Motor Development in Infants

Motor Development in Infants
Development in infants undergo in a lot of aspects, this includes the physical development, cognitive and psychological development, emotional development, linguistic development, and also sensory motor development - Motor Development in Infants introduction. In physical development, a certain newborn child will eventually gain their weight doubling their weight when they were first born.

The gaining of weight averages in approximately .5 or 1 oz daily for 6 months since the baby was born. In cognitive development, the processes in which the baby tends to learn, adapt, and memorize as well as recall things will take place. It is the stage where babies also tend to notice or recognize the people around them. In addition, cognitive development enable’s children to understand the stability of certain objects even without seeing it, like for example, the child would understand that his or her parents still exist even if both the objects were out of the house. In emotional and social development, the newborn babies do not have any other way of expressing emotions rather than crying and face expression. Eventually, changes towards expression occurs due to the development on through the next months such as smiling which occurs during the fourth moth of the baby and also moving their arms when they feel excitement. In language development, the newborn babies tend to learn to make a different sound when crying in order to indicate or impose whatever they need.  This is when the babies develop their ability to learn different sounds of their origin’s languages and when they tend to develop saying simple words by the later months of their first year span. In language development, later after 10 months, babies could say words they could easily adapt such as “mama” (Robert J. Sternberg, 1992).

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In the sensory motor development, babies have some reflexes on the first weeks since they were born then eventually those reflexes fades and stronger motor activities are developed. On the first 6 months span of the baby, he or she will have the strength to reach his or her toes and suck it and by the later moths, the baby could by then sit him or herself but with a support. The physical development of a newborn offspring could also be considered as the physical skill that makes changes over time. Newborn babies often have the sucking ability that becomes their survival strategy whenever they tend to find for a food. It is the reflex which helps them to express that they are hungry and after three weeks time, this reflex slowly fades and disappears. On the first six weeks of the newborn baby, the motor abilities include the baby’s ability to hold his or head steady and stand up whenever he or she is held erect or upright then in two months, the baby will then learn to lift him or herself by pushing his or her arms against the floor whenever he or she is in a face down position. They could also roll from one side and then to the back. Older than two months children has the ability to hold or grasp cubic objects and by seven moths old, a certain child would be able to sit alone and crawl and sooner learns to hitch. During the eight months of the child, he or she will be able to learn how to stand on his or her own by pulling him or herself in a standing position but with other’s support then nine months, the baby’s arms and legs get’s stronger and will be able to stand erect by him or herself. By eleven months, an infant will learn to stand without any support and slowly walks. Then on the twelfth month time, the infant would develop his or her walking ability without any support needed (Robert J. Sternberg, 1992).

The intellectual development of infants is explained by different stages and theories which includes the Psychoanalytic theory by Sigmund Freud wherein he biologically explained the energy that drives human to do things. Freud believed that humans are full of stored energy inside which are waiting for the certain situation or period wherein they could be unleashed. The energy was then called Libido which Freud says that empowers the life instinct of the human being. Freudian theory categorized the drive into three division which includes Id, Ego, and Superego wherein Id is the drive that makes people do what they ought to do according to their will, the ego which suspends the urge to do the will no matter how the human wanted to do it, and the Superego which is the very opposite of the ego; it leads human to anxiety or the fear of doing what they wanted (Carol K. Sigelman, 2006).

In an infant’s development, Psychoanalytic theory of Freud also explains the source of pleasure in children in particular ages. The stages include the Oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, and also the Latency stage where Oedipus and Electra complex usually occur. Freud explained in his theory that children mostly develop an intense relationship with their parent who are most likely close to them wherein usually female children develop their fondness and closeness towards their father or  viz a viz (Carol K. Sigelman, 2006).

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development explains his thoughts about his observations toward children. Piaget noticed that commonly, children of the same age and stage of development often commit the same mistakes. This knowledge made Piaget believe that the intellectual ability of human being is a knowledge which is adaptable. Piaget also concluded that this adaptable knowledge undergoes to two kinds of complementary processes namely the Assimilation and the Accommodation. In addition to this, Piaget said that developing infants create a distinct scheme in order to cope up with the new things they are exposed with or simply assimilate with the situation. He also said that child development underlies in four distinct stages which starts at sensorimotor stage on the first 12 months of the infant until its second year of age (Carol K. Sigelman, 2006).

