Infant Development

Height and weight

Most newborns are between 18 to 22 inches long and an average weight of between 5 to 10 pounds. The early years of the infancy are characterized by faster growth where the infant grows by about 1 inch per month for the first year of infancy. At the age of two years, the children weigh between 26 to 32 pounds while their average heights are between 32 to 35 inches.

The brain

The brain of a child contains approximately 100 billion neurons at birth. Just as is the case in height and weight, the infants’ brain has an incredible growth rate in the first few years. It is imperative noting that the lower or subcortical areas of the brain develop faster as compared to the higher or cortical areas. This explains why an infant can perform primary functions such as breathing at an early age. At birth, the neonate’s brain weighs around 25% of the weight of an adult brain, and this develops in 80% of the adult brain by the second year of infancy.  At puberty, the brain is nearly 100 percent of that of the adult brain.

Sensation and perception

Sensation occurs when information interacts with sensory receptors such as eyes, tongue, ears and skin.  On the other hand, perception refers to the interpretation of what is sensed by the sense organs. It is imperative noting that normal infants are born with functioning sensory organs and hence respond to sensory information in the external world.

Hearing, touch and pain, smell, and taste development in infancy

Normal infants are born with functioning sensory organs. In addition, the infants are very nearsighted, but their development is very fast in the early years.  Although their vision is not like that of the adults, infants respond visually to their surroundings at birth. It is also imperative to note that newly born babies also respond to tastes, sounds and smells. For instance, the newborns identify their primary caregivers by sight, smell and sound. These sensory organs develop considerably in the first year of infancy.

Nature and nurture play in perceptual development

Nature refers to all those characteristics and abilities determined by individual genes. On the other hand, nurture refers to influences or experiences through interaction with both physical and social environment. Both nature and nurture have a significant role in perceptual development. Natavists are proponents of nature role perceptual development are of the opinion that some genetic characteristics only appear at maturity and hence contribute to perception. On the other hand, empirists are of the view that all knowledge is gained through experience. Neither of the two can be said to contribute more and hence they are equally important to perceptual development.

Important aspects of personality in infancy

Personality is developed during early childhood. It is developed by emotions and temperament. For instance, trust vs. mistrust is developed in infancy. If children have mistrust in early childhood, they will often live a mistrust life throughout.


This refers to close emotional bond between two people. This relationship is developed through constant engagement between the two people. This gives an explanation as to why a child will cry to a stranger but relax in the hands of the caregiver. It is prudent to note that secure babies are often accompanied by a caregiver that responds to their signals and needs.

Care giving styles and development

The development of a child will to a great extent depend on the care giving styles. For instance, the first years of child development are essential for child development. Adverse cognitive effects are evident in cases where the caregiver fails to offer quality care. Home care is said to have the best overall quality of child development while centre-based care may be stressful to children and can lead a life of frustrations.

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