Infant Motor Development Analysis Essay.
Please follow the assignment requirements. Don’t use the child’s real name. Also, for development continuum you can search up the definition you don’t need to check the textbook. Lastly, you can use google and cite the websites you used MLA format, Professional references.
Requirements: 7 pages
Infant Motor Development Analysis
Human beings have been proven to have superior developmental capabilities compared to other species, even with the invention of Artificial Intelligence. This prowess starts when a baby is born as babies have behavioral flexibility that adapts to constraints of an immediate situation. Babies can develop at different rates depending on several factors example, genes, environment, and diet. Scientists use Development Continuum to record the progress in infants as it is a tool that uses milestones to evaluate a child’s progress over time (Goodway, Ozmun, & Gallahue, 2019). This progress can be recorded from different areas mainly, cognitive, language, social and physical. The study of these areas helps to keep track of a child’s development. Cognitive deals with the emotional and psychological changes while a child grows. Language deals with speech, while social deals with the relationship with other people around the infant. Physical development examines fine motor skills (grasping items such as toys) and gross motor skills (body movements such as crawling) (Brian et al., 2018). The paper aims to examine a child’s physical progress through the ages of 0-18 months through the observation motor skills of three infants. Scientists have developed a sequence for expected child development at different ages, and most children achieve the milestones outlined in their respective age groups.
Infant A was observed on Thursday, 30th September 2021. The infant was in the mother, Mrs. Patricia Williams, and her aunt on the maternal side. Mrs. Patricia was a stay-at-home wife and was the one in charge of the young girl. She provided details about the infant that made the investigation gain better focus. The baby was in the living room during observations with minimal interruptions from the adults. The room had a total of three adults and one child. The baby was in his crib most of the time playing with a variety of toys. The study went on seamlessly with little interruption from the adults. The observation started at 8.30 am and ended at 10.00 am.
Infant B’s observation took place on Thursday, 30th September 2021. The little girl was in the care of a nanny, Miss Ella Moore, a live-in nurse for the family. Miss Moore is a certified physician who has dealt with many children, even those with physical impairments. She, therefore, had skills in infant development and had special exercises for Infant B that she practiced with her daily. The young child was in his nursery at the time of observation and was held by the nanny during observation. The nursery had only two adults and one child at the time of observation. The study had minimal interruptions that did not affect the outcome. There were times the baby fell asleep, and observations had to stop. The investigation started at 11.00 am and ended at 12.30 pm.
Infant C’s study was on Saturday 2nd October 2021. The observation took place in the entire family unit consisting of his father, mother, and two siblings. The mother was the primary caregiver Mrs. Susan Lewis. The baby was free to move about the house and play with the older siblings. The house had a total of three adults and three children. The study encountered a lot of interruptions, but the analysis was not affected. The investigation started at 9.00 am and ended at 1.30 pm.
Age: 8 months
List of Gross Motor Skills
- Can crawl
- She sits on her own
List of Fine Motor Skills
- Can follow the movement of people in the room.
- Mimics clapping when done by an adult.
- Can hold bubbles from the bathwater.
- Splashes water around when given a bath.
- Can reach for objects.
The seven-month baby crawled on her own when taken out of the crib to try and reach where the mother was. The crawling came natural, as though she had done many times before. When laid down in the crib, she independently sat and raised her hands as a gesture to her mother to pick her up once more. She did these two movements with minimal effort, which indicates she learned these skills a while back. She could easily follow the mother’s actions when left in the crib and started to cry when the mother was far from her sight. Mrs. Patricia bathed her, and the baby began to play with the bubbles by holding them in her hands and tried to give them to her mother. To play with her, the mother starts clapping, and she mimics her mother’s actions. The infant tries to follow the rhythm that her mother sets and gains much joy from this exercise. She can hold toys while in the bath and again in the crib where she plays with them.
Age: 5 Months
List of Gross Motor Skills
The infant exhibited a range of gross motor skills that included
- Sits independently.
- Easily rolling from back to tummy.
- Rocks back and forth while seated.
List of Fine Motor Skills
- Sucking on Pacifier.
- Can follow the movement of fingers and people a little far.
- Can lift both hands and arms while laying on the back.
- Unfolds the palm and holds the finger with a hand.
- Can hold hands together and bring to the mouth.
- Reaches for caregivers hand and a milk bottle.
When placed in a sitting position in her crib, the young infant can keep this position for a while without being held up. She struggles at first, trying to find balance while sitting but does not fall. In the crib, the subject sucks on a pacifier effortlessly. While in the sitting position, she rocks back and forth with her entire torso. When lying down, the baby tries to get up by rolling from the back to her tummy and tries to support herself using her arms but fails. This effort shows that the skill is newly acquired, and the baby is still learning how to sit on its own. When fed, the baby reaches for the bottle with her hands and directs the bottle to her mouth. The baby is then placed in the crib, where she comes for her nanny’s hand by lifting both her hands and can grasp a finger. When left alone, the baby raises both her hands and arms and brings both hands to her mouth.
Age: 15 Months
List of Gross Motor Skills
- Can walk around the house independently.
- Tries to climb stairs with hands and legs.
- Can sit and stand independently.
- He tries to climb onto the couch.
List of Fine Motor Skills
- Try to scoop food with a spoon.
- Can lift the shirt to try and undress.
- Waves to people and points at things.
- Moves objects from one hand to the next.
- Can place toys into the basket.
