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Physical Development in Infants and Toddlers


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Title: Physical Development in Infants and Toddlers

Physical Development in Infants and Toddlers
Changes in Body Size
  • Body grows more rapidly
  • Growth occurs in small spurts
  • Length
  • 50 greater at age 1
  • 75 greater at age 2
  • Weight
  • Doubled by 5 months
  • Tripled by 1 year
  • Quadrupled at 2 years

Body weight
  • Changes in body weight is more dramatic
  • New born ? 2.7 3.6 kg.
  • 5 mths ? body weight 2 x weight at birth)
  • 1 year old ? 3 x
  • 2 year old ? 4 x
  • 2-3 yr. old ? rapid change in weight (spurt)
  • After 3 yr. old ? slower rate
  • The first 6 mths ? changes focused gt on muscle
  • 6-12 mths ? dev. focused gt on movement
  • 2 yrs pre puberty ? body weight increase 2.5
    kg per year
  • Girls slightly shorter and lighter
  • Ethnic differences

  • Child of same age may differ in height.
  • Baby ? length increase 30 until 5 mths old
  • By age 1 yr ? length increase to 50 5 years
    old ? height doubles/triples
  • 2 yrs old - puberty ? height increase 2-3 in.
    per year.
  • Adolescent ? sudden changes in height weight
    (growth spurt)

Body Fat/Appearance
  • Subcutaneous fat ? begin to form in the fetus
    about 6 weeks before birth.
  • First 9 mths ? Sub. Fat continue to accumulate
    rapidly ? making baby look rounded filled up.
  • Gain baby fat until about 9 months ? After 9
    mth, fat accumulation slows down.
  • 1 yr old middle childhood ? less fat
    accumulation? Toddlers become more slender
  • Muscle tone increase
  • Helps maintain constant temp.
  • Muscle tissue increases slowly ? Peaks in
  • Girls more fat than boys

Body fat and muscle ? contributes to the
physical development and body structure
  • Ectomorph ? small/tall, slim, skinny
  • Endomorph ? flabby, obese
  • Mesomorph ? tough, musculine

Head circumference
  • Baby
  • Brain mass of a newborn ? about 2/3 of adult
  • Head circ. of a new born ? 30-38 cm
  • 6 mths old baby ? 42.5 cm
  • Head circ/size increase ? parallel to brain
  • Newborn head bigger than body size ? due to
    rapid brain development during pre natal
  • 5 yrs. Old brain? weigh about 90 of adult
  • 6 yrs. old brain ? equivalent to adult weight.

What is brain?
  • Body most vital organ.
  • Each person is born with over 100 billions
    brain cells (neurons).
  • Brains can send signals to thousands of other
    cells in the body at speed of more than 200
  • Brain growth before after birth is
    fundamental to future development.

  • Each part of the brain is very important in
    infuencing a child development ? integration
    between child emotions and behavior.
  • Middle brain Limbic System
  • Covers motivation, emotions, long term memory,
    aggressive behavior, body temperature, hunger,
    nerve system activities, hormon secretion
  • Outer Brain Cortex neocortex
  • Divided into lobes/sections (folds) with
    specific functions.
  • Placement of intelligence higer mental
    process, learning, memory, thinking, language
    (last to develop)
  • Also control vision, hearing, inventing.
  • Brain stem
  • Contro process such as breathing, heartbeat
    muscle movement, kidney process, reflex
    behavior, sleep, arousal, attention,
    balance/movement etc.

  • 1 organ with 3 mini brains
  • Brainstem (inner core)
  • Breathing, heartbeat muscle movement, reflex
  • Limbic system
  • Covers the brainstem
  • Motivation, emotions, long term memory
  • Cerebellum control automatic movements
  • Cerebral cortex
  • Higher mental process.
  • Learning, memory, Thinking, Language
  • Last to develop

Structure of the Brain
Regions of the Cerebral Cortex
  • Thin layer on the brains surface that
    include lobes or sections
  • Occipital lobe
  • Process vision.
  • Temporal Lobe
  • Process hearing
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Process sensory stimuli
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Critical thinking problem solving
  • Frontal cortex ? area of the cortex that controls
    personality and the ability to carry out plans

Brain and Neurons
  • New born brain ? 100 billions brain cells
    (neurons) ready to operate ? but the brain
    cells/neurons sre not connected yet.
  • Neurons are cell bodies with nucleas,
    composed of DNA (which contains the cells
    genetic programming).
  • As the brain grows ? the cell migrate to
    various parts ? spread out to perform
    different functions ? they sprout axons
  • cells.

