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Cogn, Emot, + Soc Dev. - Infancy and Toddlerhood Cheat Sheet by

Summary of the cognitive development in infancy and toddlerhood

Piaget's Cognitive Develo­pmental Theory

Jean Piaget inspired a vision of children as busy, motivated explorers whose thinking develops as they act directly on the enviro­nment
According to Piaget, all aspects of cognition develop in an integrated fashion, changing in a similar way at about the same time as children move through four stages between infancy and adoles­cence
Piaget believed that infants and toddlers “think” with their eyes, ears, hands, and other sensor­imotor equipment. They cannot yet carry out many activities inside their heads. But by the end of toddle­rhood, children can solve everyday practical problems and represent their experi­ences in speech, gesture, and play
Sensorimotor Stage
spans the first two years of life; infants and toddlers “think” with their eyes, ears, hands, and other sensor­imotor equipment

Piaget's Ideas About Cognitive Change

According to Piaget, specific psycho­logical struct­ure­s—o­rga­nized ways of making sense of experience called sche­mes­—­change with age
At first, schemes are sensor­imotor action patterns
For example, at 6 months, Timmy dropped objects in a fairly rigid way, simply letting go of a rattle or teething ring and watching with interest. By 18 months, his “dropping scheme” had become deliberate and creative. In tossing objects down the basement stairs, he threw some in the air, bounced others off walls, released some gently and others forcef­ully. Soon, instead of just acting on objects, he will show evidence of thinking before he acts. For Piaget, this change marks the transition from sensor­imotor to preope­rat­ional thought.
In Piaget's theory, two processes, adap­tat­ion and orga­niz­ati­on, account for changes in schemes.


involves building schemes through direct intera­ction with the enviro­nment. It consists of two comple­mentary activi­ties, assi­mil­ation and acco­mmo­dat­ion
During assi­mil­ati­on, we use our current schemes to interpret the external world. For example, when Timmy dropped objects, he was assimi­lating them to his sensor­imotor “dropping scheme.”
In acco­mmo­dat­ion, we create new schemes or adjust old ones after noticing that our current ways of thinking do not capture the enviro­nment comple­tely. When Timmy dropped objects in different ways, he modified his dropping scheme to take account of the varied properties of objects.
the balance between assimi­lation and accomm­odation varies over time. When children are not changing much, they assimilate more than they accomm­odate—a steady, comfor­table state that Piaget called cogn­itive equili­bri­um. During times of rapid cognitive change, children are in a state of dise­qui­lib­rium, or cogn­itive discom­fort. Realizing that new inform­ation does not match their current schemes, they shift from assimi­lation to accomm­oda­tion. After modifying their schemes, they move back toward assimi­lation, exercising their newly changed structures until they are ready to be modified again.
Each time this back-a­nd-­forth movement between equili­brium and disequ­ili­brium occurs, more effective schemes are produced. Because the times of greatest accomm­odation are the earliest ones, the sensor­imotor stage is Piaget's most complex period of develo­pment.


Schemes also change through orga­niz­ati­on, a process that occurs intern­ally, apart from direct contact with the enviro­nment
Once children form new schemes, they rearrange them, linking them with other schemes to create a strongly interc­onn­ected cognitive system. For example, eventually Timmy will relate “dropping” to “throwing” and to his developing unders­tanding of “nearness” and “farness.” According to Piaget, schemes truly reach equili­brium when they become part of a broad network of structures that can be jointly applied to the surrou­nding world

The Sensor­imotor Stage

Piaget divided the sensor­imotor stage into six substa­ges
According to Piaget, at birth infants know so little that they cannot explore purpos­efully
The circular reaction provides a special means of adapting their first schemes. It involves stumbling onto a new experience caused by the baby's own motor activity. The reaction is “circular” because, as the infant tries to repeat the event again and again, a sensor­imotor response that first occurred by chance streng­thens into a new scheme

Piaget's Sensor­imotor Substages

In Substage 1, babies suck, grasp, and look in much the same way, no matter what experi­ences they encounter
Around 1 month, as they enter Substage 2, infants start to gain voluntary control over their actions through the primary circular reacti­on, by repeating chance behaviors largely motivated by basic needs. This leads to some simple motor habits, such as sucking their fist or thumb. Babies also begin to vary their behavior in response to enviro­nmental demands
During Substage 3, from 4 to 8 months, infants sit up and reach for and manipulate objects. These motor attain­ments strengthen the seco­ndary circular reacti­on, through which babies try to repeat intere­sting events in the surrou­nding enviro­nment that are caused by their own actions
In Substage 4, 8- to 12-mon­th-olds combine schemes into new, more complex action sequences. As a result, actions that lead to the mouth or happening to hit the toy. Instead, 8- to 12-mon­th-olds can engage in inte­nti­onal, or goal-d­ire­cted, behavi­or, coordi­nating schemes delibe­rately to solve simple problems. Consider Piaget's famous obje­ct-­hiding task, in which he shows the baby an attractive toy and then hides it behind his hand or under a cover. Infants of this substage can find the object by coordi­nating two scheme­s—“­pus­hing” aside the obstacle and “grasping” the toy. Piaget regarded these means–end action sequences as the foundation for all problem solving
Retrieving hidden objects reveals that infants have begun to master object perman­ence, the unders­tanding that objects continue to exist when out of sight. But babies still make the A-not-B search error: If they reach several times for an object at a first hiding place (A), then see it moved to a second (B), they still search for it in the first hiding place (A).
Infants in Substage 4, who can better anticipate events, sometimes use their capacity for intent­ional behavior to try to change those events. Also, babies can now imitate behavi­ors slightly different from those they usually perform. After watching someone else, they try to stir with a spoon or push a toy car
In Substage 5, from 12 to 18 months, the tertiary circular reacti­on, in which toddlers repeat behaviors with variation, emerges. This delibe­rately explor­atory approach makes 12- to 18-mon­th-olds better problem solvers. According to Piaget, the capacity to experiment leads toddlers to look for a hidden toy in several locations, displaying an accurate A–B search. Their more flexible action patterns also permit them to imitate many more behaviors.
Substage 6 brings the ability to create mental repres­ent­ati­ons­—­int­ernal depictions of inform­ation that the mind can manipu­late. Our most powerful mental repres­ent­ations are of two kinds: (1) images, or mental pictures of objects, people, and spaces; and (2) concep­ts, or categories in which similar objects or events are grouped together. We use a mental image to retrace our steps when we've misplaced something or to imitate someone's behavior long after observing it. By thinking in concepts and labeling them (for example, “ball” for all rounded, movable objects used in play), we become more efficient thinkers, organizing our diverse experi­ences into meanin­gful, manage­able, and memorable units. - Repres­ent­ation enables older toddlers to solve advanced object permanence problems involving invisible displa­cem­ent­—fi­nding a toy moved while out of sight, such as into a small box while under a cover. It also permits deferred imitat­ion­—the ability to remember and copy the behavior of models who are not present. And it makes possible make-b­elieve play, in which children act out everyday and imaginary activi­ties. As the sensor­imotor stage draws to a close, mental symbols have become major instru­ments of thinking.

