Physical Development in Early Childhood the Ultimate Guide

Physical development in early childhood simply means the growth and strengthening of a child’s body. This includes the development of motor skills (like running and drawing) as part of holistic development.

It also involves improvements in coordination, balance, and overall physical health.

Still not clear? Let me explain, during early childhood, children grow quickly and their bodies change significantly. Like,

Toddlers (ages 2-3) have large heads and short limbs, but by age 5, their bodies become more proportionate. By age 3, they usually have all their baby teeth, and by age 4, their vision is fully developed. So, it needs to develop in a proper way with proper skills.

There are several key areas of physical development in kids,

  1. Gross Motor Skills
  2. Fine Motor Skills
  3. Coordination and Balance
  4. Physical Health

Do you know Why physical development is Important?

There are certain reasons that make it needed for every child like,

It supports physical health by strengthening bones, muscles, and organs like the heart and lungs while also improving coordination and muscle control.

Additionally, engaging in physical activity can boost mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Like old says, “A healthy mind lives in a healthy body”

It also aids cognitive development by helping children learn about objects and their abilities through movement, potentially improving skills like language and problem-solving.

Furthermore, starting healthy habits early, like moving around and eating right, sets the stage for a healthier life later on.

Track Your Child’s Physical Development with Milestones

Keeping an eye on how your child grows from babyhood to early school years can help you understand how they’re doing and how healthy they are.

As they grow older, children will develop in many ways. Let me give you a general idea about development with agewise (Born to 8-year-old kids).

Infants (Birth – 12 months)

  • Babies experience rapid growth in size, with weight typically increasing from 6 to 9 pounds at birth to around 24 pounds by 18 months.
  • Height also increases significantly during this period.
  • Infants learn to hold up their heads, reach for objects, grasp toys, and develop hand-eye coordination.
  • Around 1 year old, they may start walking with support.

Toddlers (1 – 2 years)

  • Toddlers are constantly in motion, engaging in activities like jumping, throwing, running, and climbing.
  • They build upon basic motor skills learned in infancy and do more complex movements.

Preschoolers (3 – 5 years)

Physical development in preschoolers is quite remarkable, so I divide it into agewise here for you to better understand,

Age 3:

  • Climbs well.
  • Runs easily.
  • Walks downstairs with assistance.
  • Washes hands with help.

Age 4:

  • Climbs confidently.
  • Runs with coordination.
  • Pedals a tricycle.
  • Pours and cuts with assistance.

Age 5:

  • Climbs & Runs confidently.
  • Pedals a tricycle skillfully.
  • Walks downstairs & washes hands independently.
  • Hops and stands on one foot for 10 seconds.
  • Catches and bounces a ball with improved hand-eye coordination.

Kindergarteners (5 – 6 years)

  • Better coordination.
  • Improved balance.
  • Increased strength.
  • Play sports and structured activities.
  • Learn fundamental movement skills through play.

Elementary Schoolers (6 – 8 years)

  • Keep growing, learning, and making friends.
  • Try different sports and activities.
  • Want to be good at what they do.
  • Practice to get better at moving their bodies in different ways.

These milestones are based on a child’s skills, but still one important point that needs to be checked for physical development is the “Height to Weight Ratio”.

No worry, I have covered just keep scrolling!

Height to Weight Ratio for Child Physical Development

Here’s the height-to-weight ratio data in table format:

Infants (Birth – 12 months):

BirthWeight7 lb 8 oz (3.4 kg)7 lb 1 oz (3.2 kg)
Length19.7 inches (49.9 cm)19.4 inches (49.2 cm)
1 monthWeight9.15 lb (4.15 kg)8.7 lb (3.95 kg)
Length21.5 inches (54.6 cm)21 inches (53.3 cm)
2 monthsWeight10.5 lb (4.76 kg)10 lb (4.54 kg)
Length23 inches (58.4 cm)22.5 inches (57.2 cm)
3 monthsWeight12 lb (5.44 kg)11.5 lb (5.22 kg)
Length24.25 inches (61.6 cm)23.25 inches (59.1 cm)
4 monthsWeight13 lb 5 oz (6.04 kg)12 lb 6 oz (5.62 kg)
Length25.25 inches (64.1 cm)24.25 inches (61.6 cm)
5 monthsWeight15 lb (6.8 kg)14 lb 3 oz (6.44 kg)
Length26.25 inches (66.7 cm)25.25 inches (64.1 cm)
6 monthsWeight16 lb 5 oz (7.39 kg)15 lb 4 oz (6.94 kg)
Length27 inches (68.6 cm)26.25 inches (66.7 cm)
7 monthsWeight17 lb 8 oz (7.93 kg)16 lb 8 oz (7.48 kg)
Length27.75 inches (70.5 cm)27 inches (68.6 cm)
8 monthsWeight18 lb 2 oz (8.22 kg)17 lb 2 oz (7.76 kg)
Length28.5 inches (72.4 cm)27.75 inches (70.5 cm)
9 monthsWeight18 lb 11 oz (8.52 kg)17 lb 11 oz (8.11 kg)
Length29 inches (73.7 cm)28.25 inches (71.8 cm)
10 monthsWeight19 lb 4 oz (8.73 kg)18 lb 2 oz (8.22 kg)
Length29.5 inches (74.9 cm)28.75 inches (73 cm)
11 monthsWeight19 lb 10 oz (8.94 kg)18 lb 10 oz (8.51 kg)
Length30 inches (76.2 cm)29 inches (73.7 cm)
12 monthsWeight20 lb 6 oz (9.25 kg)19 lb 4 oz (8.73 kg)
Length30.5 inches (77.5 cm)29.5 inches (74.9 cm)

Toddlers (1 – 2 years):

