Infant and Child Stages of Development

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Infant Stages of Development
Bonnie Woolson-Smith
ECE332: Child Development
Instructor Cindy Combs
July 16, 2011

“For infants and toddlers learning and living is the same thing. If they feel secure, treasured, loved, their own energy and curiosity will bring them new understanding and new skills” ( There are many factors that contribute to an infant or toddler’s development; these characteristics are known as milestones. “Milestones are punctuations in a baby's growth and development. Milestones of physical development proceed from head to toe. Hence, the child first learns to control his head, then his body, arms and then legs. These milestones provide a guide to parents telling them what to expect and when to expect it.” ( Physical development in Infants starts right at birth. Infants cannot control their body movements. Most of their movements are called reflexes. Their nervous system is not entirely developed. During the first months, infants can see clearly objects that are about 10 inches away from their faces. This is why holding baby close and looking at them face to face is important with bonding. By six months, their vision is more fully developed. By four months, most babies have some control of their muscles and nervous system. They can sit with support, hold their head up for short periods of time, and can roll from their side to their stomach. By five months, most babies can roll over ( The next characteristic of infant development is social and emotional. . Babies cry to express anger, pain and hunger. It is their way of communicating. They begin to build trust as their parents or caregivers meet their needs. These needs can be met by feeding them when they are hungry, changing their diaper, and holding and comforting them when they cry. Infants smile in response to an enjoyable sound or when their tummy is full. “At...
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