what are the 5 stages of child development?

What are the 5 stages of Child Development?

Children grow physically as well as mentally rapidly in their early years. All development happens in stages. The stages act as a benchmark to keep a check on the development of a child. Each stage has characteristics. Different scholars have interpreted the stages of child development in different ways and there seems to be less consensus. Piaget identified four stages of development.

Some argue that there are 5 stages of Child development whereas some say there are six.

So what are the 5 stages of child development?

The 5 Stages of Child Development are:-

  1. Newborn
  2. Infanthood
  3. Toddlerhood
  4. PreSchool play age
  5. Middle Childhood

Newborn Stage

This is the first stage of development of a child. Most of the actions of the new born baby is an automatic response to action. The child at this stage will blink eyes or will get startled at some loud noise.

The baby will have various reflexes at this stage which helps it identify source of mother’s milk, or helps him or her grasp things kept on his or her palm.

If the baby at this stage does not exhibit the reflexes like responding to loud sounds or look at things moving in front of his or her eyes, then it can be a cause for concern and a doctor must be consulted with.


The second stage of development is the Infant stage where the child slowly begins losing his reflexes and learns things to do. The baby will be able to support his head when he lies on his stomach.

When in the first three months, the baby will try to follow the objects which he or she finds moving. The baby can make unintelligible sounds like babbles and coos from its mouth. He will smile at familiar people and especially its parents. The baby will enjoy playing with people at this stage.

During fourth to eighth months, the baby will learn to catch objects in its hands. Other motor movements which the baby will learn is rolling over and crawling. He will try to explore various objects and hence will put the objects like toys in his mouth.

From nineth month to twelfth month, the baby will be able to sit up. He will transfer objects from one hand to another. He will try to stand and walk once they master crawling. The baby will cry when his or her parents are out of sight. When he meets some stranger, he will cry.


The third stage of child development is the Toddler stage and it is between ages 1 and 3.

The child begins to walk without support at this stage. He can run, jump and play. He can throw a ball and climb stairs.

The child can hold small objects like pencil and scribble with it. He can talk a few sentences and can obey and follow some instructions. The child is eager to learn new things. He can even recognize songs and will try to join in.

He will try to put things in his mouth in order to understand what it is. So parents must be cautious now.

PreSchool Play Age

At this stage a child can walk in a straight line and can hop one on leg. If there are any obstacles in the way while running, the child can move around it easily.

Children will love to read and listen to stories at this age. He can hold crayon with three fingers and draw but will not be implement what is in his mind.

As far as social interaction goes, children will be friendly and enthusiastic most of the times. Tantrums will be commonplace. Children begin to start having ‘best friends’ or ‘play mates’

Middle Childhood

This stage starts typically at 6 years of age and ends at puberty. That is the middle childhood age is between 6 to 12 years old. At this age, children begin to ask many questions out of curiousity. They start taking responsibilities and take up some chores in the house and enjoy most of it.

Children learn to socialize with peers and teachers at school. Children learn to read, to count and to solve arithmetic problems. They also learn proper etiquettes and develop a conscience that is they are able to distinguish between good behaviour and bad behaviour.

Final Words

Since child development is seen almost at a same rate in most of the children the stages show milestones of growth and development of a child. If a child is not showing signs of growth and development according to various milestones, then it can be a cause of worry and parents may take a doctor’s advise.

Also Read:- Notes for B.Ed. Students


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