Infancy and toddlerhood are marked by a period of firsts. Some of the most meaningful firsts are a child’s first social smile, first step, and first word. During these early months of life, the child continues to grow and develop physically to the point where he or she becomes independently mobile. There are dramatic cognitive and social-emotional changes, as well. The ability of the infant to interact with the environment and communicate with caregivers provides even more opportunities to learn and develop. Healthy bonds between the child and caregivers can set the stage for positive emotional and cognitive growth for the rest of the child's life.
This week, you explore the major developmental milestones during infancy and toddlerhood; you become more aware of the types of challenges that might arise for infants and toddlers who show delays in meeting those milestones. You also examine bonds of attachment and their formation, and you explore how the caregivers' parenting style can influence attachment, thereby affecting the child’s cognitive and social-emotional development.
Berk, L. E. (2018). Development through the lifespan (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
- Chapter 4, “Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood” (pp. 114-146)
- Chapter 5, “Cognitive Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood” (pp. 148-180)
- Chapter 6, “Emotional and Social Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood” (pp. 182-210)
Milestones refer to important points in the development of a particular skill or ability. For example, some (but not all) of the milestones related to gross motor development include rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing up, cruising, and walking.
The ability to communicate is an important skill. In fact, it is one of the first skills infants and children must master. Infants communicate primarily through crying. Parents and caregivers can become quite adept at interpreting a child’s cry so that they can respond to his or her needs quickly and appropriately.
While nature predisposes humans to language, it is nurture that determines language development. Language development can be facilitated in a number of ways: Adults can modify their speech (i.e., child-directed speech, simplified speech) to help young children attend to and learn the important parts of speech and appropriate syntax; play simple games with children that encourage turn-taking (a characteristic of good communication); and use of scaffolding (e.g., repetition) to help children learn the basics of language and communication (Pinker, 2004). The milestones of language development range from pre-language babbling to multi-word phrases and sentences. Individual and cultural differences can affect the rate and form of language within these milestones.
For this Discussion, you will explore one developmental milestone in infancy and/or toddlerhood as it relates to cognitive, physical, and/or social-emotional development.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the Learning Resources for this week and consider the various developmental milestones in infancy and/or toddlerhood.
- Select only one developmental milestone in infancy and/or toddlerhood as it relates to cognitive, physical, and/or social-emotional development.
Post a brief description of the developmental milestone you selected. Then, explain the impact of missing and meeting the milestone as it relates to cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development in infancy and/or toddlerhood. Use your Learning Resources to support your post. Use proper APA format and citations.