Object Permanence

Many studies suggest that infants display a wide array of unders­tan­dings earlier than Piaget believed
newborns sucked vigorously on a nipple to gain access to intere­sting sights and sounds. This behavior, which closely resembles Piaget's secondary circular reacti­on, shows that infants explore and control the external world long before 4 to 8 months. In fact, they do so as soon as they are born
To discover what infants know about hidden objects and other aspects of physical reality, resear­chers often use the violat­ion­-of­-ex­pec­tation method. They may habituate babies to a physical event (expose them to the event until their looking declines) to famili­arize them with a situation in which their knowledge will be tested. Or they may simply show babies an expected event (one that is consistent with reality) and an unexpected event (a variation of the first event that violates reality)
Heightened attention to the unexpected event suggests that the infant is “surpr­ised” by a deviation from physical reality and, therefore, is aware of that aspect of the physical world.
The viol­ati­on-­of-­exp­ect­ation method is contro­ver­sial. Some resear­chers believe that it indicates limited, implicit (nonco­nsc­ious) awareness of physical events—not the
full-blown, conscious unders­tanding that was Piaget's focus in requiring infants to act on their surrou­ndings, as in searching for hidden objects. Others maintain that the method reveals only babies' perceptual preference for novelty, not their knowledge of the physical world
infants exposed to both an expected and an unexpected object­-hiding event looked longer at the unexpected event
Additional viol­ati­on-­of-­exp­ect­ation studies yielded similar results, suggesting that infants look longer at a wide variety of unexpected events involving hidden objects
Another type of looking behavior suggests that young infants are aware that objects persist when out of view. Four- and 5-mont­h-olds will track a ball's path of movement as it disappears and reappears from behind a barrier, even gazing ahead to where they expect it to emerge. With age, babies are more likely to fixate on the predicted place of the ball's reappe­arance and wait for it—evi­dence of an increa­singly secure grasp of object perman­ence
Once 8- to 12-mon­th-olds search for hidden objects, they make the A-not-B search error
A more compre­hensive explan­ation is that a complex, dynamic system of factor­s—h­aving built a habit of reaching toward A, continuing to look at A, having the hiding place at B appear similar to the one at A, and mainta­ining a constant body postur­e—i­ncr­eases the chances that the baby will make the A-not-B search error. Disrupting any one of these factors increases 10-mon­th-­olds' accurate searching at B. In addition, older infants are still perfecting reaching and grasping. If these motor skills are challe­nging, babies have little attention left to focus on inhibiting their habitual reach toward A
infants' unders­tanding of object perman­ence becomes increa­singly complex with age. Success at object search tasks coincides with rapid develo­pment of the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex. Also crucial are a wide variety of experi­ences percei­ving, acting on, and rememb­ering objects

Mental Repres­ent­ation

In Piaget's theory, before about 18 months of age, infants are unable to mentally represent experi­ence. Yet 8- to 10-mon­th-­olds' ability to recall the location of hidden objects after delays of more than a minute, and 14-mon­th-­olds' recall after delays of a day or more, indicate that babies construct mental repres­ent­ati­ons of objects and their wherea­bouts. And in studies of deferred imitation and problem solving, repres­ent­ational thought is evident even earlier

Deferred and Inferred Imitation

Piaget studied deferred imitat­ion by noting when his three children demons­trated it in their everyday behavior. But laboratory research suggests that it is present at 6 weeks of age! Infants who watched an unfamiliar adult's facial expression imitated it when exposed to the same adult the next day
As motor capacities improve, infants copy actions with objects. In one study, an adult showed 6- and 9-mont­h-olds a novel series of actions with a puppet. When tested a day later, infants who had seen the novel actions were far more likely to imitate them
And when resear­chers paired a second, motionless puppet with the first puppet 1 to 6 days before the demons­tra­tion, 6- to 9-mont­h-olds genera­lized the novel actions to this new, very differ­ent­-lo­oking puppet
Between 12 and 18 months, toddlers use deferred imitat­ion to enrich their sensor­imotor schemes. They retain modeled behaviors for at least several months, copy the actions of peers as well as adults, and imitate across a change in contex­t—for example, enact at home a behavior seen at child care. The ability to recall modeled behaviors in the order they occurr­ed—­evident as early as 6 months­—also streng­thens over the second year. And when toddlers imitate in correct sequence, they remember more behaviors
Older infants and toddlers even imitate ration­ally, by inferring others' intent­ions. They are more likely to imitate purposeful than arbitrary behaviors on objects. And they adapt their imitative acts to a model's goals. If 12-mon­th-olds see an adult perform an unusual action for fun (make a toy dog enter a miniature house by jumping through the chimney, even though its door is wide open), they copy the behavior. But if the adult engages in the odd behavior because she must (makes the dog go through the chimney after first trying the door and finding it locked), 12-mon­th-olds typically imitate the more efficient action (putting the dog through the door). Between 14 and 18 months, toddlers become increa­singly adept at imitating actions an adult tries to produce, even if these are not fully realized. On one occasion, Ginette attempted to pour some raisins into a bag but missed, spilling them. A moment later, Grace began dropping the raisins into the bag, indicating that she had inferred Ginette's goal

Problem Solving

As Piaget indicated, around 7 to 8 months, infants develop inte­ntional means–end action sequen­ces that they use to solve simple problems, such as pulling on a cloth to obtain a toy resting on its far end
Out of these explor­ations of object­-to­-object relations, the capacity for tool use in problem solvin­g—f­lexibly manipu­lating an object as a means to a goal—e­merges
By 10 to 12 months, infants can solve problems by analog­y—apply a solution strategy from one problem to other relevant problems. In one study, babies of this age were given three similar problems, each requiring them to overcome a barrier, grasp a string, and pull it to get an attractive toy. The problems differed in many aspects of their superf­icial featur­es—­texture and color of the string, barrier, and floor mat and type of toy (horse, doll, or car). For the first problem, the parent demons­trated the solution and encouraged the infant to imitate. Babies obtained the toy more readily with each additional problem.
These findings suggest that at the end of the first year, infants form flexible mental repres­ent­ati­ons of how to use tools to get objects. They have some ability to move beyond trial-­and­-error experi­men­tation, represent a solution mentally, and use it in new contexts

