A child’s emotional, social and physical development is largely dependent on the first couple of years, and even months of their lives.
Their later childhood, teenage and adult years will be largely dependent on what the young mind and body are exposed to in infant child care. In particular, an infant’s first year of life is foundational in further development.
What Are the Six Developmental Areas?
To help you better understand how your infant will learn to process information and respond to communication, here are the six main developmental areas.
On average, a baby will almost quadruple their weight during the first two years of their lives. While their bodies noticeably grow in leaps and bounds, it’s easy to overlook the cognitive development of an infant.
During this time, an infant will learn to harness the use of their five senses to observe their surroundings and explore new aspects of life. They will begin to mimic simple actions and perform certain actions themselves in order to achieve a response.
There are various things to do that can help your baby mentally develop, such as read books and sing songs. The role of toys in infant development is also beneficial, so encourage them to play with sensory toys such as a rattle.
Social and Emotional
The first two years of a child’s life has a big impact on their social and emotional development in future years.
Habits are formed by attaching to familiar adults, interacting with other children and building a sense of self. Babies also learn to express various emotions through movement, facial expressions, and sounds.
To help your baby develop in this area, you can cuddle and touch your child gently. You can respond to their various communication efforts and help them put a name to certain feelings, such as ‘happy.’ As a parent, try to be predictable and consistent in your behavior so that your child can develop a set of expectations.
Language and Literacy
Another key developmental milestone is learning language and literacy.
During the first two years of a baby’s life, they will make attempts at speaking and learn various words by listening and observing. Before they are able to talk, they will try to communicate through various sounds and gestures.
There are several effective ways to nurture your baby’s language development. Simply habits such as talking to your child regularly, reading out loud, telling stories, and listening to music all play a role in an infant’s language development. Take advantage of your child’s interest in a particular book or object and encourage regular discussions on the top.
Be careful not to criticize your child’s articulation and speech patterns, but rather praise their efforts and repeat the correct pronunciation for them to learn.
Also known as an infant’s approaches to learning, this area of development sets the foundations for further learning experiences in later years. During this time, you can help your infant work on early memory skills and practice keeping attention for short periods of time.
When your baby has impulses, introduce the option of controlling these impulses, and suggest various approaches to problem-solving. This may include making sounds for attention or pointing at specific objects or people.
Physical growth progresses rapidly during a child’s first two years and both an infant’s weight and height develop quickly. It’s completely normal for physical milestones to be celebrated after many failed attempts.
To help your child develop physically, you can assist achieve these milestones by introducing them to rolling over and crawling. Encourage coordinated hand movements when grasping objects and begin to include your child in daily routines, asking them to cooperate with getting dressed, washing hands, etc.
Give your child the opportunity to develop their gross and fine motor skills through various activities.
The development of creativity and imagination begins from birth and can be enhanced when stimulated. Helping your child develop their creative expression can be done as easily as listening to music and experimenting with toy instruments.
Give your child the opportunity to explore bright colors, experience a variety of textures and use movement as a means of expression. There are so many fun and creative infant learning opportunities to do together.
The first two years of a child’s life are crucial for development and has a direct effect on the overall development of the child (and then adult) that they will become.
At Parkland Children’s Academy, we offer a specialized separate infant care facility that prioritizes your child’s infant development. Contact us at (954) 688-5877 to discuss how we can help your precious child’s development in an engaging way.