The observation included following the young toddler around as he walked from one room to the other. The toddler first starts in the living room, where he plays with his youngest sibling; they both move into the kitchen, where the toddler stumbles a few times. This stumbling shows that he is still learning how to walk independently fully. When in the kitchen, the baby is given pudding to eat with a spoon and successfully takes a few bites. The subject sits on the kitchen floor to eat and, when almost done, gets up with no help to continue playing. The young child tries to follow his younger sibling upstairs and successfully climbs two steps. A confrontation arises between the two siblings about toys, and the toddler tries to take off his shirt in protest. Their mother settles the dispute and instructs both children to put away the toys, and they both clean up.
Contrasting the Infants
The three infants display different types of motor skills. Infant A and Infant C exhibit locomotor skills because they can move from one space to the other. Infant A can move through crawling when she crawls toward her mother. Infant C can move through walking, as exhibited when he walks towards the kitchen and follows his sibling up the stairs. Locomotive skills help a person move from one point to the next (Anderson, 2018). The difference between Infant A and C is that Infant C exhibits some manipulative skills when he receives a bowl of fruit, showing a higher level of locomotive skills than infant A. It is clear that Infant A and C are much more developed in motor skills than Infant B. Infant B portrays non-locomotor skills primarily as she can only make axial movements, i.e., rolling from side to side and bending back forth. Non-locomotor skills are skills that help infants make axial movements without leaving the actual space they occupy. Though she can roll onto her tummy, it does not allow her to move from one place to another.
Infant B belongs to the reflexive phase in the motor development continuum, while Infant C and A belong to the rudimentary phase. The reflexive phase is characterized by involuntary movements that aid in gathering information about the surrounding. These movements include reactions to touch or responses to actions by adults (Anderson, 2018). Infant B shows some reflexive movements, such as rolling on her tummy, enabling her to gain information on her immediate surroundings. Other reflexes include stability when sitting down and manipulation reflexes such as grasping the nanny’s finger and reaching for the milk bottle. Infant B also exhibits some manipulative movements such as balance while sitting, though this skill is mainly rudimentary. Infant C and A are in the rudimentary phase as they both demonstrate basic motor skills that are walking and crawling, respectively. Both of the infants also exhibit stability and manipulation movements such as control of muscle movements. Both of the infants can move items from one place to another. Infant A being able to move toys while Infant C can receive his bowl of fruit.
Infant A, B, C are great examples to show that motor development occurs in orderly sequences. Infant B first learns how to sit down, followed by Infant A, who is learning how to crawl, followed by Infant C, who is past crawling and can walk independently. Infant B can sit without support, while Infant A can move from standing up to sitting down, and Infant C can sit and stand alone. Their grasping ability is also sequential, with Infant B holding the nanny’s finger; Infant A can move toys from one place to another while Infant C can feed himself. Their age difference also shows that developmental milestones such as walking and feeding themselves have a range of ages that need to be achieved. While a delay in one milestone for a short time is not a cause of concern, delays in several milestones may be problematic (“Classification of Motor Skills: Skill Acquisition (Fine/Gross..Serial..),” 2015).
The main conclusion is that development in infants is dynamic but follows most of the development norms outlined in studies. While a child should start crawling at nine months, Infant B is ahead of his time and is crawling at eight months. This observation is an individual difference that is common in most babies. The three infants belong to different stages in the motor development continuum, and their differences in motor development show as much. However, there are intersecting growth milestones in the three infants, such as the ability to grasp objects and the ability to sit down unaided. Though these skills are common in the three infants, the levels of prowess exhibited by the three are different. While Infant B can grasp a finger, Infant C can hold a spoon and move it towards his face. These differences are what show that motor development follows the development continuum outlined.
There are certain precautions to keep in mind while evaluating motor development in infants. One is that children develop motor skills at different times and that a delay does not mean there is a problem (de Meester et al., 2020). An example is, while one baby may learn to grasp items at three months, another may delay and start at four months. Another is to consider the environment they are exposed to in their early stages. Some children may enjoy being brought up by child development professionals like a live-in nurse in the case of infant B. Infant B may develop fine motor skills faster as the nurse will engage her in activities that help develop these skills, such as finger painting and puzzle exercises.
Although delay does not equal a problem, some delays may signify developmental coordination disorder (de Meester et al., 2020). When detected early, it helps get a child the necessary help they need and thus assists in growing these skills. Some of the problems may include dropping objects like spoons and overly delayed walking or crawling. Once a parent notices these deficits and discusses them with a pediatrician, an occupational therapist can help achieve these critical developmental milestones. A child should gain access to physical therapy at a young age, increasing the chances of recovery and diagnosis.
Motor development differences in terms of gender may stem from the environment that infants get are exposed. In the study, Infant B received more care and attention compared to infant C. While both children could move from place to place, the adults gave more attention to Infant B, who would probably learn how to walk in a short period. It was also clear that Infant B received more playtime with her parents than Infant C, which could contribute to her developing fine motor skills faster than Infant C. Infant C can explore, for example, when he tries to climb the stairs on his own, and this may have led to him acquiring gross motor skills faster than a female infant. However, these discriminations seemed to be involuntary and undetected by both sets of parents. These social differences may contribute to differences in the rate of growth.
Understanding child development will help parents and professionals detect any developmental deficits in a child and thus ask for assistance early enough. Physical therapy can rectify some of the cases can and therefore, children can continue growing unaffected. It also reduces the stigma of children suffering from different physical challenges as professionals and parents become more knowledgeable on the subject. It also helps parents understand what a child is capable of doing at different age groups. This knowledge is helpful in the preparation of the coming differences both psychologically and through purchasing necessary items for the child. Understanding other aspects of child development behavior can help a parent or a professional separate a child’s behavior from their character. An example is tantrums thrown by infants do not necessarily mean a problematic child.
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