Symbolic Unders­tanding

One of the most momentous early attain­ments is the realiz­ation that words can be used to cue mental images of things not physically present—a symbolic capacity called disp­laced refere­nce that emerges around the first birthday. It greatly enhances toddlers' capacity to learn about the world through commun­icating with others. Observ­ations of 12- to 13-mon­th-olds reveal that they respond to the label of an absent toy by looking at and gesturing toward the spot where it usually rests
But at first, toddlers have difficulty using language to acquire new inform­ation about an absent object. In one study, an adult taught 19- and 22-mon­th-olds a name for a stuffed animal­—“Lucy” for a frog. Then, with the frog out of sight, each toddler was told that some water had spilled, so “Lucy's all wet!” Finally, the adult showed the toddler three stuffed animals—a wet frog, a dry frog, and a pig—and said, “Get Lucy!”
Although all the children remembered that Lucy was a frog, only the 22-mon­th-olds identified the wet frog as Lucy. This capacity to use language as a flexible symbolic tool—to modify and enrich existing mental repres­ent­ati­ons­—im­proves into the preschool years
A beginning awar­eness of the symbolic function of pictures also emerges in the first year, streng­thening in the second. By 9 months, the majority of infants touch, rub, or pat a color photo of an object but rarely try to grasp it
These behaviors suggest that 9-mont­h-olds do not mistake a picture for the real thing, though they may not yet comprehend it as a symbol. By the middle of the second year, toddlers clearly treat pictures symbol­ically, as long as pictures strongly resemble real objects. After hearing a novel label (“blic­ket”) applied to a color photo of an unfamiliar object, most 15- to 24-mon­th-­old­s—when presented with both the real object and its picture and asked to indicate the “blick­et”­—gave a symbolic response. They selected either the real object or both the object and its picture, not the picture alone.
toddlers often use pictures as vehicles for commun­icating with others and acquiring new knowledge. Pictur­e-rich enviro­nments in which caregivers frequently direct babies' attention to the link between pictures and real objects promote pictorial unders­tan­ding.

Social Issues: Education

Children first become TV and video viewers in early infancy, as they are exposed to programs watched by parents and older siblings or to shows aimed at baby viewers, such as the Baby Einstein products. U.S. parents report that 50 percent of 2-mont­h-olds watch TV, a figure that rises to 90 percent by 2 years of age. Average viewing time increases from 55 minutes per day at 6 months to just under 1½ hours per day at age 2 Initially, infants respond to videos of people as if viewing people direct­ly—­smi­ling, moving their arms and legs, and (by 6 months) imitating actions of a televised adult
But when shown videos of attractive toys, 9-mont­h-olds touch and grab at the screen, suggesting that they confuse the images with the real thing. By the middle of the second year, manual explor­ation declines in favor of pointing at the images
Nevert­heless, toddlers have difficulty applying what they see on video to real situat­ions
In a series of studies, some 2-year­-olds watched through a window while a live adult hid an object in an adjoining room, while others watched the same event on a video screen. Children in the direct viewing condition retrieved the toy easily; those in the video condition had difficulty
This video deficit effect­—­poorer perfor­mance after viewing a video than a live demons­tra­tio­n—has also been found for 2-year­-olds' deferred imitation, word learning, and means–end problem solving
Around age 2½, the video deficit effect declin­es. Before this age, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against mass media exposu­re. In support of this advice, amount of TV viewing is negatively related to toddlers' language progress. And 1- to 3-year-old heavy viewers tend to have attention, memory, and reading diffic­ulties in the early school years
When toddlers do watch TV and video, it is likely to work best as a teaching tool when it is rich in social cues. These include use of familiar characters and close-ups in which the character looks directly at the camera, addresses questions to viewers, and pauses to invite a response

Evaluation of the Sensor­imotor Stage

Altern­ative Explan­ations
Unlike Piaget, who thought babies constr­ucted all mental repres­ent­ations out of sensor­imotor activity, resear­chers now believe infants have built-in cognitive equipment for making sense of experi­ence. But disagr­eement exists over the extent of this unders­tan­ding. Resear­chers who lack confidence in the viol­ati­on-­of-­exp­ect­ation method say that babies cognitive starting point is limited. Together, these capacities enable infants to construct a wide variety of schemes

Evaluation of the Sensor­imotor Stage cont.

Others, conv­inced by violat­ion­-of­-ex­pec­tation findin­gs, believe that infants start out with impressive unders­tan­dings. According to this core knowledge perspe­ctive, babies are born with a set of innate knowledge systems, or core domains of thought. Each of these prewired unders­tan­dings permits a ready grasp of new, related inform­ation and therefore supports early, rapid develo­pment
Core knowledge theori­sts argue that infants could not make sense of the complex stimul­ation around them without having been geneti­cally “set up” in the course of evolution to comprehend its crucial aspects
Resear­chers have conducted many studies of infants' physical knowledge, including object perman­ence, object solidity (that one object cannot move through another), and grav­ity (that an object will fall without support). Viol­ati­on-­of-­exp­ect­ation findings suggest that in the first few months, infants have some awareness of all these basic object properties and quickly build on this knowle­dge
Core knowledge theorists also assume that an inherited foundation of linguistic knowledge enables swift language acquis­ition in early childh­ood—a possib­ility we will consider later in this chapter. Furthe­rmore, these theorists argue, infants' early orient­ation toward people initiates rapid develo­pment of psycho­logical knowle­dge—in partic­ular, unders­tanding of mental states, such as intent­ions, emotions, desires, and beliefs
Research even suggests that infants have basic numerical knowle­dge. In the best-known study, 5-mont­h-olds saw a screen raised to hide a single toy animal and then watched a hand place a second toy behind the screen. Finally, the screen was removed to reveal either one or two toys. Infants looked longer at the unexpe­cted, one-toy display, indicating that they kept track of the two objects and were able to add one object to another
Findings like these suggest that babies can discri­minate quantities up to three and use that knowledge to perform simple arithm­eti­c—both addition and subtra­ction
Additional evidence suggests that 6-mont­h-olds can distin­guish among large sets of items, as long as the difference between those sets is very great—at least a factor of two. Conseq­uently, some resear­chers believe that infants can represent approx­imate large-­number values in addition to making small-­number discri­min­ations
As with other violat­ion­-of­-ex­pec­tation results, this evidence is contro­ver­sial. Indisp­utable evidence for built-in core knowledge requires that it be demons­trated at birth or close to it—in the absence of relevant opport­unities to learn. Yet evidence on newborns' ability to process small and large numerical values is incons­istent. And critics point out that claims for infants' number knowledge are surpri­sing, in view of other research indicating that before 14 to 16 months, toddlers have difficulty making less-than and greate­r-than compar­isons between small sets. Not until the preschool years do children add and subtract small sets correc­tly
The core knowledge perspe­cti­ve, while emphas­izing native endowment, ackn­owl­edges that experience is essential for children to extend this initial knowledge. But so far, it has said little about which experi­ences are most important in each core domain for advancing children's thinking. Despite these limita­tions, core knowledge invest­igators have sharpened the field's focus on clarifying the starting point for human cognition and on carefully tracking the changes that build on it

