People often say that it’s hard to know when your child has become fully developed. While we can all agree that there are some general rules of thumb, such as stopping breastfeeding at age one or potty training by three, it can still be tough to tell when certain milestones have been achieved. Whether you’re planning on having another child soon or are simply curious about your own child’s development, here are some signs your child is fully developed and ready to start learning about the world around them
1) If your kid wants to dress themselves, they’re ready
When you’re a baby, being dressed can be pretty boring. But once you hit toddlerhood, putting on your own outfit can feel like a pretty big deal. While there isn’t an official rule book for when to give up help with dressing, it’s usually okay to let go of buttons and zippers once your little one starts getting annoyed. Then again, some kids are fully ready to dress themselves right at birth!
2) When they can ask questions in complete sentences
A child that is able to form complete sentences and ask questions in full thoughts will be ready for school. When your child starts talking in full sentences, it shows they are capable of comprehending and communicating. Talking to someone helps them better understand what’s happening around them, which means they’ll be more interested in learning how to read books on their own.
3) When they are able to hold an intelligent conversation
By 6 months, a child should have learned to coo, gurgle and say a handful of words. You can help speed up their development by speaking to them and responding directly when they talk or make noise. If you hold face-to-face conversations with your infant throughout their first few years, they’ll learn to communicate with you. At around 18 months of age, kids are talking full sentences and are ready for preschool!
4) When they seem more thoughtful
As infants, it’s normal for babies to cry a lot—that’s how they communicate that they need something. But at some point in their first year, as they start to understand language and our world more, they become better communicators. And while it might seem alarming when your baby suddenly stops crying (what if something is wrong?), take comfort in knowing that their silence could indicate a big leap forward: The ability to fully interact with their environment!
5) Are able to do two things at once
Being able to focus on a task at hand and doing something else isn’t an easy feat for most little ones. That’s why a child who can handle more than one task at once usually has developed more advanced fine motor skills. The idea of mastering another skill may not be as exciting as crawling, walking or talking, but being able to do two things in unison shows your child has taken big steps toward independence.
6) Have a desire for independence
One of the most important milestones your baby will reach during their first year is having a desire for independence. This means that you’ll soon be able to take them out without them screaming for you to pick them up. Babies at about nine months old begin to develop a sense of themselves as an individual. They will show interest in other people and what they are doing, plus they’ll start to have strong opinions about their likes and dislikes.
7) Can follow directions from their peers
Is your baby able to follow directions from their peers? It might be time to let go if they can’t keep up with instructions from a sibling or other family member. Doing so will help your infant make friends more easily, plus it’s a good gauge of their level of maturity. If they can’t follow direction, then you’re doing yourself and them a disservice by holding on too long.