The following report describes the different physical, intellectual, emotional and social developments at each life stage. The following explains what could/should happen at each stage of Chelsea O’Mahony’s life equally it could happen to any individual.
Immediately upon conception, cellular development begins.
In the first month of pregnancy head and trunk appear and tiny arm buds begin to form, followed by leg buds. The early embryo seems to have a "tail", but this is really a protective covering for the spinal cord because the central nervous system (brain, spine and spinal cord) is so important. At this point of development the structures that eventually form the face and neck are becoming evident. The heart and blood vessels continue to develop. A home pregnancy test would now appear positive. By the second month the heart is functioning. Eyes, nose, lips, tongue, ears and teeth begin to form. In the third month of pregnancy a baby will develop a recognizable form. Arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes are fully formed. Now the baby will have developed most organs and tissues. The foetus is now around 6cm long. By the fourth month of pregnancy fingers and toes are well defined and the baby’s gender is identifiable. The heart and blood vessels are now fully formed, so is the baby’s urinary system. At month five eyebrows, eyelids and eyelashes appear. Internal organs are maturing. Soft wooly hair called lanugo covers the baby’s body and hair begins to grow on the head. Nerves in brain start to develop. By the sixth month the baby will begin to part and open their eyes for short periods of time. Also the skin is covered with a protective coating called vernix. Lungs are now fully developed therefore the baby will now breath air instead of amniotic fluid. At this point baby also becomes more active. Inner ear is now fully formed which means a baby will be able to hear. In the seventh month skin is wrinkled and red, fat layers and taste buds are forming. Overall growth is rapid in month eight. Most organs are now fully developed, excluding the lungs. Brain growth is also huge at this time. Skin is less wrinkled at this point. In the ninth month of pregnancy the skin is pink and smooth and the lungs are now fully matured.
Birth and infancy… (0 - 3 years)
A baby’s physical development begins at the neck downwards which means a baby will be able to control their neck and head movements before they are able to control the movement of their arms and legs. During the first month of a baby’s life a baby may grow between 1-1.5 inches and gain between 4-8 ounces in weight (although it is normal for some babies to loose some weight straight after birth). At 3 months a baby will respond with physical movements and facial reactions (e.g. smiling) when spoken to. By 5 months a baby’s weight will have doubled since birth. At around 7-9 months a baby will be able to sit independently and crawl. Between 10-12 months a baby will have control of his legs and feet, can stand and use thumb and forefinger together. By 12-18 months a baby/toddler should be able to walk for short amounts of time and get upstairs. Also they will be able to ‘draw’. Between 18-24 months a child will be able to run and should become aware of when to use the toilet, at this stage they should begin to be potty trained even if not successful yet. At 2 ½ years old a child should be able to run more smoothly, climb on/off play equipment, self-feed using a spoon and drink from a cup, softly kick a large ball though often not in intended direction and can undress himself but cannot dress himself yet. By 3 years a child should begin trying to walk up and down stairs instead of crawling; he can pedal a toy such as a bike, can throw a ball and attempt to catch one with both hands and is learning to self-feed with a knife and fork.
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