Piaget's Legacy

Current research on infant cognition yields broad agreement on two issues. First, many cognitive changes of infancy are not abrupt and stagelike but gradual and contin­uous
Second, rather than developing together, various aspects of infant cognition change unevenly because of the challenges posed by different types of tasks and infants' varying experi­ences with them. These ideas serve as the basis for another major approach to cognitive develo­pme­nt—­i­nfo­rmation proces­sing
Piaget's work inspired a wealth of research on infant cognition, including studies that challenged his theory. His observ­ations also have been of great practical value. Teachers and caregivers continue to look to the sensor­imotor stage for guidelines on how to create develo­pme­ntally approp­riate enviro­nments for infants and toddlers

Inform­ation Processing

info­rmation proces­sing focuses on many aspects of thinking, including attention, memory, catego­riz­ation skills, and proble­m-s­olving. It often relies on flowcharts to describe human cognitive system
First, inform­ation enters the sensory register
sights and sounds are repres­ented directly and stored briefly
Shor­t-term memory store
attend­ed-to inform­ation briefly so we can actively “work on” it to reach our goals
working memory: a number of items that can be briefly held in mind while also engaging in some effort to monitor or manipulate those items. Working memory can be thought of as a “mental worksp­ace."
Long­-term memory
permanent knowledge base

Model of Inform­ation Processing

First, inform­ation enters the sensory regist­er, where sights and sounds are repres­ented directly and stored briefly. The second part of the mind, the shor­t-term memory store, we retain attend­ed-to inform­ation briefly so we can actively “work on” it to reach our goals. The central execut­ive is where info is acted upon, it is the conscious, reflective part of our mental system insuring that we think purpos­efully to attain our goals. LTM is our permanent storage base

Cognitive Gains in Infancy + Toddle­rhood

improved effici­ency, ability to shift focus
less attraction to novelty, improved sustained attention
around 2 to 3 months of age, infants visually explore objects and patterns more thoroughly
Preterm and newborn babies require a long time—about 3 to 4 minutes—to habituate and recover to novel visual stimuli
But by 4 or 5 months, they need as little as 5 to 10 seconds to take in a complex visual stimulus and recognize it as different from a previous one
Over the first year, infants mostly attend to novel and eye-ca­tching events
In the second year, as toddlers become increa­singly capable of intent­ional behavior (refer back to Piaget's Substage 4), attraction to novelty declines (but does not disappear) and sust­ained attention increa­ses
A toddler who engages even in simple goal-d­irected behavior, such as stacking blocks or putting them in a container, must sustain attention to reach the goal. As plans and activities gradually become more complex, the duration of attention increases
involves operant condit­ioning and habitu­ation are involved in early memory
longer retention intervals
develo­pment of recall by second half of first year
Retention of visual events increases dramat­ically during first 2 years
Reco­gni­tio­n­—no­ticing when a stimulus is identical or similar to one previously experi­enc­ed—is the simplest form of memory
Recall involves rememb­ering something not present; by the second half of the first year, babies are capable of it.
gradual shift from perceptual to conceptual catego­riz­ation in toddle­rhood; grouping of similar events and objects

Develo­pment of Catego­riz­ation

First categories are based on physical properties
By 6 months, babies categorize on basis of two correlated features
Shift to categories based on common function or behavior; grouping objects by their common function or behavior
Cultural differ­ences in develo­pment of categories
young infants can cate­gor­ize, grouping similar objects and events into a single repres­ent­ation to help them learn and remember and by the second half of the first year, more categories appear to be based on subtle sets of features. As they gain experience in comparing to-be-­cat­ego­rized items in varied ways and as their store of verbal labels expands, toddlers start to categorize flexibly
By the end of the second year, toddlers’ grasp of the anim­ate­–in­animate distin­ction expands. That is unders­tanding the difference between real and what is not real. Explor­ation of objects and expanding knowledge of the world contribute to the shift from catego­rizing based on prominent perceptual features to catego­rizing on a conceptual basis. This means the toddler uses grouping of similar function or behavior as birds versus airplanes, or cats versus dogs. As adults put labels on objects this calls attention to the differ­ences.

Develo­pme­ntally Approp­riate Infant + Toddler Care

Physical setting
Indoor enviro­nment is clean, in good repair, well-l­ighted, well-v­ent­ilated, and not overcr­owded
Fenced outdoor play space is available
Toys and equipment
Play materials are age-ap­pro­priate and are stored on low shelves within easy reach
Cribs, highch­airs, infant seats, and child-­sized tables and chairs are available
Outdoor equipment includes small riding toys, swings, slide, and sandbox
Care­giv­er–­child ratio
In child-care centers, caregi­ver­–child ratio is no greater than 1 to 3 for infants and 1 to 6 for toddlers
Group size (number of children in one room) is no greater than 6 infants with 2 caregivers and 12 toddlers with 2 caregi­vers.
In family child care, caregiver is respon­sible for no more than 6 children; within this group, no more than 2 are infants and toddlers
Daily activi­ties
Daily schedule includes times for active play, quiet play, naps, snacks, and meals
Atmosphere is warm and suppor­tive, and children are never left unsupe­rvised
Inte­rac­tions among adults and children
Caregivers respond promptly to infants’ and toddlers’ distress; hold them and talk, sing, and read to them; and interact with them in a manner that respects the individual child’s interests and tolerance for stimul­ation
Staffing is consis­tent, so infants and toddlers can form relati­onships with particular caregivers
Caregiver qualifications
Caregivers have some training in child develo­pment, first aid, and safety
Rela­tio­nships with parents
Parents are welcome anytime
Caregivers talk frequently with parents about children’s behavior and develo­pment
Lice­nsing and
Child-care setting is licensed by the state
In the United States, voluntary accred­itation by the National Associ­ation for the Education of Young Children or the National Associ­ation for Family Child Care is evidence of an especially high-q­uality program

Early Interv­ention for At-Risk Infants + Toddlers

Children living in persistent poverty are likely to show gradual declines in intell­igence test scores and to achieve poorly when they reach school age
These problems are largely due to stressful home enviro­nments that undermine children's ability to learn and increase the likelihood that they will remain poor as adults
Prog­rams: a few start in period of infancy and continue through childhood
orga­nized child care: children receive education, nutrit­ional and health care services, as important to break the cycle is parent education on child rearing and social service supports
Parent educat­ion
Home based progra­ms: a skilled adult visits home and works with parents teaching them how to stimulate young child’s develo­pment
Early Head Start program: begun in 1995 Congress provided limited funding for services directed at infants and toddlers already at risk for develo­pmental problems because of poverty.
Studies indicate that pove­rty­-st­ricken children are likely to show gradual declines in intell­igence test scores and to achieve poorly when they reach school age. Children partic­ipating in interv­entions designed to break the cycle of poverty for infants and toddlers score higher than untreated controls on mental tests by age 2. The earlier and the longer the interv­ention, the better the partic­ipants’ cognitive and academic perfor­mance is throughout childhood and adoles­cence.