Brain and Neurons
  • First 3 years of life ? childrens brain are
    actively building and developing connections
    between the neurons cells.
  • Connections are developed when the brain
    are actively receiving stimulus ? process
    between receiving and sending impulses
    between the cells.
  • Through axons/dendrites ? send signals to other
    neurons receive incoming message through
    connection called synapses.

Brain and Neurons
  • The message transmission process from one
    neuron to the other is done through synap ?
    with the aid of neurotransmiter that
    moves through the gap between axon of one
    cell and dendrite of another .
  • The neurons networking developed based on
    childrens experiences ? where each
    experience leads to the development of new
    brain cells ? as more informations gain.
  • With proper stimulation, the synapses become
    stronger ? information moves faster.
  • Thus, enhancing their development is very

What is synapses?
  • Synapses is the nervous system connection
    link ? ie the connection between nerve
  • Connections ? made through the stimulus ?
    sending signals to the brain.
  • The brains define what is it/who we are?
  • With proper stimulation, the synapses become

  • Synapses allow nerve cells to communicate with
    one another through axons and dendrites,
    converting electrical signals into chemicals

Skeletal Growth
Skeletal Growth
  • Embryonic skeleton
  • Soft, pliable tissue (cartilage)
  • Beginning at week 6
  • At birth babies have soft bones ? cartilage.
  • Changes is bones structure
  • Lengthen
  • Harden
  • Increase

a. Lengthened
  • Bones become longer, bigger thicker
  • Bones will stop growing when it harden (reach

b. Hardened
  • At birth/baby ? soft bones (cartilage) ? water
    content is high.
  • During the process of ossification, bones
    harden ? calcium deposited.
  • Eg. As baby skulls harden fuse ? Fontanel
    gradually close (about 2 years old).
  • Ossification occurs before birth and ends
    when a person reach maturity.
  • Nutritious food ? calcium, phosphorous
    vitamins helps ossification

c. Increase
  • Number of bones increases ? parallel to its
  • Eg. Number of bones in the wrist ankle
    increases with age
  • 1 yr.? 3 wrist bones
  • adult ? 9 wrist bones

Growth of the Skull(Rapid during first 2 years)
  • At birth
  • Bone of the skull separate
  • These gaps are called fontanels
  • Sutures seams of the skull
  • By 2 years ? Gaps filled in

Motor Development
Motor Development
  • Inborn reflexes
  • Motor skill development
  • Gross motor
  • Fine motor

Types of motor skill
  • Gross motor
  • Fine motor

Development of Locomotion
Motor DevelopmentGross motor Skill
  • Large movements
  • Eg. Crawling, Walking, Running, Jumping
  • Head proceeds arms and trunk
  • Improves dramatically during preschool years

Motor Development Fine motor Skill
  • The ability to carry out smoothly small
    movements that involve precise timing but not
  • Smaller movements
  • e.g. Reaching and grasping
  • Sequence the same
  • Large differences in rate of motor progress
  • Eg. Reaching, grasping, pinching, writing,
  • Involves the coordination between hand
    control and vision (Eye-Hand coordination)
  • Reaching and grasping becomes more coordinated
    throughout infancy.
  • Toddlers prefer to use one hand and this
    preference becomes stronger during the preschool

Voluntary Reaching
  • Vital role to cognitive development
  • New ways for exploring environment

Fine motor skill development
  • Steps in fine motor skill development-
  • Prereaching (newborn)
  • Ulnar Grasp (3-4 months)
  • Changing/passing object from one hand to the
    other (5-8 mths)
  • Pincer grasp (9- above)