1 yearWeight20 lb 6 oz (9.25 kg)19 lb 4 oz (8.73 kg)
Height30.5 inches (77.5 cm)29.5 inches (74.9 cm)
2 yearsWeight28.4 lb (12.9 kg)27.5 lb (12.5 kg)
Height35.75 inches (90.8 cm)35 inches (88.9 cm)

Preschoolers (3 – 5 years):

3 yearsWeight32 lb 2 oz (14.55 kg)31 lb 4 oz (14.18 kg)
Height38.75 inches (98.4 cm)37.5 inches (95.3 cm)
4 yearsWeight35.6 lb (16.2 kg)34.6 lb (15.7 kg)
Height41.5 inches (105.4 cm)40.75 inches (103.5 cm)
5 yearsWeight40.8 lb (18.5 kg)39.9 lb (18.1 kg)
Height43.75 inches (111.1 cm)43.25 inches (109.9 cm)

Kindergarteners (5 – 6 years):

6 yearsWeight46.7 lb (21.2 kg)45.2 lb (20.5 kg)
Height46.75 inches (118.7 cm)46.5 inches (118.1 cm)

Elementary Schoolers (6 – 8 years):

7 yearsWeight52.4 lb (23.8 kg)50.6 lb (22.9 kg)
Height50.5 inches (128.3 cm)50 inches (127 cm)
8 yearsWeight57.8 lb (26.2 kg)56.6 lb (25.7 kg)
Height52.75 inches (134 cm)52.25 inches (132.7 cm)

Note: The above data is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), its general data based on research. So, there is always some variation at some point.

I hope you track your child’s physical development with the above information..Now, let’s get to the point.

There are many points that your child might be lacking or doesn’t follow the ideal development. It’s just natural because everyone has their own situation, and based on that, they live life for that certain period as best as they can.

But some general problems they can fix with certain ways, so let’s know about issue with physical development.

Common Physical Development Concerns for Children

There are many issues that kids face at a young age… Let me tell you about some common worries parents might have about their child’s growth:

Late to Learn New Skills:

Some kids take longer to learn skills like sitting, crawling, or walking. This is okay!

It could be because of how they’re growing or just their own pace.

Strange Growth Patterns:

Sometimes, kids might grow too slowly or too fast, or gain too much weight.

This can be because of different reasons like not eating enough healthy foods or having a health issue.

Hard Time Doing Physical Things:

Kids might have trouble with things like catching a ball, riding a bike, or running.

This could be because their muscles or balance aren’t as strong as other kids.

Feeling Bad About Their Bodies:

As kids get older, they might start worrying about how they look compared to others.

Did you know? Three out of four 12-year-olds don’t like their bodies.
Feeling unhappy with their body and wanting to be thin can make kids feel sad or anxious, especially if they don’t look like what society says is “perfect.”
Source: Body Image in Childhood

Weird Changes During Puberty:

When kids start puberty, their bodies go through lots of changes, like growing taller or getting pimples.

This can feel weird or embarrassing, but it’s all part of growing up.

Getting Teased or Left Out:

Sometimes, kids might feel left out or teased because of how they look or what they can do physically.

How Parents Can Help with Kids’ Physical Challenges

Parents can play a significant role in helping their children overcome common physical development concerns. Here are some simple solutions they can implement:

Encouragement and Patience:

Encourage your child to keep trying and practicing new skills, like crawling or riding a bike.

Celebrate their efforts and progress, no matter how small. Patience is key as every child develops at their own pace.

Healthy Eating Habits:

Provide nutritious meals and snacks to support your child’s growth and development.

You can make your kids have a nutrition-rich and balanced diet by consuming a variety of food from the five food groups to ensure they are getting the six essential nutrients to meet their dietary needs. 

Limit sugary and processed foods that can affect their weight and overall health.

Regular Physical Activity:

Engage your child in regular physical activities that promote strength, coordination, and balance.

Encourage outdoor play, sports, or active games that they enjoy. This can help improve their motor skills and confidence.

A research study says, “Moving around a lot helps kids get stronger, control their weight, and feel happier. It also lowers their chances of getting sick with things like heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.”
Source: Physical Activity Facts

Open Communication:

Create a safe and open environment for your child to express any concerns or worries they may have about their physical development.

Listen attentively and provide reassurance and support.

Positive Body Image:

Promote a positive body image by focusing on your child’s strengths and abilities beyond physical appearance.

Avoid making negative comments about their body or comparing them to others. Teach them to appreciate and celebrate their uniqueness.

Seek Professional Guidance:

If you notice persistent issues with your child’s physical development, such as delays or unusual growth patterns, consult with their pediatrician or healthcare provider.

They can assess the situation and provide appropriate guidance or referrals to specialists if needed.

Promote Social Connections:

Encourage your child to build friendships with peers who accept and support them.

Help them develop social skills and coping strategies to deal with teasing or bullying related to their physical appearance or abilities.

Sufficient Rest

Sufficient sleep and rest are necessary for kids to reset their bodies and minds to function better the next day with more energy levels. 

You can ensure that your kids receive adequate amounts of sleep and rest by encouraging kids to follow a bedtime schedule, avoid television or phone screens an hour before, and so on to promote healthy sleeping habits and patterns.


Physical development is necessary for kids to remain healthy, maintain an active lifestyle, and perform gross and fine motor skills that are essential for everyday movements and tasks. 

It also contributes to the overall well-being and quality of life as kids adopt healthy habits, like consuming nutritious food, following a proper sleeping pattern, and consistently engaging in exercises, sports, and play. 

I hope this detailed guide 📑 on physical development in early childhood of kids was informative and beneficial for you to understand the topic better to help your kids with physical development for a better future. 😁

Physical Development In Early Childhood
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