Infant Development

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  • Topic: Primitive reflexes
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  • Published : April 6, 2012
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Assessment task – TDA 2.1 Child and young person development.

Task 1 Links to learning outcome 1, assessment criteria 1.1 and 1.2

Produce a display to include a timeline that will:
Describe the expected pattern of children and young people’s development from birth to 19 years, to include

* Physical development
* Communication and intellectual development
* Social, emotional and behavioural development

Physical development 0 – 3

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0-1 Months

Lies on their back with their head lying to one side. The head lags when being pulled up to sit.

Primitive reflexes =

Rooting - It assists in breastfeeding, disappearing at around four months of age as it gradually comes under voluntary control. A new born infant will turn his head toward anything that strokes his cheek or mouth, searching for the object by moving his head in steadily decreasing arcs until the object is found.

Sucking - The sucking reflex is common to all mammals and is present at birth. It is linked with the rooting reflex and breastfeeding, and causes the child to instinctively suck at anything that touches the roof of their mouth and suddenly starts to suck simulating the way they naturally eat.

There are two stages to the action:

Expression: Activated when the nipple is placed between a child's lips and touches their palate. They will instinctively press it between their tongue and palate to draw out the milk. Milking: The tongue moves from areola to nipple, coaxing milk from the mother to be swallowed by the child.

Walking or Stepping - The walking or stepping reflex is present at birth; though infants this young cannot support their own weight, when the soles of their feet touch a flat surface they will attempt to 'walk' by placing one foot in front of the other. This reflex disappears at 6 weeks due to an increased ratio of leg weight to strength. It reappears as a voluntary behaviour at around eight months to a year old.

Grasping - The palmar grasp reflex appears at birth and persists until five or six months of age. When an object is placed in the infant's hand and strokes their palm, the fingers will close and they will grasp it. The grip is strong but unpredictable; though it may be able to support the child's weight, they may also release their grip suddenly and without warning.

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1-2 Months

Their head control is still unsteady.
They clench their fists tightly.
Grasps objects that touch the palm of their hands.
Their eyes and head will move in unison.
Head circumference increases approximately 2 cm per month until two months, then increases 1.5 cm per month until four months. Head and chest circumference are nearly equal to the part of the abdomen.

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2-3 Months

Kicks legs and waves arms.
Lifts and turns head when lying on their front.
Watches the movement of their own hands.
Holds objects in their hands for a few seconds.
Head circumference increases approximately 1.5 cm per month until four months.

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3-4 Months

Can use arms for support when lying on their stomach.
Can turn to their side when lying on their back.
Holds onto and shakes small items.
Head circumference increases approximately 1 cm per month until six to seven months. Head and chest circumferences are basically equal.

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4-6 Months

Can sit up with support.
Rolls over.
Can push themselves up when lying on stomach.
Can pass items from one hand to another.
Teeth may begin to appear, with upper and lower incisors coming in first. Gums may become red and swollen, accompanied by increased drooling, chewing, biting, and mouthing of objects. Fat rolls ("Baby Fat") appear on thighs, upper arms and neck....
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