One Infant Child Development Fact Scientists Agree On

Infant Child Development

Infant child development starts long before your baby is born. He comes complete with fingers, toes, a digestive system and much more, but there is still a long way to go.

Where Does Development Start?

At birth the motor system is quite underdeveloped. Baby cannot control his head or decide where his limbs will go. He cannot focus or see properly in color, his immune system is inadequate and he is incapable of speech. Yet when he does learn to focus it is only at a distance of about 10 inches (25 cm) - not very far, but perfect for a baby held in his mother's arms who only needs to find a small nipple.

An obvious development is how baby grows physically in size of course - from a tiny egg to a six foot rugby player in some cases. His proportions will alter. But the mistakes we often make is to focus only the development we can "see".

But what about social, intellectual and other infant child developments? And how does your child "really" measure up? Are your sure?


How Professionals Determine Infant Child Development

Doctors and other clinic staff see many thousands of babies. And what may seem normal to you, may in fact not be so.

They also use resources such as the Bayley assessment scales in order to be able to tell you how your child is doing and how he compares to the average in various areas such as a child's behavior, understanding and motor skills.

The goal is not to determine how well he drives, but how much control he has over his muscles in order to achieve what he wants to do.

This can vary from being able to reach a toy by kicking out or, later, how to feed himself with pieces of banana which he must first pick up between finger and thumb.

The Scales take account of special circumstances, for instance whether a child was premature, has Down's syndrome or has a mother who was taking drugs during pregnancy.

It is sometimes difficult for parents to judge accurately whether:

  • The progress their child is making is within normal limits,
  • How much he understands, and... infant child development
  • Whether or not he is progressing well in a number of different ways

This is especially so if the circumstances are not normal - if baby was very premature and so on. In these cases it is important that you receive proper support and advice.

Of course, I also like to use milestones or a measurement tool like the Bayley Scales as independent, objective evaluation tools.

If you find consultants offensive, as they occasionally can be, try asking the nurse or health visitor. She will either be able to answer your question herself or can ask on your behalf.


One Thing Scientists Agree On

The one infant child development thing both groups of scientists agree on is that a baby who...

  • Has a rich stimulating environment,
  • Who is spoken to,
  • Feels safe,
  • Receives proper nutrition, and...
  • Learns social skills by observing those around him..

will make better progress than a child who is lacking in any or all of these things.

In short, he will be all the better prepared for whatever life throws at him, whether in infancy or later. So, much of what I cover in these articles focus on creating the very best conditions for your child to develop best.


For more specific infant child development details, please also read 1st Year Baby Development