When dealing with people who have recently come to this world, the question often arises: what things at what age can they understand and what can they do?
Of course, everyone is different. Of course, the child’s temperament and genetic prerequisites are very important in individual formation. But there is a general principle of development of perception and activity, which is the same for all. It can help orient mothers and those who work with babies.
The first stage begins before birth and continues the entire period of the newborn – 1 month of life. This is the stage of consumption and awareness of one’s reflex movements.
During this period, the baby has chaotic movements and numerous reflexes, which he cannot control, but actively perceives. “Wow, like me, it turns out I can!” This is a very important stage, because the connections in the cerebral cortex between movement and sensation from it are actively forming.
The child experiences the first emotions associated with the movements of his own body and they can be different. It is annoying when your hand suddenly hits your nose. And it’s very pleasant and joyful when your fingers stroke your cheek.
It is very important during this period not to limit this knowledge to tight swaddling throughout the day if the child is healthy.
The main form of activity during this period is sucking.
The child learns to distinguish “sucking things” from “nutrient”. Mom’s breast is a sucking and nutritious thing, but a blanket is sucking and nutritious, unfortunately …
The second stage lasts from 1 month to 4 months. This is the stage of adaptation and repetition of familiar sensorimotor reactions.
The adaptation is manifested in the fact that, for example, the usual reflex sucking, which used to be caused by getting a mother’s finger or nipple in her mouth, now represents a complex coordinating act. The kid can consciously find the mouth with his fingers. He now knows how to get into his mouth with his hands and grasped things the first time. It can adapt a sucking non-nutritious thing so that it is interesting and convenient to know by its mouth.
At this time, the child also forms an adaptation in thinking – the construction of reality in the concept of this thing. The oral cavity continues to learn how to control the tongue, which is an important step in preparing for chewing.
During this period, the child finds the focus with his eyes and they stop moving uncoordinated. This allows you to recognize faces and is rewarded with mom’s first conscious smile.
Motive activity is aimed at learning a new experience and repeating a pleasant experience. If you finally managed to touch your stomach or legs, you must try again and again and again, and again and again. Basically, this knowledge is focused on your body. The child learns to get to its various parts and thereby forms a map of his own body in the cerebral cortex. The concept of own boundaries appears.
The third stage – from 4 months to 8 months – is the stage of active knowledge of the external environment.
Identification of objects appears, the first memory for objects appears. The child knows his favorite toy and now not only asks for it from adults, but tries to get to it himself. Such motor recognition of the surrounding world is accompanied by the invention of ways to extend interesting impressions. Sometimes they bring a lot of joy to adults with their unconventional approach to solving familiar problems.
The first ideas about the world and about the orders in it are formed.
Non-food habits appear.
The schedule of the day begins to calm and give security.
The fourth stage occurs in 8-12 months. This is the stage when the child has a clear intentionality. He already separates things from each other and knows the order of familiar things. The ability to separate events and other people from their behavior appears – the first stage of awareness of their individuality.
And during this period, the ability to anticipate events appears.
The fifth stage lasts from 1 year to 1.5 years. During this half-year, the child invents new means of achieving the goal. This is the time of active experimentation. The child sets new interesting goals on his own, in contrast to the previous stage, when the goal was set by the environment: mom, circumstances and events. Creativity appears. The “target-means” model is being worked out
Dates I indicate approximate. Let them serve as a guideline in order to understand the child better and meet him where he can go at his age.
If a child develops in a calm, safe environment, then these stages replace each other themselves, without additional training. It is only necessary in time to provide the child with everything necessary for development at each stage.
If something went wrong, the baby can stop at any point in the development of sensorimotor intellect.
If the delay is measured in a few weeks, it would be nice to show the baby to a specialist.