Infant Development

Nijahlyn Edwards

Physical Development

Babies are born weighing about 6-8 pounds and about 20 inches long. The first couple of days home the baby should lose about 10% of their body weight. By one year of age babies should weigh 20-22 pounds and should be about 30 inches long.


Fine Motor Skills include: No contact with objects (2-3 months), contact with objects only (4-5 months), hand grasps the object (5-7 months), superior palm grasp (9-10 months), forefinger grasp (11-12 months), and super forefinger grasp (12-15 months)

Gross Motor Skills include: Holds chin up (2 months), chest up- arm support (3 months), sits with support (4 months), sits on lap--grasps objects (5 months), sits on high chair, grasps dangling objects (6 months), sits without support (7 months), stands with help (8 months), stands holding furniture (9 months), creeps (10 months), walks when led (11 months), pulls to stand by furniture (12 months), stands alone (14 months), walks alone (15 months)

Caring for Infants

Handling:When holding a newborn always support their necks because their neck muscles aren't sting enough to hold it up themselves. After about 4 months babies can hold up their head without support.

Sleeping: Place babies on there back when put to bed to prevent death from SIDS. Newborns on average need about 16 hours of sleep a day.

Feeding: Don't heat bottles up in the microwave because they can have hot/cold spots in it. Breastfeeding is the BEST options its cheaper, germ free, causes less ear infections, and has antibodies that can help a baby. Also when feeding burp them at least twice during the feeding. DO NOT feed babies eggs, citrus fruits, shellfish, or nuts because they may be allergic. You should only introduce new solid foods once every 3-4 days

Dressing: Babies lose more body heat them adults. Most pediatricians would recommend dressing babies in one or more layer of clothing than an adult would wear. When they began crawling they need durable clothes that allow for movement and shoes are needed once they began walking outdoors. Comfort is key when dressing a baby.

Bathing: Newborns should have sponge baths until the naval heals ( 2-3 weeks after birth). Once the naval is healed a tub bath is okay to give them but its best to wait until a baby can sit up independently before using a full-size tub. 2 and 3 month old babies should be bathed 2-3 times a week. Wash the babies scalp daily with a mild shampoo if they get cradle cap ( a yellowish ,crusty patch on the scalp). Baby oil and excessive shampooing can dry the skin and worsen the cradle cap scales.

Diapering: Disposable diaper are comfortable and pulls moisture away. Cloth diapers are another option you can use because they are cheaper and better for the environment. To change a diaper you need to remove the diaper and clean the baby, then put a fresh diaper on and dispose of the used supplies.

Teeth: Teeth develops six weeks of pregnancy below the gums and then the first set of teeth (primary teeth) start showing at 6 months.

Medical Care: Infants should have check ups a couple of days after birth, 1month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, then 12 months.

Patterns of Development

1.Head to foot: Babies develop control of the head and neck muscles first ,control of muscles move down baby to end with legs and feet.

2. Near to Far: Development beings at the trunk of the body and moves outward to hands and fingers

3. Simple to Complex: Large muscles development takes place first leading to more fine muscles and complex abilities later.

Emotional Development


Emotional Development: Shows interest (month 1), expresses sadness (month 2), shows disgust (5 months), shows joy (month 6), shows anger (month 10).


Between 7-9 months babies start to fear unfamiliar people (stranger anxiety) and they cry to express it. Then around 11 months they fear being away from parents (separation anxiety).

Similarities and differences with Social Development

Predictable Patterns

Affection and Harmony


Trust and Healthy attachment

Each have individual personalities

Relationships and Behaviors

Newborn to old age

Emotional: How we handles stress. Influenced by a child's individuality and temperament. Infants with affection gain trust and feel loved and safe.

Social: How we interact with others. Influenced by actions of parents and caregivers. You can build trust in infants by providing a consistent environment and provide basic needs for them consistently.

Social Development


Social Development: Coos and babbles (month 1), smiles and show excitement (month 2-3), laughs, squeals, babbles, reaches out with hands and arms(month 4-5), tries to imitate sounds made by adults ( month 7-8), says simple words " Dada" and "Mama" and objects if not a toy is taken away (month 9-10), uses gestures and body language (month 11-12), and spends time looking in mirrors (months 11-12).

Intellectual Development

Brain Development

Cerebrum- Receives information from the senses and directs the motor activities, controls speech, memory, and problem solving. Thalamus- controls the expression of emotion. Pituitary Gland- Releases hormones that regulate growth, metabolism, and sexual development. Brain Stem- Controls breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. Cerebellum- controls muscular coordination, balance, an posture. Spinal Cord- transmit information from the body to the brain and vice versa.


Neuron: Nerve cells in the brain that control body functions. Dendrites- branchlike features at the end of each axon that receives messages from other neurons. Cell body- the main part of each neuron that passes information. Myelin- the waxy, protein based coating substances on each axon. Axon- connection between neurons and transmit instructions from the cell body to another neuron. Synapse- tiny gaps between dendrites where messages are transmitted from one neuron to another. Neurotransmitters- chemicals released by the axon.


Infants communicate verbally by: crying, cooing(6-8 weeks), babbling(4-5 months), and finally first words(10-12 months).

Infants communicate nonverbally by: Reaching for items, pointing, clinging, pushing away.

Piaget's Theory

Sensorimotor: (Birth- 2 years) Children learn through their senses and own actions.

Properational: (2-7 years) Childrn think in terms of their own activities and what they perceive at the moment.

Concrete Operations: (7-11 years) Children can think logically but still learn best through experience

Formal Operations: (11- Adult) People are capable of abstract thinking

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