Language Develo­pment

Impr­ove­ments in perception and cognition during infancy pave the way for language
They start to comprehend some words and, around 12 months of age, say their first word
By age 6, children understand the meaning of about 14,000 words and speak in elaborate sentences

Theories of Language Develo­pment

Nativist Theory
regards language as a unique human accomp­lis­hment that is innate or inborn: Children are born with a language acquis­ition device (LAD), containing a set of rules common to all languages, which permits children to understand and speak whichever language they hear
(LAD), an innate system that contains a universal grammar, or set of rules common to all languages
It enables children, no matter which language they hear, to understand and speak in a rule-o­riented fashion as soon as they pick up enough words
infants biolog­ically prepared to learn language
First, resear­chers have had great difficulty specifying Chom­sky's universal grammar. Critics doubt that one set of rules can account for the extrao­rdinary variation in gramma­tical forms among the world's 5,000 to 8,000 languages. Second, children refine and generalize many gramma­tical forms gradually, engaging in much piecemeal learning and making errors along the way. This suggests that more experi­men­tation and learning are involved than Chomsky assumed
emphasize intera­ctions between inner capacities and enviro­nmental influences
soci­al-­int­era­cti­onist view: emphasizes social skills and language experi­ences
Some intera­cti­onists, applying info­rma­tio­n-p­roc­essing theory to language develo­pment, assume that children use powerful cognitive capacities to make sense of their complex language enviro­nment
Other intera­cti­onists blend this view with Chom­sky’s nativist perspe­cti­ve. Still others take a social­-in­ter­act­ionist view, emphas­izing the role of children’s social skills and language experi­ences combine in language develo­pment.

Getting Ready to Talk

Around 2 months of age, babies make vowel-like noises called cooing
Around 6 months, babb­ling appears: Infants repeat long strings of conson­ant­–vowel combin­ations
Around 7 months, babbling starts to include many sounds common in spoken languages
Around 8 to 10 months, it reflects the sound and intonation patterns of children’s language community.
First speech sounds:
Becoming a communicator:
Joint attent­ion: (3 to 4 months) the child attends to the same object or event as the caregiver, who often labels it, contri­butes greatly to early language develo­pment
Give­-an­d-t­ake: (3 months) Infants and mothers mutually imitate the pitch, loudness, and duration of each other's sounds. Mothers take the lead, imitating about twice as often as 3-mont­h-olds
Prev­erbal gestur­es: (end of the first year) to direct adults' attention, influence their behavior, and convey helpful inform­ation. toddlers learn that using language leads to desired results
In hear­ing­-im­paired babies, these speech like sounds are greatly delayed. In deaf infants, they stop, but deaf infants exposed to sign language from birth babble with their hands.

First Words

In the middle of the first year, infants begin to understand word meanin­gs; for example, they respond to their own name
First recogn­izable spoken words, around 1 year, build on the sensor­imotor founda­tions Piaget described and on categories children have formed.
In a study tracking the first 10 words used by several hundred U.S. and Chinese (both Mandarin- and Canton­ese­-sp­eaking) babies, impo­rtant people (“Mama,” “Dada”), common objects (“ball,” “bread”), and sound effects (“woof­-woof,” “vroom”) were mentioned most often. Action words (“hit,” “grab,” “hug”) and social routines (“hi,” “bye”), though also appearing in all three groups, were more often produced by Chinese than U.S. babies, and the Chinese babies also named more important people
When toddlers first learn words, they sometimes apply them too narrowly, an error called under extens­ion
As vocabulary expands, a more common error is over­ext­ens­ion­—­app­lying a word to a wider collection of objects and events than is approp­riate
Over­ext­ens­ions illustrate another important feature of language develo­pment: the distin­ction between language production (the words and word combin­ations children use) and language compre­hension (the language they unders­tand)
At all ages, comp­reh­ension develops ahead of produc­tion. Still, the two capacities are related. The speed and accuracy of toddlers' compre­hension of spoken language increase dramat­ically over the second year. And toddlers who are faster and more accurate in compre­hension at age 3 show more words understood and produced
Quick compre­hension frees space in working memory for picking up new words and for using them to commun­icate

The Two-Word Utterance Phase

Young toddlers add to their spoken vocabu­laries at a rate of one to three words per week. Because gains in word production between 18 and 24 months are so impressive (one or two words per day), many resear­chers concluded that toddlers undergo a spurt in vocabu­lar­y—a transition from a slower to a faster learning phase. In actuality, most children show a steady increase in rate of word learning that continues through the preschool years
Once toddlers produce 200 to 250 words, they start to combine two words: “Mommy shoe,” “go car,” “more cookie.” These two-word utterances are called tele­graphic speech because, like a telegram, they focus on high-c­ontent words, omitting smaller, less important ones (“can,” “the,” “to”)
Two-word speech consists largely of simple formulas (“more + X,” “eat + X ”), with different words inserted in the “X ” position
Toddlers rarely make gross gramma­tical errors, such as saying “chair my” instead of “my chair.” But rather than following gramma­tical rules, their word-order regula­rities are usually copies of adult word pairings, as when the parent says, “How about more sandwich?”

Individual Differ­ences

Although children typically produce their first word around their first birthday, the range is large, from 8 to 18 months­—va­riation due to a complex blend of genetic and enviro­nmental influe­nces
The most common explan­ation is girls' faster rate of physical matura­tion, which is believed to promote earlier develo­pment of the left cerebral hemisp­here
Temp­era­ment matters, too. For example, shy toddlers often wait until they understand a great deal before trying to speak. Once they do speak, their vocabu­laries increase rapidly, although they remain slightly behind their agemates
Care­giv­er–­child conver­sat­ion­—­esp­eci­ally, the richness of adults' vocabu­lar­ies­—also plays a strong role. Commonly used words for objects appear early in toddlers' speech, and the more often their caregivers use a particular noun, the sooner young children produce it. Mothers talk more to toddle­r-age girls than to boys, and parents converse less often with shy than with sociable children
children from low-SES homes usually have smaller vocabu­lar­ies. By 18 to 24 months, they are slower at word compre­hension and have acquired 30 percent fewer words
Limited parent­–child conver­sation and book reading are major factors. On average, a middle-SES child is read to for 1,000 hours between 1 and 5 years, a low-SES child for only 25 hours
Rate of early vocabulary growth is a strong predictor of low-SES children's vocabulary size at kinder­garten entry, which forecasts their later literacy skills and academic success
Hig­her­-SES toddlers who lag behind their agemates in word learning have more opport­unities to catch up in early childh­ood

