3: Infancy and Toddlerhood

Learning Objectives: Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood

  • Summarze overall physical growth during infancy
  • Describe the growth of the brain during infancy
  • Explain infant sleep
  • Identify newborn reflexes
  • Compare gross and fine motor skills
  • Contrast development of the senses in newborns
  • Describe the habituation procedure
  • Explain the merits of breastfeeding and when to introduce more solid foods
  • Discuss the nutritional concerns of marasmus and kwashiorkor

We will now turn our attention to the physical, cognitive, and socioemotional development during the first two years. Researchers have given this part of the lifespan more attention than any other period, perhaps because changes during this time are so dramatic and so noticeable. We have also assumed that what happens during these years provides a foundation for one’s life to come. However, it has been argued that the significance of development during these years has been overstated (Bruer, 1999).


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Lifespan Development - A Psychological Perspective by Martha Lally and Suzanne Valentine-French is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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