Reaching and Grasping
  • Pre-reaching (0-2 months)
  • Ulnar grasp (3-4 months)
  • Pincer grasp (9 months)

Reaching and Grasping
  • Prereaching (0-2 months)
  • Uncoordinated, primitive reaching
  • Palmer grasp (reflex grasp)
  • Hand grasping movement without coordination.
  • Often fail to grasp object successfully ? may
    make contact with object but fail to enclose
    it in their fingers
  • The grasp reflex should disappear in 2 -3 months

Reaching and Grasping
  • Ulnar grasp (3-4mth)
  • Clumsy grasp
  • Fingers close against the palm

Reaching and Grasping
  • Pincer grasp (9 mth)
  • Well-coordinated grasp
  • Oppositional use of the forefinger and thumb

Development of the Eye-Hand Coordination
Age Fine motor development
1 mth 3 mth 1 Yr Suck finger Reaching object infront of the eye, Ulnar-palmar Grasp Hold object using thumb fore finger (pincer) Hold big crayon scrible left-right
  • Fine motor development involves the
    coordination between eye-hand control.
  • Progress in visual development ? improves
    child fingers movement control

Early Experience and Reaching
  • Trying to push infants beyond their current
    readiness to handle stimulation can undermine the
    development of important motor skills.
  • As infants and toddlers motor skills develop,
    their caregivers must devote more energies to
    protecting them from harm.

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Growth And Nutrition
  • Genes interact with environment, i.e. nutrition
    and living conditions, ? general health and
  • Well-fed, well-cared-for children grow taller and
    heavier than less well nourished and nurtured
  • Better medical care, immunization and
    antibiotics?better health

Influences on Early Growth
  • Heredity
  • Nutrition
  • Breast v. Bottle Feeding
  • Malnutrition
  • Emotional Well-Being
  • Problems can cause Failure to Thrive

Growth And Nutrition
  • Children grow faster during the first years,
    especially during the first few months.
  • This rapid growth rate tapers off during the
    second and third years

Growth And Nutrition
  • Nourishment
  • Breast milk is almost always the best food for
    newborns and is recommended for at least the
    first 12 months
  • Parents can avoid obesity and cardiac problems in
    themselves and in their children by adopting a
    more active lifestyle for the entire family--and
    to breastfeed their babies

Benefits of Breastfeeding
  • Correct fat-protein balance
  • Nutritionally complete
  • More digestible
  • Better growth
  • Disease protection
  • Better jaw and tooth development
  • Easier transition to solid food

Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe
  • Safe toys
  • Report unsafe toys
  • Childproofing
  • Continuous monitoring
  • Car seat

Milestone Infant Toddlers
Milestones of Motor Development
  • lift head when held at your shoulder
  • lift head and chest when lying on his stomach
  • turn head from side to side when lying on his
  • follow a moving object or person with his eyes
  • often hold hands open or loosely fisted
  • grasp rattle when given to her
  • wiggle and kick with arms and legs

  • By 6 Mths Old
  • hold head steady when sitting with your help
  • reach for and grasp objects
  • play with his toes
  • help hold the bottle during feeding
  • explore by mouthing and banging objects
  • move toys from one hand to another
  • shake a rattle
  • pull up to a sitting position on her own if you
    grasp her hands
  • sit with only a little support
  • sit in a high chair
  • roll over
  • bounce when held in a standing position

By 12 mths old
  • drink from a cup with help
  • feed herself finger food like raisins or bread
  • grasp small objects by using her thumb and index
    or forefinger
  • use his first finger to poke or point
  • put small blocks in and take them out of a
  • knock two blocks together
  • sit well without support
  • crawl on hands and knees
  • pull himself to stand or take steps holding onto
  • stand alone momentarily
  • walk with one hand held
  • cooperate with dressing by offering a foot or an

  • By 18 months
  • like to pull, push, and dump things
  • pull off hat, socks, and mittens
  • turn pages in a book
  • stack 2 blocks
  • carry a stuffed animal or doll
  • scribble with crayons
  • walk without help
  • run stiffly, with eyes on the ground

