year, your baby’s growth rate will begin to slow down. From now until early adolescence, height and weight should increase steadily, but not as rapidly as during those first months of life. It is always good to track measurements every few months on growth charts to make sure there is a steady increase that follows the normal growth curve. Remember these are just general guidelines. At this age there is a much broader range of what’s “normal” than there was at earlier ages.
2-3 years old:
Throughout the next 12 months, pay attention to your child’s movement and coordination. Not only will you notice a smoother gait, but they will also learn to kick and direct the motion of a ball, walk up and down steps using just the railing, and sit with ease. Your two year old will ditch the stiff, spread-legged walk and replace it with the heel-to-toe motion. This is the stage where your child will become more proficient in maneuvering their body. They will begin to multitask with movements such as using their hands, talking and looking around.
Research actually shows that the average toddler will fall down approximately 38 times a day. Wow! Could you imagine what kind of shape us parents would be in if we fell that often? That is why it is so essential to have your child’s spine and nervous system assessed. Repetitive physical stressors are a leading cause of spinal misalignment in children.
3-4 years old:
It can be relieving to say goodbye to those “terrible twos”. Being three is a magical time, full of fantasy and vivid imagination. During the next two years, your child will mature in many areas. I must forewarn you though—with maturity comes a new found independence. Can someone say three going on 13?
Buckle up, parents—you are about to answer hundreds of questions each day. Your child’s “why” questions may be more difficult because some of them have no answers. Be sure to take these questions seriously. As you do, you help broaden your child’s knowledge, feed their curiosity, and teach them to think more clearly.
Sense of time will become much clearer at about three years of age. Consistent daily routines will be vital to them, even on the weekends. They will also try hard to figure out the routines of others. For example, they may be eager to watch the mailman deliver the mail each day and wonder why the trash man only comes once a week.
How We Can Help
Cognitive development sets the stage for the rest of children’s lives. If you notice your child is struggling with some of these skills, consider seeking out a chiropractor near you. Chiropractic care can help with many areas of health including cognitive development and behavior. Chiropractic care has been proven to reduce behavioral issues and improve symptoms of learning disorders.