Infants are usually born in a position where they are not mature and do not depend on themselves. At this stage, the healthcare givers will closely monitor the infant’s early growth to ascertain the child’s normal growth. A child’s development since birth is an integrative learning process and ends at two and a half months. This manual will explore how the newborn infant interacts with the world around it, beginning from the family, the community they find themselves in, and cultural practices. It will give insight to the parents on social, behavioral, and biological changes that will occur to newborns for the period of two and half months. The manual will also advise parents on what things they can do to promote the best development of their children.
Once the child is born, they begin to sense the environment as the days go by. The infant begins to develop an ability to sense various environmental features. Socialization with the environment is developed due to the infant’s ability to detect features that often occur in their surroundings. In the infant’s early stage, the big part of the brain is used only for social behavior, which is remembering faces. An infant will be able to differentiate their surroundings by use of sensory capacities, and parents can use these to identify if the infant is growing. Parents are presented with various methods to evaluate if the sensory capacities of their infant are working. Presentation of an infant with stimulus to detect their behavioral change response to the presented stimulus (Liftfoot, Cole, & Cole 2009). A behavioral method that is mostly used to determine an infant’s visual sense is the visual preference technique, which makes use of the presentation of two stimuli that are different to the infant at once. That helps determine if the infant will concentrate on one for longer than the other.
Another technique that the parents can use to detect the behavioral change of the infant by assessing sensory capabilities is habituation, in which the infant’s attention to certain stimuli is reduced due to frequent exposure. In this case, the parent presents the infant with the stimuli that attract the infant’s attention and continuously presents the same until the infant pays no attention. In case of any change of the pattern of the presented stimuli the parent is now in a position to conclude that the child has attained dishabituation and the infant is in apposition to perceive change from the environment. Infants at the age of one day are apposition to perceive sound (Piazza et al., 2016). When you make noise, they can respond through crying, indicating that they can hear, and they can also turn towards the direction of the sound. As the baby grows, they will also differentiate between various sounds from human beings and other objects.
As a way of socializing, the infant will realize that through the movement of her lips, she can have a conversation with the mother. It is also a discovery that the infants can express their needs through smiling rather than crying, and this helps in the advancement of their brain as they try to get more engaged with the mother and the rest of their surroundings. Various social milestones are important to the mother as a way of growth to their infants: These may include: development of a social smile towards the parent, enjoyment when playing with those who surround them, beginning of communication, and use of body language to express themselves, copying of what other people are doing (Murray et al., 2016). As the child grows, the parent needs to understand the communication methods she will use if they are in need. The parent realizes the proper growth of a child by understanding when they need something. Failure of a child not communicating to the parent even as early as at the age of two months should raise the alarm to the parent, and the issue is addressed by health- caregivers.
After the baby is born, their parents need to monitor the infant’s growth to ascertain normal development and identify early signs that may indicate a problem in the infant’s growth. Parents are advised to frequently take the infant for checkups by the pediatricians who use growth charts to assess the infant’s status in their health. During the infant’s physical growth, the parent needs to realize that the baby will experience weight loss in the first week after birth based on the infant’s weight. This will occur mostly in breastfed infants, but the doctor should attentively check it to ensure no problem with the growth. During the second week, the mother will realize that the infant gains weight again and that continued weight gain is experienced. The physical appearance of the infant is also a point that the mother should also expect changes as the child grows from birth up to the age of two and half months. Parents and health care providers will need to track changes to the infant’s head as this is the determinant for the growth of the brain. An infant’s skull has bones that are separate to allow response to both external and internal pressure during growth ( Misirliyan & Huyhn 2020). The parent will realize the expansion of the infant’s skull due to the pressure from the growing brain, which makes the shape of the head round in shape.
Realization of the taste by the infant happens at an early stage during growth, where they will be able to differentiate tests and odors. They tend to prefer most things that taste sweet compared to bitter things. As a result of flavors from the mother’s diet during breastfeeding, a study shows that this exposure affects the infant’s preference taste due to flavors of food from the mother’s culture.
Ways to promote better development for children
Once the parent of an infant is aware of the changes that are likely to occur to their newborn babies at the early stage of development, they should learn ways to promote better growth and development of their babies, which will promote good health to the infant. Babies at the age below three months spend most of their time, and they will be more attracted to their surroundings as they get better to be able to coordinate movement within the environment. At this stage, parents are supposed to motivate the process of learning to the baby by initiating a conversation responding to the expressions from the baby. The parents should spend more time with the baby to help develop language and communication skills that the infant will use when they grow (Murray et al., 2016). This is promoted through reading, singing, talking to the baby. Help the child bond with you by looking into your baby’s eyes. That helps the baby to associate with you in a free manner without fear. While looking at your baby, smile unto her, which will help release natural chemicals in the infant’s body, promoting attachment between parent and child.
In conclusion, parents should always consult pediatricians in case of any abnormal development in the child’s growth. There is a certain period when parents are advised to take their infants to the hospital for a checkup to ascertain the child’s normal growth. This concern should not be neglected as it helps the child to fight any form of danger that may arise in the future during development stages in life (Brown et al., 2018). The early-stage development determines whether the baby will have normal growth. At this stage, the parent should identify all possible signs that show the baby is not growing as expected. Some of the signs that are a point of concern by the mother are: When the baby sleeps more than expected. That is a sign of concern that needs to be addressed by the doctor. Failure of the child to respond to light or not show any movement when objects are presented to their sight. Hearing sense of the baby when it is not functioning. For example, the infant is presented with sound but does not respond. The baby needs to be taken for a checkup if various body parts are not moving.
Liftfoot, C., Cole, M., & Cole, S. (2009). The Development of Children. The first three months, 228(4) 231-255.
Murray, L., De Pascalis, L., Bozicevic, L., Hawkins, L., Sclafani, V., &Ferrari, P. F. (2016). The functional architecture of mother-infant communication and development of infant social expressiveness in the first two months. Scientific reports, 6(1)1-9.
Piazza, C., Cntiani, C., Akalin-Acar, Z., Miyakoshi, M., Benasic, A. A., Reni, G. (2016). ICA- derived cortical responses indexing rapid multi-feature auditory processing in six-month-old infants. Neuroimage, 133, 75-87.
Brown, M. I., Westerveld, M. F., Trembath, D., & Gillon, G. T. (2018). Promoting language and social communication development in babies through an early storybook reading intervention. International journal of speech-language pathology, 20(3), 337-349.
Misirliyan, S. S., & Huyhn, A. P. (2020). Development Milestones.