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Child Growth Stages



Infant Growth and Development


Infant Growth and Development

The period from birth to about two years of age is called as infancy. There will be advances in physical growth, motor development, cognitive development, and psychosocial development.

Physical growth milestones

Birth weight is regained by 2 weeks of age and doubles by 5 months. This rapid growth continues during the first few months of life, after which the growth rate decelerates.

Height and weight

Although the majority of individuals who are of below- or above-average size are otherwise normal,there is an increased prevalence of developmental disabilities in these two groups.

Many genetic syndromes are associated with short stature and large stature syndromes are less common.

Motor development milestones

Motor milestones are ascertained from the developmental history and observation. The motor development begins with holding head up, rolling and progresses to sitting, and then standing, and ambulating.

In the first year of life, the pincer grasp develops. The infant learns to use objects as tools during play during the second year of life.

Objects are initially brought to the mouth for oral exploration and reaching becomes more accurate. As the pincer grasp and macular vision improve.

Cognitive development milestones

Language is the single best indicator of intellectual potential. Problem-solving skills are the next best measure. Motor skills correlate least with cognitive potential, and most infants with mental retardation walk on time.

Object permanence

The child will progress to finding an object that has been hidden under a cloth.The next skill in this sequence is the ability to locate an object under double layers, like for example, a cube is placed under a cup and then the cup is covered with a cloth.


The infant accidentally discovers that his actions produce a certain effect, initially. The infant then learns that actions cause consistent effects.

Language development

Receptive language skills reflect the ability to understand language. Expressive language skills reflect the ability to make thoughts, ideas, and desires known to others.

Prespeech period . This period is from 0 to 10 months of age. Receptive language is characterized by an increasing ability to localize sounds, such as a bell. Expressive language consists of cooing.
At 3 months, the infant will begin vocalizing after hearing an adult speak.
At 6 months of age, the infant adds consonants to the vowel sounds.

Naming period . This is the period from 10 to 18 months. The infant will learn that people have names and objects have labels. The infant begins to use the words “dada” and “mama” appropriately.
Infants next recognize and understand their own names and the meaning of certain words.
By 12 months of age, some infants understand many words. They can follow a simple command as long as the speaker uses a gesture. Early in the second year, a gesture no longer is needed.

The infant will say at least one real word, other than mama, dada before his first birthday. As expressive vocabulary increases, real words are added. By 18 months, the infant will use about 25 words.

Word combination period . This period is from 18 to 24 months. Children begin to combine words 6 to 8 months after they say their first word.

Psychosocial development

Emotional development :

Emotions are present in infancy and motivate expression.

Social development

Social milestones begin with bonding, which reflects the feeling of the caregiver for the child. Attachment represents the feeling of the infant for the caregiver, and it develops within a few months.

When recognition of and attachment to a caregiver develops, the simple sight of this person will elicit a smile. The infant becomes more discriminating in producing a smile as he begins to differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar faces. The infant learns to use smiling to manipulate the environment and satisfy personal needs.

Temperament represents the style of a child's emotional and behavioral response to situations.

Adaptive skill development .

Adaptive skills consist of the skills required for independence in feeding, dressing, toileting, and other activities of daily living. Development of adaptive skill is influenced by the infant's social environment, and by motor and cognitive skill attainment.


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