  • By 2 years old
  • drink from a straw
  • feed himself with a spoon
  • help in washing hands
  • put arms in sleeves with help build a tower of
    3-4 blocks
  • toss or roll a large ball
  • open cabinets, drawers, boxes
  • operate a mechanical toy
  • bend over to pick up a toy and not fall
  • walk up steps with help
  • take steps backward

  • Early Middle childhood

Physical Development in Early Childhood
  • Body Growth Slows
  • Shape becomes more streamlined
  • Skeletal Growth Continues
  • New growth centers
  • Lose baby teeth
  • Asynchronies
  • Brain, lymph nodes
  • grow fastest

Brain Development in Early Childhood
  • Frontal lobe areas for planning and organization
  • Left hemisphere active
  • Language skills
  • Handedness
  • Linking areas develop
  • Cerebellum
  • Reticular formation
  • Corpus callosum

  • Begins as early as 1 year and strengthens
  • 90 are right-handed
  • Left-handedness not caused by brain problems
  • Affected by Experience
  • Position in uterus
  • Practice

Influences on Physical Growth and Health
  • Heredity and Hormones
  • Growth hormone
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • Emotional Well-Being
  • Psychosocial dwarfism
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Infectious Disease
  • Immunization
  • Childhood Injuries

Helping Young Children Sleep
  • Regular bed time
  • Early enough for 10-11 hours of sleep
  • Special pajamas
  • No TV or computer games before bed
  • Bedtime ritual
  • Respond firmly but gently
  • to bedtime resistance
  • No sleeping medication

Nutrition in Early Childhood
  • Appetite becomes unpredictable
  • Like familiar foods
  • Need high-quality diet
  • Social environment
  • influences food choices
  • Imitate admired people
  • Repeated exposure to foods
  • Emotional climate,
  • parental pressure
  • Poverty

Factors Related to Childhood Injuries
  • Individual Differences
  • Gender
  • Temperament
  • Poverty,
  • low parental education
  • More children in the home
  • Societal conditions
  • International differences

Motor Skill Development in Early Childhood
  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Walking, running smoother
  • Catching, throwing, swinging, riding
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Self-help dressing, eating
  • Drawing

Progression of Drawing Skills
  • Scribbles during 2nd year
  • First Representational Forms
  • Label already-made drawings
  • around age 3
  • Draw boundaries and people
  • 34 years
  • More Realistic Drawings preschool to school
  • Early Printing Ages 35

Development of Childrens Drawing
Development of Printing in Early Childhood
Up to Age 3 Scribbles Varied pencil grips
Around Age 4 Drawing print
Between Ages 4 - 6 Gradually realize writing stands for language, identify individual letters Adult pencil grip by age 5
Variations in 3-Year-Olds Pencil Grip
Individual Differences in Motor Skills
  • Body Build
  • Taller, longer limbed better at running and
  • Sex
  • Boys better at power
  • and force
  • Girls fine motor skills, balance, foot movement

Enhancing Early Childhood Motor Development
  • Mastered through everyday play
  • Formal lessons have little impact
  • Daily routines support fine motor development
  • Provide appropriate play space and equipment
  • Promote fun and positive attitude

Physical Development in Middle Childhood
  • .

Body Growth in Middle Childhood
  • Slow, regular pattern
  • Girls shorter and lighter until about age 9
  • Lower portion of body growing fastest
  • Bones lengthen
  • Muscles very flexible
  • All permanent teeth arrive

Physical Changes and Health
  • During middle and late childhood
  • Growth averages 2-3 inches per year
  • Weight gain averages 5-7 lbs each year
  • Baby fat decreases
  • Muscle mass and strength gradually increase
  • Less noticeable is ossification of bones
  • Fine motor skills improve
  • Myelination of CNS increases
  • Boys have a greater number of muscle cells and
    are stronger than girls

  • Most noticeable physical changes are in head and
    waist circumference, and leg length in relation
    to body
  • By age 10-12, manipulative writing skills show
    (like adults) and ability to master complex
  • Girls usually outperform boys in fine motor
  • Increased myelination in the central nervous
    system enables development of fine motor skills
    for both male and female elementary school

  • A major growth spurt occurs at the time of
  • Usually kids enter puberty between age 8 to 13
    years in girls and 10 to 15 years in boys.
  • Puberty lasts about 2 to 5 years.
  • This growth spurt is associated with sexual
    development, which includes the appearance of
    pubic and underarm hair, the growth and
    development of sex organs, and in girls, the
    onset of menstruation.
  • By the time girls reach age 15 and boys reach age
    16 or 17, the growth associated with puberty will
    have ended for most teens and they will have
    reached physical maturity.

