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Cephalocaudal and Proximodistal Pattern

The cephalocaudal trend is the postnatal growth from conception to 5 months when the head
grows more than the body. Applies to the development of the fetus also applies in the first months
after birth.
The proximodistal trend is the pre-natal growth from 5 months to birth when the fetus grows
from the inside of the body outwards. Applies in the first months after birth, as shown in the earlier
maturation of muscular control of the trunk and arms, followed by that of the hands and fingers.
Height and weight
Its normal for newborn babies to drop 5 to 10 percent of their body weight within couple of weeks
of birth. This is due to the babys adjustment to neonatal feeding. Breastfed babies are typically
heavier than bottle-fed babies through the first six months. After six months, breastfed babies
usually weigh less than bottle fed babies. An infants length increases by about 30 percent in first
five months. A babys weight usually triples during the first year but slows down in the second year
of life.
Brain development
Myelination or myelinization, the process by which the axons are covered and insulated by
layers of fat cells, begins prenatally and continues after birth. At birth the newborns brain is about
25% of its adult weight by the second birthday the brain is about 75% of its adult weight.
Motor development
Sucking reflex: initiated when something touches the roof of an infants mouth.
Rooting reflex: Evident when an infants cheek is stroked the baby responds by turning his/her head
in the direction of the touch and opening their mouth for feeding.
Gripping reflex: babies will grasp anything that is place in their palm
Curling reflex: when the inner sole of a babys foot is stroked, the infant responds by curling his/her
Startle/Moro reflex: infants respond to sudden sounds or movement by throwing their arms and legs
Galant reflex: shown when infants middle or lower back is stroked next to the spinal cord. The baby
will respond by curving his or her body towards the side which being stroked.
Tonic neck reflex: demonstrated in infants who are place in their abdomens. Whichever side the
childs head is facing, the limbs on that side will straighten while the opposite limbs will curl.
Gross motor skills
Fine motor skills
Skills that are involve a refined use of the small muscles controlling the hand, fingers and thumb.
The development of this skill allows one to be able to complete task such as writing, drawing and
buttoning. The ability to exhibit fine motor skills involves activities that involve precise eye-hand
Sensory and Perceptual development

The newborn senses the world into which he/she is born through his/her senses of vision, hearing,
touch, taste, and smell. Ideally, as he/she advances physically his/her sensory and perceptual
abilities also develop.
Can newborns see? Newborns vision is about 10 to 30 times lower than normal adult vision.
Infants look at different things for different length of time. Infant preferred to look at patterns such
as faces and concentric circles rather than color or brightness (1963 cited by Santrock, 2002.
Experiment conducted by Robert Fantz) Based on this results it is likely pattern perception has
innate basis
Can newborns hear? The sense of hearing in an infant develops much before the birth of the

Can infants differentiate odors? By MacFarlane (1975) young infants who were breastfed
showed a clear preference for smelling their mothers breast pad when they were 6 days old
Can newborn feel pain? Do they respond to touch? They do feel pain. Newborn males show
higher level of cortisol (indicator of stress) after a circumcision than prior to surgery.
Can newborns distinguish the different tastes? In study conducted with babies only two hour
old babies made different facial expressions when they tasted sweet, sour, and bitter solutions
Are infants capable of intermodal perception? In a study conducted by Spelke and Owsley
(1979) it was found out that as early as at 3 months old, infants looked more at their mother
when they also heard her voice and longer at their father when they also heard his voice.

What infants and toddler can do physically?

0-6 months: Startles to loud sound; visually follows moving object from side to side/up and down; reacts
to pain by crying;
7-12 months: Reacts with pleasure when he smells something nice; pushes and/or pulls moderately;
walks without tiring easily
13-18 months: Plays without tiring easily, able to keep pace with playmates;
19-24 months: Sustains physical activity for at least 3-5 minutes
Motor skills development (Gross motor skills)
0-6 months: Holds head steadily; moves arms and legs equally to reach at dangling objects; rolls over;
bounces when held standing, 7-12 months: Sits alone, creeps or crawls with ease; stands without
support; stands from sitting position without help
13-18 months: Walks without support; walks backwards; walks up the stair with hand held (2 feet on each
step); walks down the stairs with hand held (2 feet each step); jumps in place; kicks balls but little controls
of direction and speed; maintains balance; can move body to imitate another person.
19-24 months: Walks up and down stair with alternating feet w/o help; kicks and throws a ball with
control direction and speed
Motor skills development (Fine motor skills)
0-6 months: hands open most of the time; brings both hand together toward dangling objects; uses either
hand interchangeably to grasp object; uses all 5 fingers in a raking motion to get food; grasp objects with
the same hand all the time

7-12 months: pulls toy by the string; bangs two large blocks together; pick up object with thumb and
index finger; grasp all objects w/ the same hands all the time.
13-18 months: puts small objects in/out of container; unscrews lids; unwraps candy/food; holds thick
pencil or crayon with palmar grip (all 5 fingers); scribble spontaneously
19-24 months: colors with strokes going out of the lines
Personal care and hygiene (daily life)
0-6 months: sucks and swallows milk from breast or bottle; begins to take semi solid food by the end of 6
months; keep reasonably still while being dressed, undress, bathed and while diaper is being changed
7-12 months: holds feeding bottle by himself; helps hold cup for drinking; chews solid foods well; feeds
self with finger foods; scoops with a spoon with spillage
13-18 months: feeds with self-assistance; no longer drinks in feeding bottle; participate when being
dressed; removes shoes or sandals
19-24 months: gets drink unassisted; removes loose sando; removes socks; brushes teeth after meal w/o
adults supervision
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