Physical growth is something that you can see, so it would be easy for you to assess. The increase in weight, height, hair length and the likes happens as time passes. It is a little more difficult to interpret the mental or cognitive development of your child even as a parent. You’re with them all day everyday so you’re going to be curious about what’s going on in their head, and how much they can perceive of their surrounding.
During the first month after they’re born, there is no thought behind their actions, which is why this stage is called the reflexive activity stage. Babies act out in a way that feels right to them in that moment, without any prior thought. They’re learning about their environment by interacting with it.
The second stage is the primary circular stage, and it lasts from 1-4 months. During this time, babies have identified what actions bring them pleasure, and they tend to repeat those actions. If a baby finds pleasure in thumb sucking, they’d be sucking their thumb more often than not.
Between months 4-8 is the secondary circular stage. This is similar to the previous stage, except now the objects and activities that catch their attention are more external. If your baby identifies a sound or sight he likes, he’ll be able to turn his head towards the source of the sound and observe it.
The next stage between 8-12 months is the coordination stage. Now they’re trying to experiment with the cause and effect strategy. If they see someone performing an action they like, they’ll be able to mimic it. If they like to pull your hair, they’ll want to pull anything else they can reach, just to see what happens. They are beginning to explore the effect of every action they perform. Object Permanence is another phenomenon that develops in their brain during this time. Before now, if your baby couldn’t see something, it was automatically non-existent to them. But now, they are slowly coming to realize that things exist even if they’re out of direct sight.
This stage somewhat coincides with the next stage which is till 18 months of age. Your baby would like to fidget and physically touch external objects. But their sense of safety hasn’t been developed yet. They would like to play with fire and sharp objects as they see no danger in them yet, which is why it’s quite important to keep them under constant supervision.
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