Chapter 7 Notes

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2260
Susan Chuang

Chapter 7: Me and You: Infants at 6 to 9 Months • Personalities more clearly observable • Seem to respond in accordance with temperament style • Demand you pay attention to them Developmental Domains Physical Development Growth • Many babies will have doubled birth weight – weight gain about 1lb/month • Babies typically weigh between 15-21lbs • Baby making the transition to some solid but pureed foods • Growth in length of ½ inch per month – at this stage babies are 24-28 inches • Head becomes smaller in proportion to body • First tooth at about 6 months Gross Motor Skills • At 6 months, babies sit unsupported for short periods, this length of time increases • At 9 months, remain sitting while leaning forward to pick up an object and be able to roll from a lying position to a sitting position and vise versa • Early attempts at crawling – gradually legs will gain control • Some babies are crawling later, and even more babies are bypassing the crawling stage • If baby held in standing position, likely to push feet down and bounce, feet movement will become more controlled • “Pushing development” is more likely to be detrimental • Baby walkers put children at risk for injury, no clear benefits have been demonstrated • At 9 months, few infants can lower themselves from standing without dropping to the ground in an uncontrolled way Fine Motor Skills • Grasping objects – at 6 months, a useful but unrefined grasp is possible • Palmar Grasp: a hand grasp using the whole hand and palm • Intermediate Grasp: a grasp that refines the palmar (whole hand) grasp; may involve scooping or some effort at thumb – forefinger opposition; uses fingers in a more defined way • Pincer Grasp: the use of the hand where the thumb and the forefinger work in opposition to each other; unusual for infants at this stage • By 9 months, infant may use her fingers more precisely, may use index finger to point • Infant spends time looking at the things she picks up, will play games involving picking up objects or banging together items held in both hands • Releasing items from the hand presents greater challenges than grasping them • By 9 months, infant will drop and pick up things if interested • At 8 months, infant may reach for an item that is partially hidden, displaying a sense of object permanence • People permanence exists before object permanence Cognitive Development Senses and Perception • Vision o Early weeks and months of life learn how to see by developing skills such as focusing, teaming their eye movements, recognizing depth, developing eye-hand coordination, and making spatial judgments o At 6 months, normal visual acuity o Long-distance vision, visual perception are improving o Binocular vision, tracking well established o Having depth perception (the integration of info from both eyes in order to gauge relative size or distance; seeing the world in three dimensions) and generally improved vision allows the baby to see her environment and manipulate objects within it o Infant relates size to distance – near objects look larger than the same object farther away o Preferable that children encounter “real” 3D aspects of an object – over pictures in books and TVs – first hand experience more important o Needs the knowledge of materials that comes from interacting with real, concrete objects o No TV viewing for children aged 2 and under o Visual Insatiability: the individual’s unstoppable interest in looking – they cannot have too much visual information o Too much visual info can lead to a ‘circus effect’– children become entertainment observers than engagers • Hearing o 6-9 month old has increasingly good auditory discrimination – the ability to hear sounds and tell them apart o Human voices preferred, familiar voices listened to most carefully o Auditory perception is dominant sense over visual o Multimodal stimulation (stimulation of two or more senses simultaneously) holds greater interest than stimulation of only one sense o Uni-modal stimulation (offering stimulation through one sensory channel at a time – ie. visual material) is thought to be insufficient o Multimodal stimulation may support learning more successfully because the dual or multiple channels reinforce one another – brain’s neurological pathways strengthen o Excluding uni-modal stimulation probably a mistake as attention to detail, conscious focus on specific sensory data and refinement may all be necessary for particular skill acquisition o Early artistic expression found in the first months and years of life, skills are rooted in early experience o Child’s highest musical aptitude is present at birth and begins to decline immediately o Audiation: the cognitive process that enables individuals to hear and comprehend music in their heads even with no music playing  These skills allow us to hear melody and the rhythm in our heads  Early childhood years are primetime to develop this skill o Box 7.2 (pg.179) – Benefits of sharing music with children • Touch o Skin a very sensitive organ where infant absorbs new tactile info o Baby enjoys sensory discovery of domestic