Early Childhood Development

early experiences

Why is early childhood development important?

The early years of a child are very important for their growth and development.  The Centers for Disease Control explains healthy development as children of all abilities, including those with special health care needs, are able to grow up where their social, emotional and educational needs are met.

What are developmental milestones?

Children go through stages in their lives and reach milestones that mark their development along the way.  Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving "bye bye" are called developmental milestones. They reach these milestones through how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (crawling, walking, etc.).  To learn more about each early childhood development milestone, click here

How can I see if my child is developing at a healthy rate?

The Cudahy Health Department is pleased to offer a screening tool to help you see how your child is developing in important areas, such as communication, physical ability, social skills, and problem-solving. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that ALL children, regardless of concern, are screened using a standardized, validated developmental screening tool.  Please take a few minutes to compelte the Ages and Stages Questionnaire .

small-baby-blkPositive Parenting Tips

  • Talk to your baby. She will find your voice calming.
  • Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words. 
  • This will help him learn to use language.
  • Read to your baby. This will help her develop and understand language and sounds.
  • Sing to your baby and play music. This will help your baby develop a love for music and will help his brain development.
  • Praise your baby and give her lots of loving attention.
  • Spend time cuddling and holding your baby. This will help him feel cared for and secure.
  • Play with your baby when she’s alert and relaxed. Watch your baby closely for signs of being tired or fussy so that she can take a break from playing.
  • Distract your baby with toys and move him to safe areas when he starts moving and touching things that he shouldn’t touch.
  • Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Parenting can be hard work! It is easier to enjoy your new baby and be a positive, loving parent when you are feeling good yourself.