Middle Childhood Growth Worldwide
  • Shortest children
  • South America, Asia, Pacific Islands, parts of
  • Tallest children
  • North central Europe,
  • Australia, Canada, U.S.
  • Secular trend in industrialized countries toward
    larger and heavier children

Brain Development in Middle Childhood
  • Myelination increases white matter in
  • Frontal lobes
  • Corpus callosum
  • Children acquire complex abilities
  • Neurotransmitters and hormones may affect
  • cognition and behavior

Health, Illness, and Disease
  • More children become involved in sports every
    year communities and schools are offering more
  • Sports participation is positive and negative
    with concerns about pressure to win and
  • Middle and late childhood
  • Is usually a time of excellent health
  • Motor vehicle accidents are most common cause of
    severe injury as passenger or pedestrian
  • Cancer is 2nd leading cause of death and the
    incidence of childhood cancer is increasing.
  • Most common child cancer is leukemia

Common Health Problems in Middle Childhood
  • Vision Myopia
  • Hearing Otitis media (middle ear infection)
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Bedwetting
  • Illnesses
  • Injuries

Causes of Myopia
  • Genetics
  • Myopic parents
  • Asian heritage
  • Early biological trauma
  • Low birth weight
  • Experience
  • Reading close work
  • Computer use

Health, Illness, and Disease
  • Obesity
  • Prevalent in children, mostly ages 6 to 11
  • Obese 6-year-old has 25 risk of being obese
  • Obese 12-year-old has 75 risk of being obese
  • Linked to lack of exercise
  • Only 27 of 2-5 yr olds and 13 of 6-9 yr olds
    have good diets.
  • Context in which child eats can influence eating
    habits and weight
  • Kids who eat with their families are more likely
    to eat veggies and low fat foods, and drink fewer
    sodas than kids who eat alone.

Nutrition Problems in Middle Childhood
  • Little focus on eating
  • Fewer meals with family
  • Too few fruits and vegetables
  • Too many fried foods and soft drinks
  • Poverty and lack of nutritional food

Causes of Obesity in Middle Childhood
  • Overweight parents
  • Early rapid growth or malnutrition
  • Low SES
  • Family eating habits
  • Response to food cues
  • Low physical activity
  • Television

Risks for Obese Children
  • Psychological risks
  • Feeling unattractive
  • Stereotyping and teasing
  • Depression
  • Problem behaviors
  • Early puberty and sexual problems
  • More likely to be overweight adults
  • Health risks
  • Blood pressure, cholesterol
  • Respiratory problems
  • Diabetes
  • Liver, gall bladder
  • Cancer

Illnesses in Middle Childhood
  • More acute illnesses first two years of school
  • Exposure
  • Still developing immune system
  • Chronic Diseases - 1520 percent
  • Asthma
  • Severe illnesses 2

Health, Illness, and Disease
  • Today, too much time is spent watching TV, on
    computers, and playing video games.
  • Children need more exercise
  • 61 of 9-13 yr. old US children did not
    participate in any organized physical activity
    during their non-school hours.
  • Low self-esteem, depression, and teasing by peers
    are common for obese kids, and risk of high blood
    pressure and cholesterol, pulmonary disease, and
    type 2 diabetes are increased.