objects, gaining increasing knowledge of their attributes o Mouth remains an important part of the body for taking in tactile info • Taste o Infants may be fed their first solid foods o Weaned: the process of transiting from fluids to solid food – some babies may have been earlier o At 6 months, babies need more nutrients than can be supplied by mother’s milk or infant formula o Cues that indicate a baby may be ready to begin solid foods:  Ability to keep head and neck in a steady, upright position  Ability to sit upright to swallow well, although may still need extra support  Loss of extrusion reflex – use to tongue to push food out of her mouth  Ability to move food to the back of her mouth and swallow  Doubled birth weight of at least 15lbs  After 8-10 feedings of breast milk/day, still appears hungry  Expressed curiosity about what others are eating – eye tracking, reaching o Babies who experience a wide range of tastes early in life are more likely to accept a variety of foods • Smell o May play a part in establishing attachments o Babies respond positively to smells associated with adults they know well Sensorimotor Intelligence • Sensorimotor: the first stage of the individual’s cognitive development; this stage has six substages • When experiences enjoyable, wants them to go on and on • Repetition reinforces neural pathways essential for learning • Scheme: an organized pattern of sensorimotor functioning; a preliminary cluster of ideas; early infant ideas • Secondary Circular Reaction Stage: actions the child repeats as a result of his becoming interested in the external results that they produce, typically observed at 4-8 months; a substage of sensorimotor development • Cause and Effect Learning: understanding that particular actions bring about (cause) particular reactions (effects) • Period is one of tremendous sensory input – increased physical skills allow extended periods of discovery • New info is assimilated with previously absorbed info • Infant goes through a process of accommodation in which his existing patterns of thought change in accordance with new info • Must be careful not to overstimulate infants Information Processing • By 7 months, infants tend to categorize everything they see, although do not have language to label their thoughts • Memory: a complex function of the brain to recall past events and experiences; storage of and access to information previously obtained; elements of memory include recognition, recall, association, internalized scripts, control mechanisms, selection and retrieval • An infant’s memory of events tends to lengthen as she gets older • Memory is one component of information processing o Information Processing: the approach to cognitive development that views the brain as a sophisticated computer with memory and symbolic functioning • Infant tends to be distracted very easily, but attention span is longer than before due to increased interest in playful activity • Infant looks for objects gone from sight – concept of object permanence and her increased memory and understanding of objects • Trail and Error Learning: learning through experimenting and mistakes, as well as experiencing success • Immitation: the act of copying single actions of another person, or the copying of complex actions, as with role models • Action-Reaction: the link or association between one action and a reaction that it causes Play • Babies treat other infants more as objects than as people – babies thinking is egocentric – from their own perspective • They are intrigued by the presence and actions of others • Play is a major factor in the development of social and emotional relationships • Sensory play allows the infant to discover new materials, but practice caution • Infant learns much from repeating actions of grasping and observing material • Increased mobility leads to more physical play activity Communication and Language • Preverbal Cues: the messages conveyed by means such as facial expressions, gestures, and sound production before true language is acquired – peak time for this o Communication depends upon adults interpreting infants’messages and responding to them • Infant needs to learn the give-and-take nature of communication • Intentional Communication: the third stage of emotional development – typically occurs at 3-6 months; or any deliberate attempts to convey a message • Baby now laughs – prompted by all sorts of give-and-take situations • Social smiling indicates a rich human experience • 6-month-old baby’s vocal apparatus is becoming more like an adults • Baby makes several sounds, likely to vocalize tunefully to herself, can make a full range of vowel sounds and some consonant sounds (r, s, z, w) • Babbling: production of consonant-vowel sounds of varying intonation, usually involving repletion of sounds in long strings, such as da-da-da-da-da, or ba-ba-ba-ba-ba, developing in an infant between the ages of 4-6 months • Initially babies all over the world produce similar sounds, but eventually stop producing sounds not articulated in the languages they hear – infant’s ability to perceptually map linguistic input
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