Saturday, October 8, 2011

Beyond Physical Milestones, Part VII: Conclusion

           So, given the massive amount of information we have been presented about physical development in infants, how can you be a secure base for your child’s physical milestones?  I believe that all of these theories would agree on the following:
1.    Love your baby!  Although it was not specifically discussed in the previous posts, studies have found that babies who are provided very little stimulation, fed on limited schedules, and primarily constrained to their cribs suffer physical and cognitive disabilities and high rates of infections.
2.    Provide an opportunity/learning rich environment for your baby. To borrow a phrase from the information-processing theory, give your baby an opportunity to become an “expert” by providing lots of time to practice motor control.  This can be done through lots of tummy time and different types of toys to manipulate.
3.    But, take cues from your baby. Babies are, after all, just little people. Just like adults, they have different attention spans, likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses. Not to mention, babies get tired! If you bought your baby the highest-rated play mat on Amazon, but he won’t look at it, don’t force the issue.  Just try again the next day.          
4.    Be patient!  All theorists agreed that maturation places some level of constraint on an infant reaching development milestones.  If Suzy is still seeing the world through monocular vision, it is highly unlikely she’ll be able the reach and grasp the blocks!  Beyond this, research with identical twins shows that helping your baby practice specific developmental milestones (rolling over, sitting, block building, etc.) does not hasten the onset of skills, especially for basic tasks like walking.

Eliot, L. (1999). What’s going on in there? New York: Bantam Books.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...