Accidents in Middle Childhood
  • Most common types
  • Motor vehicle
  • Bicycle
  • Pedestrian
  • Prevention
  • Teach safety
  • Model safe behavior
  • Require helmets
  • Watch high-risk children more

Motor Development in Middle Childhood
  • Gross Motor Skills Improvements
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Agility
  • Force
  • Fine Motor Skills Gains
  • Writing
  • Drawing

Six-Year Olds Drawing
Eight-Year Olds Drawing
Ten-Year Olds Drawing
Individual Differences in Motor Skills
  • Body build
  • Sex
  • Family encouragement, expectations
  • SES
  • School community lessons available

Physical Play Development in Middle Childhood
  • Child-Organized Games with Rules
  • Sports
  • Invented Games
  • Video Games
  • Adult-organized sports
  • Physical Education

Providing Developmentally Appropriate Sports
  • Build on childrens interests
  • Emphasize enjoyment
  • Let kids contribute
  • Teach age-appropriate skills
  • Limit practices
  • Discourage unhealthy competition
  • Focus on personal and team improvement

Rough and Tumble Play
  • Friendly chasing and play-fighting
  • Common in many mammals and across cultures
  • Peaks in middle childhood
  • Boys do more
  • May help establish dominance hierarchy

Physical Development Milestone Early
Middle Childhood
  • By 3 years of age does your child
  • - feed himself (with some spilling)- open
    doors- hold a glass in one hand- hold a crayon
    well- wash and dry hands by himself- fold
    paper, if shown how- build a tower of 54
    blocks- throw a ball overhead- try to catch a
    large ball- put on shoes (but not tie laces)-
    dress herself with help- use the toilet with
    some help- walk up steps, alternating feet-
    walk on tiptoes if shown how- walk in a straight
    line- kick a ball forward- jump with both
    feet- pedal a tricycle

  • By 4 years old
  • - feed herself (with little spilling)- try to
    use a fork- hold a pencil- try to write name-
    draw with the arm and not small hand movements-
    draw a circle a face- try to cut paper with
    blunt scissors- sometimes unbutton buttons- try
    to buckle, button, and lace, even though she
    probably needs help- completely undress herself
    if wearing clothes with simple fasteners- brush
    teeth with help- build a tower of 7-9 blocks-
    put together a simple puzzle of 4-12 pieces-
    pour from a small pitcher- use the toilet
    alone- try to skip- catch a bouncing ball-
    walk downstairs using a handrail and alternating
    feet- swing, starting by himself and keeping
    himself going

  • By 5 Years old
  • hops and skips
  • dresses without help
  • good balance and smoother muscle action
  • Skates
  • rides bicycles and scooter
  • prints simple letters
  • ties shoes
  • girls small muscle development about 1 year
    ahead of boys.

  • By 6-8 Years old
  • skilled at using scissors and small tools
  • shows development of permanent teeth
  • enjoys testing muscle strength and skills
  • has good sense of balance
  • can tie shoelaces
  • enjoys copying designs and shapes, letters and
  • may have gawky awkward appearance from long arms
  • throwing at targets,
  • running,
  • jumping rope,
  • tumbling
  • aerobics may be of interest

By 12 Years old
  • (Boys ? 80 adult height Girls ? 90 of adult
  • Growth is slower than in preschool years, but
    steady. Eating may fluctuate with activity level.
    Some children have growth spurts in the later
    stages of middle childhood.
  • Pre puberty period ? Body changes (hips widen,
    breasts bud, pubic hair appears, testes develop)
    indicate approaching puberty.
  • Beginning of Puberty ? menstruation in girls
    (menarch)? 12-14 years old First ejaculation in
    boys ? 12-13 years old (semenarch)
  • Recognize differences between boys and girls.

(cont) By 12 Years old
  • Children find difficulty balancing high energy
    activities and quiet activities.
  • Intense activity may bring tiredness? Children
    need around 10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Muscle coordination and control are uneven and
    incomplete in the early stages, but children
    become almost as coordinated as adults by the end
    of middle childhood.
  • Small muscles develop rapidly, making playing
    musical instruments, hammering, or building
    things more enjoyable.
  • Baby teeth will come out and permanent ones will
    come in.
  • Permanent teeth may come in before the mouth has
    fully grown, causing dental crowding.
  • Eyes reach maturity in both size and function.
  • The added strain of school work (smaller print,
    computers, intense writing) often creates
    eye-tension and leads some children to request
    eye examinations.
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