There are eleven different components of the human brain development in an infant. These components include the cell which is the basic unit of human life, the neuron which is also considered a cell but does the transmission of information from the visual world into the brain, the dendrites which basically receives the signal transmitted by the neurons, the axon, the synapse, impulse or the electric current, neurotransmitter which is a chemical that enables neurons to transmit signals from one to another, myelin which covers the axon, myelinization, sheath of Schwann which is the layer of myelin that can be seen around the axon, and nodes of ranvier (Carol K. Sigelman, 2006).

The development of the human brain develops in a systematic and stage to stage basis or sequences of events which underlies in the process of genetic control. Henceforth, this said genetic process of control can be altered or changed by the epigenetic factors. The genetic development happens even before the infant is born, it is developed accordingly to the blueprint of the genetic DNA factors this includes reflexes, intellect, and also emotion. When the infant is born, it gets exposed to the environment which influences and sometimes alters the original or supposedly brain development of the baby (Carol K. Sigelman, 2006).

One factor from the environment that gives a great effect to a certain infant’s development is the food. It is said to be that proper nutrition helps the neuron cells to be bigger which elevates the complexity of the synapse; one of the brain development factors. The enlargement of the neuron cells will enable the child to acquire a good basis for gaining knowledge or learning (Michael E. Lamb, 2002).

Intelligence of a certain human being as he or she develops depend on different factors such as Age, motivation wherein the child is motivated and is attentive to any forms of learning, learning and development disorders, intelligence, and prior experience. In relation to this, the development of language is a part of human’s intellectual skill which they learn towards life development. Language acquirement starts from the very simple adapted word until the child reaches the complex forms of language and be able to speak it. This is because a baby or infant, when he or she reaches his or her four months, he or she would by then be able to observe lips movement and identify words as well as categorize them according to the word’s distinct sounds (Michael E. Lamb, 2002).

The development of language from infant until adulthood is called the English syntax wherein the acquisition of words and speeches undergoes in stages. The stage 1 starts from 0 until 26 months of age where a child learns words which are considered present tense or present progressive, stage 2 starts from 27 until 30th months wherein a child learns and adapts the quasi-model of verbs, stage 3 starts from 31st to 35th months wherein the child’s understanding towards language gets wider and be able to learn speaking future tensed words, stage 4 starts from 36th to 40th months wherein the child learns to use plural words and possessive words, stage 5 starts from 41st to 46th months where in the child learns and adapts a more complex words such as irregular and also regular past tense, and the last stage starts at 47th month and above where in a certain child learns to used negative queries as well as using negative kinds of pronouns (Michael E. Lamb, 2002).

There are two factors that could affect the language learning; the biological precondition wherein the fluency and stability of language acquisition can be hereditary and the social precondition wherein the language learning, on the other hand, is influenced and affected by the social environment of the child (Michael E. Lamb, 2002).

The personality development theory includes the trait theory, psychoanalytic theory, behavioral theory, cognitive theory, social theory, and emotional. These developments of personality theories explain how a certain trait which is considered a prospect dominative character is being motivated and soon becomes a part of a certain person’s personality. The theories also explain the drive that makes people build confidence or anxiety as such in Freudian theory wherein he explained the Id, Ego, and Super ego (Dweck, 2000).

The attachment theory explains that a child who built a strong and or close attachment to his or her parents is most likely to be explorative to his or her social and physical environment and thus build up a good sense of competence and self confidence. On the other hand, those children who did not build a good attachment with their parents are most likely to be full of anxiety and less self esteem (Dweck, 2000).



Carol K. Sigelman, E. A. R. (2006). Life-span Human Development

Thomson Wadsworth.

Dweck, C. S. (2000). Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development: Psychology Press.

Michael E. Lamb, M. H. B., Douglas M. Teti. (2002). Development in Infancy: An Introduction: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Robert J. Sternberg, C. A. B. (1992). Intellectual Development: Cambridge University Press.

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