Pattern of Development in Early Childhood
Growth during early childhood proceeds at a slow rate as compared with the rapid rate of growth in babyhood.
The average annual increase in height is 3 inches. By the age of six, the average child measures 46.6 inches.
The average annual increase in weight is around 2-3 kgms. At age six, children should weigh approximately 7 times as much as they did at birth.
Average girl weighs 25-30 kgms. Average Boy weighs 30-32 kgms.
Body proportions change markedly.
'Baby look' disappears.
Facial features remain small, but chin becomes more pronounced.
Gradual decrease in stockiness of the trunk.
Body tends to become cone shaped with flattened abdomen.
Chest becomes broader and flatter.
Arms and legs strengthen.
Hands and feet grow bigger.
Some children have an endomorphic or flabby, fat body build. Some have mesomorphic or sturdy muscular body build and some have endomorphic or relatively thin body build.
The bones calcify at different rates in different parts of the body.
The muscles become larger, stronger and heavier, with the result that children look thinner as early childhood progresses, even though they weigh more.
Endomorphy - more adipose than muscular tissue. Mesomorphy - have more muscular than adipose tissue. Ectomorphy - have both small muscles and little adipose tissue.
In the first 4 to 6 months of early childhood the last four baby teeth erupts till the back molars. In the last half year of early childhood the baby teeth begins to be replaced by permanent teeth. The first to come out are the front central incisors, the first baby teeth to appear. When early childhood ends the child has one or two permanent teeth in front and some gaps where permanent teeth will eventually erupt.
Physiological Habits - Habits laid in babyhood becomes well established. Children no longer need specially prepared food, fall into regular meal pattern. Depending on their activities their sleep pattern will change. Bowel and bladder control is well established. Hand skills and leg skills are improved. They start eating on their own, brush their teeth & bathe and dress themselves. Similarly, they are able to hop, skip, jump, climb, swim, cycle, balance and dance.
Improvement in Speech - Learning to speak is an essential tool in socialization and in achieving independence. So there is a strong motivation to learn to speak. The way they pick up speech, the words used, pronunciation etc depends on time spent by family members and encouragement given and the contact with peer groups.