Fostering Attachment for Healthy Development
As infants and toddlers grow, they undergo physical, cognitive/language and socio-emotional development. Younger infants below nine months can use their eyes and small muscles in their hands and fingers to explore and pick up objects in the environment.
- Physically, infants who are between 9 months and 18 months have strong muscle development, and they can walk around, explore and pick up bigger objects.
- Cognitive and language skills also develop as the child grows. Infants under 9 months are able to see and understand their environment and recognize familiar faces. They cannot talk when younger but at 9 months some children are able to say some word.
- Emotionally, infants below 9 months are able to smile, laugh and make some facial expression like fear. Infants between 9 and18 months are also able to smile, laugh, show fear and are more confident in exploring the environment.
At times, development domains overlap in infants. A toddler can show physical, cognitive and emotional development at the same time. For instance, a 16 month old toddler can be seen laughing and smiling, and when a stranger walks in, they ran to the familiar person. The toddler is able to recognize the stranger and his legs are strong enough to make him run to the familiar person.
Growth from infancy to toddlerhood is gradual and cognitive, emotional, and physical ability improve as the infant grows. A two week baby cannot understand the environment but a two month old baby can. At six weeks, a child can smile, and by 18 months, a toddler can laugh and say some words. An infant can use small muscles, but a toddler has better developed muscles.
Based on what was learnt this week and the video, I now understand that infants do not develop at the same pace. Some develop faster than others. Others develop faster in physical skills than cognitive skills.