The first few years: cognitive development


In this series, we’ll explain each of Kinedu’s four areas of development. Keep reading to find out what you can expect from your baby’s development in the first years!


Babies are a lot like little scientists – actively testing the world to figure out how it works. A baby’s cognition – or the group of mental processes that include abstract thinking, memory, problem solving, and attention – helps create this understanding of the world.

One of the first big leaps your baby will take is developing a sense of agency – or that she can make things happen. This is tied with understanding cause and effect – again, pretty important when it comes to making some sense of how the world works.

By the time your baby’s first birthday comes around, she’ll have a pretty good grasp on the fact that that people and things still exist even when she can’t see them. You’ll notice this breakthrough in object permanence when she starts to find her toys when they are hidden from sight – making Peek-a-boo a little outdated, but hide-and-seek so much more fun. At around this same period, your baby’s attention span will increase a good amount – although she’ll still move around a lot, she might stay interested in a toy for a whopping 15 minutes. Not bad, compared to the two minutes it took for her to get bored a couple of months back. You can gradually expand the toys and objects she’s familiar with to keep her interested – but it’s likely that she’s able to find these objects herself as she turns your home inside out. This random play is her way of learning about the world, and is important for her cognitive development. To keep her safe, make sure there’s nothing dangerous that she could get her hands on – she’ll put anything she finds in her mouth. However, encourage this playtime as it will help construct her ideas about textures, shapes, gravity, and how the world works!

In the first few years, your baby will have an insatiable curiosity, and will be looking for new things to conquer. She’ll show an increased ability to process information, remember, and conceptualize – all part of the cognitive growth that is taking place in that rapidly developing brain of hers.

Strengthen her development by carrying out Kinedu’s Cognitive activities that target Shape, Space, and Measure; Artistic Expression and Creativity; or Reasoning Skills. Here’s one of our favorites – let us know what you think!


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