When our lovely little children are born into the world, they depend on us for their every need. We watch them grow and eventually they are able to do more and more for themselves. They learn to hold their bottles, sit up, reach for things they want, and hold utensils for feeding. Next, we watch them begin to move around their environment by scooting, crawling, and too soon sometimes walking. Walking opens up an entirely new world to your toddlers, full of opportunities to be independent.
It is not until those preschool years that we usually see children wanting to do more for themselves. They might object to the clothes you pick out for them, want to brush their own teeth, or go to the bathroom without help from you. This new found journey for independence can be unnerving for parents, but is essential for personal and social development.
Around the ages of three or four, most self-care skills become apparent, but becoming an expert at them may take much longer. If your child has a disability, these milestones may take much longer.
Finger feeds dry cereal
Feeds self cracker using whole hand
2-2 ½ years
Scoops food using spoon with spilling
2-2 ½ years
Spears and shovels food using fork with some spilling
Holds spoon appropriately with fingers
5-5 ½ years
Uses knife to cut soft foods and spread
1 ½ -2 years
Removes socks or unties shoes
2-2 ½ years
Removes pants with elastic waists and pulls over tops
Removes unfastened coat
3-3 ½ years
Puts on coat, shoes (can be wrong feet), socks, pullover garments, pulls up pants
Distinguishes front/back and clothes that are inside out, orients clothing and puts clothing on
Discriminates inside and outside of clothing and can fix if wrong
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