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    Child Physical and Mental Development in Infancy Essay

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    Infants grow at a very rapid rate during the first one and a half years of life. Developing not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and socially as well,this development has been evident in providing a strong background for furtherdevelopment in life. Physical development refers to a babys increasing skillat utilizing various body parts. During development, there are three basicdevelopmental rules: “Rule one states, that babys develop in the headregion first, followed by the upper body, followed by the trunk portion, andlastly the legs and feet.

    For example, a baby can hold up their heads firstbefore they can grab an object with their hand. Second rule refers to motorskills. Motor skills are the childs ability to control movement. The twobasic classifications in motor skills are large motor skills and fine motorskills.

    Large motor skills deal with all the large muscles, whereas fine motorskills deal with smaller muscles in the body. The 3rd developmental rule isBrain development. As the brain develops a child responds more and more to sightand sound, which prepares them for further development (www. babycenter. com).

    “At birth an infants vision is limited by the immaturity of the brain, beyond7-12 inches an infants world is a total blur. Infants eyes unlike ours donot contain a fovea. A fovea is the area of the retina in which the images arefocused. Their eye movements are very slow and are jerky at times. They are ableto see color but prefer the sharper contrast of black and white. Although babiescant see small objects that are far away, infants can see large objects thatare close up.

    “An adults perfect vision is estimated to be 20/20 andinfants vision is estimated to be around 20/600” (psychology, pg 387). Bythe end of the first year a babys vision nearly matches that of a grown adult(psychology, pg 387). Newborns actively use their senses from the time that theyare born. When they are little their attention span is very limited. In thefirst two months, they can only focus on an edge of an object, however by theend of the 2nd month they can scan a whole object.

    This is important because itshows that a babys attention span is very limited and they are not able tofocus on an object for a long period of time (www. drkoop. com). At the time ofbirth newborns can hear soft voices as well as loud voices and can also noticedifferences between different sounds that are made. Infants are not able tolisten or hear selectively. When babies hear speech they tend to open their eyeswider and look for the speaker.

    Infants love the sounds of children since theirvoices are higher in pitch. This is why they like to hear “baby talk” whichis used by most adults all over the world (www. drkoop. com). In the first 2 weeksafter birth, infants have developed some reflexes.

    Babies begin to explore theirgrasping reflex where they can hold tightly to an object. Many of thesebehaviors evolved because they are important for a childs survival, withoutthese a child would not be able to physically develop. The absence of reflexesin a newborn are signals of possible problems in brain development (psychology,pg 388). Newborns are brought into this world having some sort of reflexes inorder for them to adapt to their surroundings. One of the most basic reflexes isthe rooting reflex. This reflex helps an infant turn its head to any object thestimulates a cheek, such as a baby bottle for feeding.

    A newborn also will havea very strong grasping reflex. If you place your finger in a babys finger,generally anywheres from one-week old and on a baby will have a very stronggrip. Motor skills also allow a baby to sit, crawl, stand, and walk. Some motorskills such as sitting up come a lot earlier than walking. Cognitive developmentrelates to the reasoning and logic of an infant.

    Jean Piaget among allresearchers dedicated his life to a search for the ideas behind cognitivedevelopment. “He was the first person to chart the journey from the simplereflexes of the newborn to the complex adolescent” (psychology pg. 390).”Piaget believed that all childrens thinking progresses through the samestages, in the same order without skipping, or building onto previous stages.”He also believed that the thinking of infants is different from the thinkingof children and the .

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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