Infants grow at a very rapid rate during the first one and a half years of life.Their development is not only physical, it is also mental, emotionally, andsocial. These developments are the blue prints for further development in life.

During development, there are three basic developmental laws. The first one isthe babys development in the head region, followed by the upper body,followed by the trunk portion, and lastly the legs and feet. For example, a babycan hold up their heads first before they can grab an object with their hand.

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The second law is the babys motor skills. Motor skills are the childsability to control movement. There are two basic types of motor skills; they arelarge motor skills and fine motor skills. Large motor skills deal with all thelarge muscles, fine motor skills deal with smaller muscles in the body. The 3rddevelopmental law is Brain development. As the brain develops, a child respondsmore and more to sight and sound.

Babies are born having some sort of reflexesin order for them to adapt to their surroundings. In the first 2 weeks afterbirth, infants develop some new reflexes. Babies begin to explore their graspingreflex where they can hold tightly to an object. A lot of these behaviors areimportant for a childs survival, without these a child would not be able tophysically develop.

The absence of reflexes in a newborn is signals of possibleproblems in brain development. A babys attention span is very limited. In thefirst two months, they can only focus on an edge of an object, however by theend of the 2nd month they can see a whole object. Newborns can hear soft voicesas well as loud voices and can also notice differences between different soundsthat are made. When babies hear someone talking they are inclined to open theireyes wider and look for the speaker.

Infants love the sounds of children sincetheir voices are in a high pitch. This is why they like to hear babytalk Cognitive thinking development is the reasoning and logic of aninfant. The first 18 months of development is the sensory motor. In this stageinfants develop basic units of knowledge.

During this stage infants can formthese units only when objects are present. They cannot think about missingobjects because they cant act on them. When a very young infant sees anabject and then looks away, the infant thinks the object is no longer there.They do not have the concept of knowing its there, if its out of sight.Infants will begin to develop the idea of permanent objects at around 4 months.Also, at this part of life they are beginning to learn that a disappearingobject can still exist. Infants between 4- 8 months will follow a moving objectwith their eyes until it has vanished, but they dont search for it.

Fromabout 8-12 months infants for the first time will search manually for an objectthat disappears out of their sight. Social and emotional teaching is animportant concept for parents to be aware of. A nurturing environment can buildtrails that encourage emotional stability, while repeated stress may causeproblems further in development. Infants learn from the people around them themost. Infants learn how to handle a situation through what other people aredoing.

During the first hour after birth an emotional tie begins. From an earlyage infants are alert to the people around them. They prefer to look at childrenand at attractive faces.

Infants also communicate through their feelings bycrying and screaming. From 0-4 months babies show the majority of their emotionsthrough crying. Also they can communicate that they want to be alone by turningaway and sucking their thumbs. A baby that smiles and is looking around isgenerally showing signs that they want to interact with others. Not respondingto an infants emotional sign can slow down their social development.

Itsat this point that they also develop a sense of trust. This strong sense oftrust establishes their trust for a lifetime. Without this a baby may haveproblems communicating with others later on in their development. Often at 5through 7 months infants develop a sense of fear or shyness of strangers, whichis completely naturally. Infants at this age will sometimes cling to theirparents and will not want to be touched by people who they see as beingunfamiliar. From 0-4 months babies show the majority of their emotions throughcrying.

They have many cries in which they show different emotions. From 4-8months infants begin to express a wider range of emotions. Pleasure, happiness,fear, and frustration are shown through gurgles, cools, and wails. They alsoshow movements such as kicking, arm waving, rocking and smiling. From 8-18months they develop a sense of self. They begin to recognize their image in amirror and start to become more and more independent. Babies at this stage havea wide range of emotional states.

One minute they could be happy and playing andthe next minute they could be kicking and screaming. Moral development beginsearly in an infants life. Moral develop depends on the type of training andattention an infant gets through its parents. If they are disciplinedearly enough in age they will grow up knowing things that are right and wrong.

If a parent ignores a child and lets them think that the bad things are ok todo, they grow up having no morals taught through their parents. Children mostlikely will first learn to respond to the words such as “no” and “hot”.There are 3 stages to moral development.

These are preconventional,conventional, and postconventional. Moral development begins withpreconventional thinking, which children obey in order to avoid punishment. Whatdetermines a childs position in these stages is weather or not they choosewhat they have done is right or wrong. Speech development beings within thefirst week after birth. A childs first form of communication is crying.Crying is a babys way of usually saying that they are hungry, tired, or needtheir diaper changed.

By 3 months babies begin all the gurgles and “woos”.This is the beginning of their development of vowel sounds. By the age of 5 to 6months most babies will begin to babble and may even slip out the words”ma”, or “da.” Although a baby might say these words, they cant tiethem to a certain person. 10-15 months toddlers can understand a few more words.Names and objects that they hear often are the most easily understood. The mostcommon of these words are mama, dada, cookie, doggy, and car.

At this stage incommunication babies also learn inflection, which is raising your voice whenasking a question. At 18-24 months their vocabulary has increased and toddlersare most likely to repeat any word they hear. Their vocabulary may include asmany as 200 words or more. From this stage on they begin to put words togetherand can eventually speak a sentence. There are many factors that also contributeto the development of a child. Many things can slow down the development such aslow birth weight, being premature and drug use.

Birth weight is an importantfactor associated with an infants overall development and health. Childrenwho were born under 5 ½ pounds are more likely to have serious medicalproblems and to also have developmental delays. A babys development is veryimportant for a strong healthy lifeBibliographyPsychology an Introduction (6th edition) Jerome Kagan and Julius SegalPublishers-Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich Copyright-1988 Exploring Psychology(2nd edition) Richard O.

Straub Publisher-Worth Copyright-1990

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