Child development stages


Image Caption : External Genitalia of a Newborn Female : Medical visualization of female external genitalia at birth, lithotomy view. Visible are the clitoris, labia majora and minora, external urethral orifice, vaginal orifice, and anus.

Fetal Health and Development

A normal pregnancy lasts nine months. Each three-month period of pregnancy is called a trimester. During each trimester, the fetus grows and develops. There are specific prenatal tests to monitor both the mother's health and fetal health during each trimester.

With modern technology, health professionals can

  • Detect birth defects
  • Identify problems that may affect childbirth
  • Correct some kinds of fetal problems before the baby is born

Prenatal Testing

Prenatal testing provides information about your baby's health before he or she is born. Some routine tests during pregnancy also check on your health. At your first prenatal visit, your healthcare provider will test for a number of things, including problems with your blood, signs of infections, and whether you are immune to rubella (German measles) and chickenpox.

Throughout your pregnancy, your healthcare provider may suggest a number of other tests, too. Some tests are suggested for all women, such as screenings for gestational diabetes, Down syndrome, and HIV. Other tests might be offered based on your:

  • Age
  • Personal or family health history
  • Ethnic background
  • Results of routine tests

Some tests are screening tests. They detect risks for or signs of possible health problems in you or your baby. Based on screening test results, your doctor might suggest diagnostic tests. Diagnostic tests confirm or rule out health problems in you or your baby.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Child development stages are the theoretical milestones of child development, some of which are asserted in nativist theories. This article discusses the most widely accepted developmental stages. There exists a wide variation in terms of what is considered "normal," caused by variation in genetic, cognitive, physical, family, cultural, nutritional, educational, and environmental factors. Many children reach some or most of these milestones at different times from the norm.

Holistic development sees the child in the round, as a whole person - physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, morally, culturally and spiritually. Learning about child development involves studying patterns of growth and development, from which guidelines for 'normal' development are drawn up. Developmental norms are sometimes called milestones - they define the recognised pattern of development that children are expected to follow. Each child develops in a unique way; however, using norms helps in understanding these general patterns of development while recognising the wide variation between individuals. This page talks mostly about the linguistic development of a child.

One way to identify pervasive developmental disorders is if infants fail to meet the development milestones in time or at all.



The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.