Physical Development Throughout the Stages

Topic: Pediatrics
Words: 672 Pages: 2

Research into child development has established that children develop following certain patterns. These patterns include specific physical and cognitive changes, as well as the enhancement of motor skills. Moreover, although heredity provides background for some of the predispositions of children in terms of their development, nurture also plays a vital role in supporting proper growth. Caregivers should understand the different stages of development that children go through to ensure that the child develops the necessary motor skills and grows properly.

Physical growth in infants begins at the top, with the head and neck. Newborn has a very tough time holding their head up at birth since their neck muscles are not developed enough to support them. The desire to master movement, balance, and fine- and gross motor abilities in newborns and toddlers persists as they get older (Berk & Meyers, 2015). Infants roll over and crawl as they learn to use their major muscle groups. The ability to grasp and pick up objects with the fingers indicates the development of tiny muscles, which is the primary motor development change at this age.

The ground-breaking Minnesota twin study from 1990 revealed that psychological and general IQ differences are influenced by hereditary variables because identical twins raised separately had similar traits to identical twins raised together (“Nature vs. Nurture,” n.d.). Some traits are predetermined in children through nature. Without a doubt, genes influence whether your child is extroverted, easily frustrated, or composed. However, parenting also has an influence on how children develop during toddlerhood and later in life.

Early childhood, or preschool, spans the ages of 2 to 6. Preschoolers experience rapid physical and cognitive growth, similar to that of newborns and toddlers. The abrupt transformation of a short, fat toddler who barely speaks into a taller, thinner child who talks nonstop (Berk & Meyers, 2015). The fact that development is integrated becomes especially clear during early childhood: The biological, psychological, and social changes taking place during this period and throughout the rest of the life span are interrelated.

Early childhood is a time of development and refinement for both gross and fine motor skills; however, preschoolers develop fine motor skills more slowly. For instance, if a 2-year-old’s running capabilities are compared to those of a 6-year-old, it may be apparent that the 2-year-old has less developed running ability (Berk & Meyers, 2015). However, when contrasting a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old who are tying shoelaces, the disparities are even more evident. Before starting or finishing the work, the 2-year-old finds it challenging to understand the notion.

Children’s stamina, motor abilities, and muscle strength improve during middle childhood. Children develop the motor abilities required to carry out intricate motions, enabling them to participate in various physical activities. By two years after menarche, most physical development in females is finished. About two years later than females, boys start puberty. Boys and girls develop their bodies similarly in terms of height, weight, strength, endurance, and motor skill development before puberty. Boys and girls can thus engage in physical activity on an equal level into middle childhood (Berk & Meyers, 2015). Late-maturing children typically have longer limbs than other children and frequently grow taller than other children due to their prolonged prepubertal growth stage.

Adolescence is the developmental stage that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. It is a period for healthy identity exploration and the acquisition of independence. This period is marked by children going through puberty. Adolescents’ gross motor abilities, in particular, are still becoming better. Over the course of puberty, boys quickly develop their physical strength, jumping ability, throwing ability, and endurance.

In summary, the many stages of child development should be understood by caregivers. Preschoolers grow quickly in both their physical and mental development, much like infants and toddlers do. While nature predetermines some qualities in children, nurture also plays a critical part in promoting healthy development. During middle childhood, children’s endurance, motor skills, and muscle strength all get better. Adolescents go through the period of puberty, which marks their full physical development.


Berk, L. & Meyers, A. (2015). Infants, children, and adolescents (8th ed.). Pearson.

Nature vs. Nurture child development: Exploring key differences. (n.d.).

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