Physical Development of Infants Patterns of Physical Development Head to Foot Near to far Lifts up head first, then shoulders, then knees to eventually standing Starts long before birth when the head takes the lead in development They move their arms and legs before their fingers and toes Simple to Complex They learn to use their large muscles first then their fine muscles Influences on Growth and Development Heredity Nutrition Eating nutritious foods is going to insure that a child develops properly Health Genes influence a person’s intellectual potential and artistic abilities If babies are born sick they may develop slower Experiences Interaction with parents and other family members also influences the way a child develops More Influences Environment Making sure that babies have a stimulating environment which means that they have a variety of things to see, taste, smell, hear, and touch enhances brain development Growth in First Year Weight Length They usually grow about 10-12 inches in the first year Body Shape A baby usually gains about 10-14 pounds in its first year. Newborns usually hold themselves in a curled position As they get older they tend to stretch out more Proportion A baby’s head and abdomen are its largest body parts. Development During the 1st Year Vision Hearing From a few days after birth, a newborn can determine its mother’s smell from another persons Babies usually show a preference for sweet tastes early on Touch Babies hearing develops long before they are born. They are able to recognize voices that are heard while in the womb once they are born. Smell and Taste At first, their vision is blurry and doesn’t reach the clarity of an adults vision till around 6 months Newborns usually lack sufficient brain development and movement skills to explore their world through touch. Voice Newborns cries are shrills which softens as the baby lungs mature. The tongue and inside of mouth change in shape during the first months of life Motor Skills Reflexes occur since babies have little control over their muscles Gross motor skills (large muscles) Babies learn to control these first: legs, arms, shoulders Fine motor skills (small muscles) Babies learn to control these later which include: fingers, toes, and activities requiring precise movements. Reflexes Sucking reflex Rooting reflex Happens whenever something is put in the baby’s mouth Whenever a baby’s cheek is rubbed a baby usually turns toward the side it was rubbed on Grasping reflex Whenever you place something in their hand they usually close it Hand-Eye Coordination This is an essential skill for many tasks in life. Newborns hand-eye coordination develops as their motor skills improve. By the end of the first year, they can move items from place to place with their hands. Conclusion With a stimulating environment, infants can develop normally and with ample opportunities.