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Infancy and Toddlerhood

Physical Development milestones: Children from birth age 2

According to Berk (2013); the most obvious signs of physical growth are changes in overall
body size. By the end of the babies first year a typical infants height is 50% greater than it was
at birth, by the age of two it is 75% greater (p. 176). The childs first year of life is considered
infancy and the second year are considered toddlerhood (Berk, 2013).
Infants birth through 12 months of age develops basic reflexes needed to survive such as
sucking, swallowing, coughing, elimination, and grasping. Later in infancy the child will learn to
roll over, crawl, climb and find better use of their hands such as feeding themselves.
Toddlers 12 months to 2 years of age are more able to stand alone, walk well unattended, and
between the ages of 12 and 15 months be more able to walk up and down stairs with assistance.
The National Institutes of Health; suggest that children 16-18 months of age will be more apt to
want to perform these tasks independently.

Language: Infants
Infants language skills will develop with beginning noises of babbling, cooing, laughing,
crying, and eventually mimicking noises made by those around them. According to Gustafson,
Wood, Green (2000); crying is the first way that babies communicate letting parents know that
they are in need of food, comfort, and stimulation.
Toddlers language skills are more developed through the practice of their infant learning.
Toddlers may use two or three words, rather than babbling or using simpler sounds such as baba, da-da, ma-ma etc. Toddlers in word rich environments may progress with language more
quickly than a child who is seldom spoken to. Children at this stage are also still prone to use
pointing at objects that they may want due to the lack of saying the words they want (National
Institutes of Health, 2010). It is further emphasized that children in this stage will most likely
know their own name whether they can say or it not; they also know and verbally recognize their
own mother and father (mommy, daddy).
Infant Cognitive Development
Infants while exploring their world are often able to move their head towards sounds as they did
while in the womb. Different colors may attract them and they are normally intrigued by light.
Many times as research has found infants will prefer the voice of their mothers voice over the
sound of someone elses. Anthony, DeCasper, & William, (1980) conducted a study through
audio technologies while observing infants from three days of age and up and their reactions to
their own mothers voice opposed to the voices of other women.

The results yielded more sucking motions and cooing when they hear their mothers voice
although they seemed to very attentive while hearing the voices of other women (Science, New
Series, volume 208).
Toddlers cognitive development shows that they learn and display many cognitive advances
through play, learning from others and being more accurately manipulative with their hands as
well as to utilize more objects around them. A child may be able to stack objects such as blocks
or pillows, and may also learn that climb on a chair allows them to also reach the table that is out
of their reach. Children in this age are also more able to problem solve and compare objects to
one another.

As suggested by Mandler & McDonough, (1998); After watching an adult give a toy dog a drink from
a cup, most 14 month old children shown a rabbit and a motorcycle offered the drink only to the
rabbit. This shows that childrens cognitive development is encouraged through mimicry as well as their
gains in perceptive and problem solving skills.
Signs of Atypical Development in Infants and Toddlers
From the beginning of a childs life, tests such as reflexes such as blinking, sucking, swallowing, and
the palmer grasp and many more are observed to be sure that children are adequately obtaining these

skills. One concern for children in the infant stage would that of making sure they are able to move their
head in order to avoid possible suffocation. Other areas of concern would be things such as making sure
they can hear and see properly as these are both areas that will encourage further developmental
progress. These are important for learning language and communication skills throughout life. It is
suggested that if you see delays in any areas for your child that you consult their physician to see what
more can be investigated for them. Early detection of these problems are crucial to your childs progress
later in life.
Areas of Encouragement for Development: Infants and Toddlers
Throughout these stages of development it is always best to keep the child as safe as possible, while
still encouraging them to explore their world and gain more developments. Good practices from early in
life are to communicate clearly with your child often. This encourages growth in both receptive and
expressive language for the child. Reading to your child frequently will also encourage good listening
skills, language and concentration. It is also important to keep them away from hazards such as lead
paint or fumes that could be harmful to their brain development in the future.

Play based strategies to help children gains stronger abilities through Infancy and toddlerhood.
My most favorite game with the little ones this age is to encourage sounds and expression; many
parents in this stage of development will play peek-a-boo and enjoy hearing the child laugh. I preferred
the uh-oh game! From the time my children could hold up their own heads. I would get down to their
eye level and blow raspberries at them; of course they would laugh. When I would turn away from them
they would usually begin to fuss. At this point I would quickly turn back to the child and say Uh-Oh! This
would create the laugh that I loved so much to hear. We further incorporated this game into the I
throw it and mommy picks it up stage of this fun age and by this point the child themselves has begun
to say Uh-OH! They would also continue to laugh as mom blows raspberries and proceeds to retrieve
the toy. All the while we are playing the baby is learning that although I may leave for a moment, I will
return. I am encouraging expressive language as well as receptive communications throughout our
As the children grow older I prefer floor time and rolling exercises, the children enjoy finding new
strategies for rolling over, grabbing onto objects and learning how to become self-motivated.
Throughout the child gaining physical strengths they are also better able to visualize and see what they
want. At this stage I will lay on the floor with the child along with several toys and encourage the baby
to decide which toy they are most interested in playing with (or chewing on). Once the child is focused
on an object I will move the toy closer to the baby while still out of their reach, the entire time speaking
and cooing at the baby or playing music that we can enjoy.
This floor time or down time activity will encourage the baby to become more active, possibly begin
to role towards the objects that they are desiring as well as to build strength in the muscles that they

will need for further development. After I see that the child may be growing tired of reaching for their
objects of interest I will reward the child be giving them the toy. This allows for the child to also know
that they are learning self-control for the object as well as strategies to encourage physical and cognitive
developments for further learning.