Supporting Early Language Develo­pment

With infants
Respond to coos and babbles
Establish joint attention
Use infant­-di­rected speech
Play social games
With toddlers
Engage in joint make-b­elieve
Engage in frequent conver­sations
Read often and talk about books
Adults in many cultures speak to babies in
infant-directed speech (IDS): short sentences with high-p­itched, exagge­rated expres­sion, clear pronun­cia­tion, distinct pauses between speech segments, and repetition of new words in a variety of contexts
Deaf parents use a similar style of commun­ication when signing to their deaf babies
Pare­nt–­toddler conver­sation strongly predicts language develo­pment and reading success during the school years
Live intera­ction with a responsive adult is far better suited to spurring early language develo­pment than are media sources

Erikson’s Theory of Infant + Toddler Person­ality

Erikson believed that the psycho­logical conflict of the first year of life is basic trust versus mistrust, and that a healthy outcome depends on the quality of the parent­–child relati­ons­hip
Erikson reco­gnized that many factors affect parental respon­siv­ene­ss­—­per­sonal happiness, family conditions (for example, additional young children, social supports, financial well-b­eing), and culturally valued child-­rearing practi­ces. But when the balance of care is sympat­hetic and loving, the psycho­logical conflict of the first year—basic trust versus mistru­st—is resolved on the positive side
Infant Stage
Trust vs Mistrust
Trust is built by infants when they expect the world/environment
around them to be good
. If they feel threatened or uncomfortable,
mistrust builds
Trust vs Mistrust is based on the many factors that influence the parental respon­siv­eness, i.e. the sympat­hetic and loving balance of care leads to Trust. The baby experi­ences the world as good and safe. The Mist­rus­tful infant cannot count on kindness and compassion from others and then withdraws
The trusting infant expects the world to be good and gratif­ying, so he feels confident about venturing out to explore it
The mist­rustful baby cannot count on the kindness and compassion of others, so she protects herself by withdr­awing from people and things around her
Toddler Stage
Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
Shame and doubt are experi­enced when toddlers experience over or under contro­lling
When parents show unders­tan­ding, tolerance and patience to a child who wants to assert her indepe­ndence the child will develop more self- confidence as they explore their environment
During toddle­rhood, the conflict of autonomy versus shame and doubt is resolved favorably when parents and other caregivers provide approp­riate guidance and reasonable choices. A child who is not criticized when unsucc­essful using the potty as during potty training, or is eating incorr­ectly when using utensils, will learn tolerance and unders­tan­ding. Parents who are under or over contro­lling will give the message that the child is incomp­etent or unable to control their own impulses and act indepe­nde­ntly
In Erikson’ view, toilet training is only one of many influe­ntial experi­enc­es. The familiar refrains of newly walking, talking toddle­rs—­“No!” “Do it myself­!”—­reveal that they have entered a period of budding selfhood. The conflict of autonomy versus shame and doubt is resolved favorably when parents provide young children with suitable guidance and reasonable choices
A self­-co­nfi­dent, secure 2-year­-old has parents who do not criticize or attack him when he fails at new skills­—using the toilet, eating with a spoon, or putting away toys
In contrast, when parents are over- or underc­ont­rol­ling, the outcome is a child who feels forced and shamed and who doubts his ability to control impulses and act compet­ently on his own

Emotional Develo­pment

Resear­chers have discovered that emotions play powerful roles in organizing the attain­ments that Erikson regarded as so important: social relati­ons­hips, explo­ration of the enviro­nment, and discovery of the self

Basic Emotions

Basic emotio­ns­—h­app­iness, interest, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, and disgus­t—are universal in humans and other primates and have a long evolut­ionary history of promoting survival
Only gradually do emotions become clear, well-o­rga­nized signals. The dynamic systems perspe­ctive helps us understand how this happens: Children coordinate separate skills into more effect­ive, emoti­onally expressive systems as the central nervous system develops and the child's goals and experi­ences change
Sens­itive, contingent caregiver commun­ica­tion, in which parents select­ively mirror aspects of the baby's diffuse emotional behavior, helps infants construct emotional expres­sions that more closely resemble those of adults
With age, face, voice, and posture start to form organized patterns that vary meanin­gfully with enviro­nmental events
expressed first in blissful smiles and later through exuberant laughter; contri­butes to many aspects of develo­pment
When infants achieve new skills, they smile and laugh, displaying delight in motor and cognitive mastery. The baby's smile encourages caregivers to smile respon­sively and to be affect­ionate and stimul­ating, and then the baby smiles even more
Happ­iness binds parent and baby into a warm, supportive relati­onship that fosters the infant's motor, cognitive, and social compet­enc­ies
During the early weeks, newborn babies smile when full, during REM sleep, and in response to gentle stroking of the skin, rocking, and a parent's soft, high-p­itched voice. By the end of the first month, infants smile at dynamic, eye-ca­tching sights, such as a bright object jumping suddenly across their field of vision. Between 6 and 10 weeks, the parent's commun­ication evokes a broad grin called the social smile. These changes parallel the develo­pment of infant perceptual capaci­ties—in partic­ular, sensit­ivity to visual patterns, including the human face
By the end of the first year, the smile has become a deliberate social signal
Anger and Sadness
About 8 to 10% of women experience chronic depres­sio­n­—mild to severe feelings of sadness, distress, and withdrawal that continue for months or years. Sometimes, depression emerges or streng­thens after childbirth and fails to subside. This is called post­partum depres­sion.
Mat­ernal Depres­sio­n: In the weeks after birth, infants of depressed mothers sleep poorly, are less attentive to their surrou­ndings, and have elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The more extreme the depression and the greater the number of stressors in a mother's life (such as marital discord, little or no social support, and poverty), the more the parent­–child relati­onship suffers
Depr­essed mothers view their babies negati­vely, which contri­butes to their inept caregiving
As their children get older, these mothers’ lack of warmth and involv­ement is often accomp­anied by incons­istent discip­lin­e­—so­metimes lax, at other times too forceful
children who experience these malada­ptive parenting practices often have serious adjustment problems. Some withdraw into a depressive mood themse­lves; others become impulsive and aggressive
Pat­ernal Depres­sio­n: In a study of a large repres­ent­ative sample of British parents and babies, resear­chers assessed depressive symptoms of fathers shortly after birth and again the following year. Then they tracked the children's develo­pment into the preschool years
Pers­istent paternal depres­sion was, like maternal depres­sion, a strong predictor of child behavior proble­ms­—e­spe­cially overac­tivity, defiance, and aggression in boys
Paternal depression is linked to frequent marital and father­–child conflict as children
Over time, children subjected to parental negativity develop a pessim­istic world view—one in which they lack self-c­onf­idence and perceive their parents and other people as threat­ening. Children who constantly feel in danger are especially likely to become overly aroused in stressful situat­ions, easily losing control in the face of cognitive and social challenges
Like anger, fear rises from the second half of the first year into the second year
Older infants hesitate before playing with a new toy, and newly crawling infants soon back away from heights
But the most frequent expression of fear is to unfamiliar adults, a response called stranger anxiety. Many infants and toddlers are quite wary of strangers, although the reaction varies with temper­ament (some babies are generally more fearful), past experi­ences with strangers, and the current situation. When an unfamiliar adult picks up the infant, stranger anxiety is likely. But if the adult sits still while the baby moves around and a parent is nearby, infants often show positive and curious behavior
Cros­s-c­ult­ural research reveals that infant­-re­aring practices can modify stranger anxiety. Among the Efe hunters and gatherers of the Republic of Congo, where the maternal death rate is high, infant survival is safegu­arded by a collective caregiving system in which, starting at birth, Efe babies are passed from one adult to another. Conseq­uently, Efe infants show little stranger anxiety

