Infancy and Developmental Milestones

Reference:

Boyd, D. & Bee, H. (2006). Lifespan development (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.

1. What are the major milestones related to the physical development in infancy? Briefly describe these milestones. How are motor, sensory, and perceptual skills developed in infancy?

2. What are the major milestones related to the cognitive development in infancy? Briefly describe these milestones. What role does Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory play in understanding the cognitive development of infants?

3. What are the major milestones related to the socioemotional development in infancy? Briefly describe these milestones. How do social contexts affect the development of an infant? Provide an example in your response.

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...adult levels by 1 year. Infants see green and red at birth, all colors by 2 months. They prefer patterns at birth; face scanning improves by 2 months. Depth perception is developed by 7-8 months, and visual expectations begin by 4 months and expect gravity by 6-8 months. Other perceptions: Size constancy is the recognition that objects remains the same even though the retinal image changes. Shape constancy is the infant's recognition that objects remain the same even though its orientation changes. (Santrock, 2007).

From birth to 3 months, a baby begins learning the basics of self-movement and begins to master the skills needed for hand-to-mouth coordination and holding objects. Most infants begin to:

? Raise head slightly when lying on stomach
? Hold head up for a few seconds, when supported
? Hold hand in a fist
? Lift head and chest, while lying on stomach
? Use sucking, grasping, and rooting (holding tongue to the roof of the mouth) reflexes
? Touch, pull, and tug own hands with fascination
? Repeat body movements, and enjoy doing so

From 3 months to 6 months, babies are quickly becoming stronger and more agile. Most begin to:

? Roll over
? Push body forward and pull body up by grabbing the edge of a crib
? Reach for and touch objects
? Reach, grasp, and put objects in mouth
? Make discoveries with objects (for example, a rattle makes noise when it is moved)

From 6 months to 9 months, "child-proofing" becomes important as babies get more mobile. During this time most begin to:

? Crawl
? Grasp and pull things toward self
? Transfer objects between hands

From 9 to 12 months, most babies can:

? Sit without support
? Stand unaided
? Walk with aid
? Roll a ball
? Throw objects
? Pick things up with thumb and one finger
? Drop and pick up toys

By 1 year, walking and self-initiated movement become easier. Most children can:

? Walk alone
? Walk backwards
? Pick up toys from a standing position
? Push and pull objects
? Seat self in a child's chair
? Walk up and down stairs with aid
? Move to music
? Paint with whole arm movement

Balance improves and eye-hand coordination becomes more precise. From 1 to 2 years, most children can:

? Put rings on a peg
? Turn two or three pages at a time
? Scribble
? Turn knobs
? Grasp and hold a small ball; can use in combination with large motor skills to throw the ball
? Shift marker or any drawing or painting tool from hand to hand and draw strokes

Source: http://www.pbs.org/wholechild/abc/physical.html.

2. What are the major milestones related to the cognitive development in infancy? Briefly describe these milestones. What role does Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory play in understanding the cognitive development of infants?

The major cognitive milestones related to infancy include:

? Explores world with eyes and ears and begins to explore with hands and feet and mouth.
? Enjoys creating effects in the environment by own actions.
? Begins to recognize familiar people, objects and even events - then to anticipate them.
? Becomes aware of novelty and strangeness in people, objects and events.
? Develops definite preferences for certain people, objects and events.
? May imitate simple movements if in own repertoire.
? Does one thing at a time (http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/growthdevelopment/a/child_dev.htm).

Piaget's Cogntive Development Theory plays an important role iin understanding cogntive growth and milestones in infancy. In fact, infancy is the first stage of Piaget's theory, the sensorimotor period (e.g. from birth to two years of age). It is divided into six substages, and characterized by the absence of language and internal representation (Le Francois, 2000). This helps us understand that the infant's construction of knowledge begins with the child's ability to perform actions on the world through their senses and reflexes. As time passes, these actions become more deliberate, coordinated and planned and become purposeful movements. This means that the child's intelligence and knowledge about the world are limited to the actions they perform ON their environment. In other words, they learn to solve reasonably complex problems without the help of mental representation. Over this stage there is a shift from the sensorimotor thinking to representation thinking (see article attached for more detail).

In terms of Thinking Skills, infants were once thought of as passive and ...