Children go through distinct periods of development as they grow from newborns to young adults.
The Wonder Weeks was my favourite go to book as a first time parent. According to the book, babies go through 10 predictable ‘leaps’ in their cognitive development during the first 20 months of life. But what about after that… 🤷
Each age and stage through the years sees our children reach new milestones in their lives – physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, morally, culturally and spiritually.
It’s important to remember though, every child grows and develops differently, doing things at their own pace.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.”
Ages & Stages Through the Years
According to the Child Development Institute, ‘Ages and Stages’ is a term used to outline significant periods in the human development timeline. During each stage, growth and development occur in the primary developmental domains, including physical, intellectual, language and social-emotional.
We’ve briefly outlined the ages and stages below, as they relate to us here in NSW:
Newborns (0-3 months)
Begin to discover who this new person is. Develop bonds with your newborn that will last a lifetime.
Each child is unique, and it is imperative as parents, we learn to understand, respect, support and encourage the unique characteristics and abilities of each child.
Babies (3-12 months)
Raising a baby, especially for the first time, is both exciting and challenging.
Seeing the world through their senses, babies gather information through touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. They take great pleasure in discovering what they can do with their voice, hands, feet, and toes.
Toddlers (1-3 years)
Toddlers are now free to roam around their world.
It’s also a time of rapid physical and intellectual development.
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Preschoolers are learning to interact socially, and to use language as a means of connecting with others.
Routines and rituals are grounding and offer a sense of predictability.
According to Emerging Minds, children’s thinking at this stage is magical rather than logical. Expressing their feelings through play.
Kindy Kids (5-6 years)
The first year of school in NSW is called Kindergarten, or Kindy.
NSW kids are able to start school on the first day of first term, as long as they turn 5 on or before July 31 of that year.
Primary Schoolers (6-12 years)
All NSW children must be enrolled in a primary school in the year they turn 6, or be registered for homeschooling by their 6th birthday.
Tweens (9-12 years)
According to Verywell Family, a Tween is a child between the ages of 9 and 12. A Tween is no longer a little child, but not quite a Teenager. They are in between the two age groups and their behaviour and emotions reflect that.
Teens (13-19 years)
The teenage years are also called adolescence. A time for growth spurts and puberty-related changes.
Transitioning between childhood and adulthood. It includes some big changes – to the body, and to the way a young person relates to the world.
High Schoolers (12-18 years)
High School in NSW (also known as Secondary School) runs from Year 7 to Year 12.
Children in NSW usually begin High School at around 12 years of age.