Self-C­ons­cious Emotions

Self­-co­nscious emotio­nsare a second, higher order of feelings
Parental guidance is needed to help the young child know when these feelings are approp­ria­te. This varies greatly among different cultures. As in collec­tivist societies such as China and Japan, calling attention to one’s individual success is considered embarr­assing. Failing to show concern for others (a parent, friend, teacher) causes intense shame in these cultures
Toddlers need to have an awareness of themselves as unique and separ­ate
Appear between ages 1 1/2 and 3 years:
awareness of self as separate and unique
adult instru­ction in when to feel emotions

Thomas and Chess Structure of Temper­ament

infants vary widely in temper­ament, including both reac­tiv­ity (quickness and intensity of emotional arousal, attention, and motor activity) and self­-re­gul­ation (strat­egies for modifying reacti­vity). A growing body of research on temper­ament examines its stability, biological roots, and intera­ction with child-­rearing experi­ences
In the mid 1950’s Thomas and Chess invest­igated the develo­pment of temper­ament in a longit­udinal study of children from early infancy into adulthood. Results indicated that temper­ament can have a lasting effect on develo­pment of psycho­logical problems or conver­sely, protect a child from negative effects of a highly stressful home enviro­nment. And parenting practices can modify children’s temper­ament signif­ica­ntly
temp­erament can increase a child's chances of experi­encing psycho­logical problems or, altern­ati­vely, protect a child from the negative effects of a highly stressful home life
40% of sample; The “easy” temper­ament child quickly adapts to routines and is generally cheerful
10% of sample; The “diffi­cult” child is irregular in daily routines and slow to accept new experi­ences and tends to react negatively and intensely
15% of sample; The “slow-­to-­warm” child is inactive, shows mild, low key reactions to enviro­nmental stimuli, is negative in mood and adjusts slowly to new experi­ences
35% of sample; The unclas­sified children show blends of temper­amental charac­ter­istics
Indi­viduals differ not just in their reactivity on each dimension but also in the self-r­egu­latory dimension of temper­ame­nt, effortful contro­l—the capacity to volunt­arily suppress a dominant response in order to plan and execute a more adaptive response
Temp­erament is often assessed through interviews or questi­onn­aires given to parents. Behavior ratings by pediat­ric­ians, teachers, and others familiar with the child and laboratory observ­ations by resear­chers have also been used. Parental reports are convenient and take advantage of parents’ depth of knowledge about their child across many situat­ions
Observ­ations by resear­chers avoid the subjec­tivity of parental reports but can lead to other inaccu­racies. In homes, observers find it hard to capture rare but important events, such as infants’ response to frustr­ation. And in the unfamiliar lab setting, fearful children may become too upset to complete the session

Rothbart's Model of Temper­ament

The capacity for effortful control in early childhood predicts favorable develo­pment and adjustment in diverse cultures, with some studies showing long-term effects into adoles­cence and adulthood. Positive outcomes include persis­tence, task mastery, academic achiev­ement, cooper­ation, moral maturity (such as concern about wrongdoing and willin­gness to apolog­ize), and social behaviors of cooper­ation, sharing, and helpfu­lness

Bowlby’s Etholo­gical Theory of Attachment

Etho­logical Theory of Attach­ment
recognizes the infant’s emotional tie to the caregiver as an evolved response that promotes survival, is the most widely accepted view
Acco­rding to Bowlby, attachment begins as a set of inborn signals that the baby uses to summon the parent, and then goes through four phases as it develops into a true affect­ionate bond
According to Bowlby, out of their experi­ences during these four phases, children construct an enduring affect­ionate tie to the caregiver that they can use as a secure base in the parents’ absence
Pre-attachment phase
(birth to 6 weeks): Built-in signals (grasping, smiling, crying, and gazing into the adult's eyes) help bring newborn babies into close contact with other humans, who comfort them
Atta­chm­ent­-in­-th­e-m­aking phase
(6 weeks to 6–8 months): Babies respond differ­ently to a familiar caregiver than to a stranger and begin to develop a sense of trust
Clea­r-cut attachment phase
(6–8 months to 18 months–2 years): Babies display sepa­ration anxiety, becoming upset when the trusted caregiver leaves
in many cultures, separation anxiety increases between 6 and 15 months. Besides protesting the parent's departure, older infants and toddlers approach, follow, and climb on her in preference to others. And they use the familiar caregiver as a secure base from which to explore
Form­ation of a reciprocal relationship
with caregi­ver
(18 months to 2 years and on): Rapid growth in repres­ent­ation and language enables toddlers to understand some of the factors that influence the parent's coming and going and to predict her return. As a result, separation protest declines
With age, children contin­ually revise and expand their internal working model as their cognitive, emotional, and social capacities increase and as they interact with parents and form other close bonds with adults, siblings, and friends

Measuring the Security of Attachment

Secure attach­ment
These infants use the parent as a secure base. When separated, they may or may not cry, but if they do, it is because the parent is absent and they prefer her to the stranger. When the parent returns, they convey clear pleasu­re—some expressing joy from a distance, others asking to be held until settling down to return to play—and crying is reduced immedi­ately
About 60% of North American infants in middle-SES families show this pattern
avoidant attach­ment
These infants seem unresp­onsive to the parent when she is present. When she leaves, they usually are not distre­ssed, and they react to the stranger in much the same way as to the parent. During reunion, they avoid or are slow to greet the parent, and when picked up, they often fail to cling
About 15% of North American infants in middle-SES families show this pattern
resistant attach­ment
Before separa­tion, these infants seek closeness to the parent and often fail to explore. When the parent leaves, they are usually distre­ssed, and on her return they combine clinginess with angry, resistive behavior (strug­gling when held, hitting and pushing). Many continue to cry after being picked up and cannot be comforted easily
About 10% of North American infants in middle-SES families show this pattern
/disoriented attach­ment
This pattern reflects the greatest insecu­rity. At reunion, these infants show confused, contra­dictory behavi­ors—for example, looking away while the parent is holding them or approa­ching the parent with flat, depressed emotion
About 15% of North American infants in middle-SES families show this pattern
An altern­ative method, the Attachment Q-Sort, suitable for children between 1 and 5 years, depends on home observ­ation
Either the parent or a highly trained observer sorts 90 behavi­ors­—such as “Child greets mother with a big smile when she enters the room,” “If mother moves very far, child follows along,” and “Child uses mother's facial expres­sions as a good source of inform­ation when something looks risky or threat­eni­ng”­—into nine categories ranging from “highly descri­ptive” to “not at all descri­ptive” of the child. Then a score, ranging from high to low in security, is computed
The Q-Sort responses of expert observers correspond well with babies’ secure­-base behavior in the Strange Situation, but parents’ Q-Sorts do not. Parents of insecure children, especi­ally, may have difficulty accurately reporting their child's attachment behaviors

