Infant Development

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Is my baby an infant?

Infants are babies from one month to one year old. Your baby will grow at an amazingly rapid rate during their first year of life not only physically, but also emotionally and psychologically.

What are the developmental milestones? 

Developmental milestones are easily identifiable skills that the baby can perform, such as rolling over, sitting up, and walking. These milestones are usually classified into three categories: motor development, language development, and social/emotional development.

Motor development in Infants 

Motor development refers to the development of a child’s bones, muscles and ability to move around and manipulate his or her environment. Initially, your baby’s movement will be more of reflex and uncontrolled but as he or she grows, they will learn how to move and to use their bodies to perform various tasks.

Your baby will;

  • Supports head and upper body when on stomach
  • Stretches out legs and kick when on stomach or back
  • Opens and shut hands
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • Grabs and shakes hand toys
  • Swipes and bats at dangling objects
  • Pushes down legs when on a flat surface
  • Follows moving objects with eyes
  • Turning their head to face the stimulus

Language development in Infants

As your brain continues to develop, they also develop the ability to communicate; to comprehend and produce spoken language. Babies learn language by taking in information through their senses of hearing and sight as they learn to process the meanings behind those sights and sounds. They use their mouths, tongues, and ears as they learn to mimic the sights and sounds of other people in order to create their own sounds and communications. In order to learn from their environment, babies need functional hearing abilities and a well-formed mouth, lips, vocal chords and tongue. They also need a well-formed brain, for it is the brain that provides for the baby’s instinct to mirror, copy and mimic facial expressions and movements they encounter. Any questions caretakers have about their baby’s ability to hear to use their mouths properly (in a mechanical sense), or to copy and mimic faces and sounds should be brought to the attention of the baby’s paediatrician as soon as possible so that any necessary therapy or treatment can be provided at the earliest possible time.

Your baby will,

  • Makes cooing sounds

Social and emotional development in infants

Emotional well-being during the early years has a powerful impact on social relationships as your child grows up, this part of development shapes how a child sees himself or herself, dictates who they become, and their understanding of the world. Children who are emotionally healthy are better able to establish and maintain positive relationships later in adulthood.

Your baby will;

  • Smiles at familiar faces
  • Enjoys playing with other people

Positive Parenting Tips

Following are some things you, as a parent, can do to help your baby develop properly during each phase of development.

  • Talk to your baby
  • Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words
  • Read to your baby
  • Sing to your baby and play music
  • Praise your baby and give her lots of loving attention
  • Spend time cuddling and holding your baby
  • Play with your baby when she’s alert and relaxed

References

  1. WebMD. Stages of Development. Accessed on 18th October 2018
  2. Emedicinehealth. Infant milestones. Accessed on 18th October 2018
  3. Mental help. Infancy Cognitive development. Accessed on 18th October 2018
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