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Infancy and Toddlerhood Period of Development

Infants and toddlers are children who fall between the ages of one month to three years old. The
physical domain, involves things such as body weight, height, and overall health of a child
(Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, n.d.). One physical developmental
milestone an infant should attain during this period is a change in body size. During infancy,
these changes are rapidfaster than at any other time after birth. By the end of the first year, a
typical infants height is 50 percent greater than at birth (Berk, 2013). A toddler should attain
the ability to use complex motor skills. A second milestone an infant should attain is the ability
to walk by at least 12 months of age. Toddlers should be able to change their muscle-fat make

One language developmental milestone an infant should attain during

the period of infancy is babbling. Between 6 and 9 months babies begin to repeat certain
syllables (ma-ma-ma, da-da- da) a phenomenon referred to as babbling because of the way it
sounds (Berger, 2006). This is the first language milestone for infants. Toddlers the time they
are two years old should attain the ability to put word together, such as come and here (come
here). A second milestone infants should attain is the ability to say one or two words. Toddlers
should attain the ability to speak in a way that adults and caregivers can understand.
Cognitive development happens from the time children are born and it deals with the way
children learn and think. During this stage a cognitive development an infant should attain is the
ability to differentiate between his/her parents and strangers. This should happen by the time the
infant is nine months. They have also attained object permanence. Toddlers at this stage are able
to understand that object have certain functions. In addition, they are able to understand
sequence. Such skills are useful to them when they play with puzzles or when they need to
follow daily routines.

Two social-emotional stages children should achieve during infancy are; being able to respond to
social stimulation and showing conform around familiar people. Two social emotional stages
children should achieve during toddlerhood are; developing emotions (anger, sadness, happiness,
aggression), and developing empathy toward other children.

During infancy children do not have a sense of morality. They do however learn to tell what is
wrong and when they should act upon it. A good example is when they know they are dirty and
cry to have their diaper changed. Being able to understand that they are alone is a second
milestone infants develop. Two moral reasoning/self regulation milestones toddlers achieve are;
being able to understand that parents are important to them and they set rules, and they become
able to express their feelings appropriately (without throwing a tantrum).

A sign of atypical development during this period is a sign of language delay. A delay in speech
may be a sign for concern, this may be either in

receptive language as well as in expressive language. Some of the causes for delays may be; a
problem with hearing, and an intellectual disability. It is important to observe the childs
language development and to consult a doctor if there is a delay. Early intervention can help
address language issues. A second sign of atypical childhood development is when the child has
to many tantrums. This may be cause by mood disorders or other disorders.

A social factor that may influence infancy and early childhood is the lack of ability to socialize
with others. If children are not given the opportunity to interact with other child, neighbors,
family members, they will be socially isolated and will not learn to have proper relationships.

A cultural factor that may influence infancy and childhood may be the value children have
within their culture. For instance, in some culture schildren may simply be seen as small adults
and building a positive relationship might not be important. In other cultures, it may be different
and parents might value children as equals and try their best to have a positive relationship with
the child.

One of the most crucial development during this period is language development. Children will
need good language and communication skills in order to be successful in school. A strategy
family can use at home to help promote learning is to talk to the child and ask questions. Parents
can take the child for a walk and talk to the child about everything they see. Then parents can ask
the child questions such as what did you see today? or what did you like about our walk?.
Allowing children, the opportunity to express themselves verbally will also give them of being
valued. A second play based strategy families can use to influence infancy and childhood
learning is to promote symbolic play/ make believe play. Children can play house, go on a
magical adventure in the backyard, or build towers with blocks.


Berk, L. E. (2013). Child development (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Kathleen Stassen Berger (2006). The Developing Person: Through Childhood and Adolescence.
New York, NY: Worth Publishers

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (n.d). Understanding infant and toddler
development Retrieved from