Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Developmental Milestones

Do you ever wonder how your child is doing developmentally? Here is a guide of developmental milestones that you can use. This time we will focus on social and emotional development. (All information comes from the Child Development Guide).

What is Social and Emotional Development?
Emotional development is the growth of a child's ability to feel and express an increasing range of emotions appropriately. Social development is the growth of a child's ability to relate to others and become independent.

At Birth:
Babies begin to learn as soon as they are born, but at this stage their behaviour and communication with adults are limited. Babies cry to make their needs known and are peaceful when those needs are met.
Social and Emotional Development
At this stage babies...
  • depend on parents/carers
  • sleep a lot
  • like to be undisturbed
  • have rooting, sucking and swallowing reflexes
  • cry when hungry, unattended to or in pain
  • startle to noise, and turn to light, providing it is not too bright.
1 Month:
At this stage babies smile spontaneously, but they begin to smile in happenings outside themselves from 4-8 weeks. They learn to smile to your voice and face and are also attracted to the movement of your face.
Social and Emotional Development
At this stage babies...
  • cry for their needs to be attended to
  • will turn to mother's breast
  • briefly looks at a face
  • sleeps most of the time when not being handled or fed
  • grasp a finger if the hand is opened and the palm is touched
  • will quieten or smile in response to your voice.
2 Months:
From 2 months babies have less primitive reactions and gradually learn a range of responses and behaviour. These are the results of both physical maturation and the beginning to explore the environment. At this stage the baby is capable of having 'conversations' with the carer. These are a mixture of gestures and noises, but follow the pattern of a conversation in that one person is quiet while the other speaks.
Social and Emotional Development
At this stage babies...
  • explore using their five senses
  • sleep less during the day and more during the night
  • stop crying when they are picked up
  • differentiate between objects, and begin to tell one face from another
  • follow your face when it moves
  • smile and become more responsive to others.

3 Months:
At this stage babies take a lot of interest in their environment. Physical maturation continues rapidly. When they hear different sound babies turn their heads in response to see what people are doing. They are rapidly beginning to learn new social skills from the people around them.
Social and Emotional Development
Around this stage babies...
  • use sounds to interact socially and reach out to human face
  • respond to friendly handling and smile at most people
  • become more oriented to their mother and other carers
  • looks at mother's or carer's face when feeding
  • are able to show an increasingly wide range of feelings and responses including pleasure, fear, excitement, unhappiness and contentment
  • have some awareness of the feelings and emotions of others
  • begin to connect what they hear with what they see.

6 Months:
Development at this stage is very rapid. Babies are awake for much longer periods by 6 months. Babies laugh, show excitement and delight and will also show likes and dislikes.
Social and Emotional Development
Around this age infants...
  • reach out for familiar people and show a desire to be picked up and held
  • begin to be more reserved with, or afraid of, strangers
  • show a marked preference for their main carer(s)
  • like to play peek-a-boo
  • smile at their own image in a mirror
  • become more aware of themselves in relation to other people and things
  • look at their hands and feet with interest
  • stop crying when communicated with.
12 Month:
By this stage, most children have started to stand independently and possibly have begun to walk. They can pick up small objects and to explore their environment around them.
Social and Emotional Development
By this age infants...
  • can distinguish between different members of the family and act socially with them
  • will wave goodbye
  • like to be within sight and hearing of a familiar adult
  • show rage when thwarted
  • know their own name
  • will obey simple instructions
  • may be shy with strangers
  • copy actions and sounds of adults or children.
For information on social/emotional developmental milestones for children 1-7 years old visit Child Development Guide--Social/Emotional

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