Category Archives: Key Milestones

The first few years: auditory development

This article discusses the development of your baby’s sense of hearing, a sub-domain of the Physical developmental area!

Your baby was born with an excellent sense of hearing, almost as good as an adult’s. He has actually been eavesdropping on your conversations since his 20th week in the womb! So by the time he is born, not only can your baby hear your voice clearly, but he can differentiate between several tones you use, even if he can’t quite understand what you are saying yet. All that practice listening to your conversations has paid off!

Hearing will be important in the development of linguistic, social, and cognitive skills, so checking your baby’s ears before leaving the hospital is recommended. If you don’t get the chance, look for the Moro reflex by startling him with a loud or unexpected noise before the two-month mark, because that’s when the reflex disappears.

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The first few years: motor development

Motor development is a sub-domain of the Physical Developmental area. Look out for the rest of the area’s articles!

Motor skills, like everything else, are learned and practice is key. In order to develop her motor skills, your baby needs opportunities to strengthen her muscles and coordinate her actions. In her first few months, this will come down to getting enough “tummy-time”, which will strengthen the upper body muscles. When lying on her back, your baby may start lifting her head momentarily and turn her head from side to side. Test her grasp reflex –you can place your finger in her hand, she’ll automatically curl her fingers around it!

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The first few years: social and emotional development

We’re born social animals. From the start, babies love being held, touched, talked to, and smiled at. And it’s no wonder they crave a connection with adults –babies are completely dependent on others throughout their childhood for survival. However, in order to thrive, not just survive, a baby needs more than just food and shelter. Not surprisingly, a baby needs engagement and attention from mom, dad, or his caregiver. What is surprising, however, is that a baby needs a specific type of engagement -a serve and return relationship.

Serve and return interactions with caregivers are necessary for a baby’s brain to wire properly, and to set the right architecture for future learning. They follow the pattern in which a baby ‘serves’ though babbling, facial expressions, or gestures; and adults ‘return’ the serve with a meaningful response –say, another gesture or vocalizing back. These simple interactions allow for the right connections to take place in the baby’s brain, and also create the safe and nurturing environment that they need to develop socially and emotionally.

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Why the early years matter

Here at Kinedu, we’re committed to giving parents the best tools for improving their child’s development. But why do we focus on babies 0-2 years old? There’s a good reason for this!The early years matter – for the rest of a person’s life. During this important period of brain development, a baby’s brain is incredibly active – it’s changing and adapting at a rate that won’t be matched for the rest of his or her lifetime.

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