Growth & Development Milestones in Children

Growth refers to the increases in height and weight and other body changes that happen as a child matures.  Growth is an excellent indicator of the overall well-being of the child. Children do not grow at steady rates. In fact, there are two periods of rapid growth: infancy and adolescence. In infancy, the baby’s weight usually doubles by 4-5 months of age and triples by 1 year of age. Birth length increases by 50% at 1 year. The largest rate of growth of the head occurs during the first 2 months of age. A major growth spurt happens at the time of puberty, usually between 8 to 13 years of age in girls and 10 to 15 years in boys.  This growth spurt is associated with sexual development, which includes the appearance of pubic and underarm hair, the growth and development of sex organs, and in girls, the start of menstruation.

Each child grows differently, because growth is influenced by genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors.  The pediatrician will assess your child’s growth parameters at each checkup. The child’s age, gender, and measurements of weight, length or height and head circumference will be used to calculate all growth indicators. These measurements will be plotted on growth curves and compared with those of other kids the same age.

This valuable tool can help the doctor determine whether a child is growing at an appropriate rate or whether there might be problems such as undernutrition, obesity, and others.


Child development is a process that involves learning and mastering skills like sitting, walking, talking, skipping, and tying shoes. The skills are called child developmental milestones, and they are acquired by the child in a sequential fashion within a specific timeframe or block of time.

Child developmental milestones fall under 5 categories:

  1. Cognitive Development

    This reflects the child’s ability to learn and solve problems. For example, this includes a 4-month-old baby reaching for a toy with one hand, or a 4-year-old child learning some colors and numbers.

  2. Social and Emotional Development

    This is the child’s ability to interact with others, including helping themselves and self-control. Examples of this type of children/baby development would include: a 2-month-old baby smiling, a 10-month-old baby waving bye-bye.

  3. Speech and Language Development

    Examples include a 12-month-old baby saying his first words, a 2-year-old naming body parts, or a 5-year-old learning to say “feet” instead of “foots”.

  4. Fine Motor Skill Development

    This is the child’s ability to use small muscles, specifically their hands and fingers, to pick up small objects, hold a spoon at around 13 months of age, scribble at 15 months, or tie their shoelaces at 6 years.

  5. Gross Motor Skill Development

    This is the child’s ability to use large muscles. For example, a six-month-old baby learns how to sit up with some support, a 12-month-old baby learns to pull up to a stand holding onto furniture, and a 4-year-old hops on one foot.


It is important to remember that each child is unique and will develop at his or her own pace, which is why child development milestones are set at time intervals. In addition, children/baby growth development is affected by genetic factors and environmental cues, hence, is essential to give your child a lot of love and attention and to interact with them by taking, singing, reading to them and eating together.

Your pediatrician will assess these milestones at each well child visit and give you time to address your concerns.

To know more about baby growth stages or child development milestones, consult SHAMMA Clinic, child growth & development clinic in Dubai.

Our Clinic is A Unique Practice Of Highly Trained Professionals. Visit Our Doctors Section To Schedule An Appointment With The Doctor Of Your Choice.
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