Measuring the Security of Attachment

Observing infants responses to these episodes, resear­chers identify a secure attachment pattern + 3 patterns of insecu­rity. Secure attach­ment- infants use parent as secure base. When separated, they may cry, because parent is absent and they prefer her to a stranger. When parent returns, they convey clear pleasu­re—­exp­ressing joy from distance, or asking to be held until settling down to return to play—and crying is reduced immedi­ately. It takes baby through eight short episodes

Stability of Attachment

Stab­ility of attach­ment is generally found in families whose secure economic status with well adjusted mothers and positive family and friendship ties
Infants and toddlers of low SES families that are faced with financial and job stresses and little social support are more likely to have less stable attach­ments
However this trend can be overcome with the involv­ement and support of other family members and profes­sional caregiver
Cross cultural evidence indicates that the attachment patterns may have to be interp­reted differ­ently in other cultures. But despite the cultural variations the secure pattern is the most common attachment quality in all societies that have been studied
Multiple Attach­men­ts:
Fath­ers: Fathers’ sensitive caregiving predicts attachment security, though somewhat less strongly than mothers. But mothers and fathers in many cultures, including Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, and the United States, tend to interact differ­ently with their babies. Mothers devote more time to physical care and expressing affection, fathers to playful intera­ction
Sibl­ings: Despite declines in family size, nearly 80% of U.S. children grow up with at least one sibling. The arrival of a new baby is a difficult experience for most presch­oolers, who often become demanding, clingy, and less affect­ionate with their parents for a time. Attachment security also declines, especially for children over age 2 (old enough to feel threatened and displaced) and for those with mothers under stress. Older children also show affection and concern when the infant cries. By the end of the first year, babies are comforted by the presence of a presch­ool-age brother or sister during short parental absences. Throughout childhood, children continue to treat older siblings as attachment figures, turning to them for comfort in stressful situations when parents are unavai­lable
Prof­ess­ional caregi­vers
The exception is diso­rga­niz­ed/­dis­ori­ented attach­ment, an insecure pattern that is either highly stable or consis­tently predicts later insecurity of another type
Furthe­rmore, adults with histories of attachment disorg­ani­zation are at increased risk of having children who display disorg­ani­zed­/di­sor­iented attach­ment

Stability of Attachment (Cultural Variat­ions)

Cros­s-c­ultural evidence indicates that attachment patterns may have to be interp­reted differ­ently in certain cultures
German infants show consid­erably more avoidant attachment than American babies do. But German parents value indepe­ndence and encourage their infants to be noncli­ngy
In contrast, a study of infants of the Dogon people of Mali, Africa, revealed that none showed avoidant attachment to their mothers
Even when grandm­others are primary caregivers (as they are with firstborn sons), Dogon mothers remain available to their babies, holding them close and nursing them promptly in response to hunger and distress
Japanese infants, as well, rarely show avoidant attach­ment. Rather, many are resist­antly attached, but this reaction may not represent true insecu­rity. Japanese mothers rarely leave their babies in others’ care, so the Strange Situation probably induces greater stress in them than in babies who frequently experience maternal separa­tions
Also, Japanese parents view the attention seeking that is part of resistant attachment as a normal indicator of infants’ efforts to satisfy dependency needs
Despite these and other cultural variat­ions, the secure pattern is still the most common attachment quality in all societies studied

Factors That Affect Attachment Security

(1) Early availa­bility of consistent caregi­ver
show greatly elevated rates of attach­ment. They are also at high risk for emotional and social diffic­ulties. Many are overly friendly to unfamiliar adults; others are sad, anxious, and withdrawn
These symptoms are associated with wide-r­anging mental health problems in middle childhood and adoles­cence, including cognitive impair­ments, inatte­ntion and overac­tivity, depres­sion, and either social avoidance or aggressive behavior
(2) Quality of
Sens­itive caregi­ving: responding promptly, consis­tently, and approp­riately to infants and holding them tenderly and carefully
is moderately related to attachment security across cultures and SES groups
Inte­rac­tional synchrony in Western cultur­es: the caregiver responds to infant signals in a well- timed, rhythmic, approp­riate fashion, and both partners match emotional states, especially the positive ones
separates the experi­ences of secure from insecure babies
(3) Infant charac­ter­ist­ics
Because attachment is the result of a relati­onship between two partners, infant charac­ter­istics should affect how easily it is establ­ished. Babies whose temper­ament is emotio­nally reactive are more likely to develop later insecure attach­ments
However, parental mental health and caregiving are involved. Babies with the short 5-HTTLPR gene, which is associated with emotional reacti­vity, are more likely than infants with a low-risk genotype to exhibit disorg­ani­zed­/di­sor­iented attach­ment, but only when caregiving is insens­itive
In other research, mothers’ experience of trauma was associated with attachment disorg­ani­zation, but only in infants with a chromo­some-11 gene having a certain repetition of DNA base pairs, called DRD4 7-repeat, which is linked to impulsive, overactive behavior
These babies, who face self-r­egu­lation challe­nges, were more suscep­tible to the negative impact of maternal adjustment problems
Interv­entions that teach parents to interact sensit­ively with diffic­ult­-to­-ca­re-for babies enhance both sensitive caregiving and attachment security
One program that focused on both maternal sensit­ivity and effective discipline was partic­ularly successful in reducing irritable distress and disruptive behavior in toddlers with the DRD4 7-repeat
These findings suggest that the DRD4 7-repe­at—like the short 5-HTTLPR gene—makes children more suscep­tible to the effects of both negative and positive parenting
(4) Family circum­sta­nces
Job loss, a failing marriage, financial diffic­ulties, or parental psycho­logical problems (such as anxiety or depres­sion) can undermine attachment indirectly by interf­ering with parental sensit­ivity. These stressors can also affect babies’ sense of security directly, by altering the emotional climate of the family (for example, exposing them to angry adult intera­ctions) or by disrupting familiar daily routines
By reducing parental stress and improving parent­–child commun­ica­tion, social support fosters attachment security
(5) Parents’ internal working models
Parents bring to the family context their own history of attachment experi­ences, from which they construct internal working models that they apply to the bonds they establish with their children
To assess parents’ internal working models, resear­chers ask them to evaluate childhood memories of attachment experi­ences. Parents who discuss their childhoods with object­ivity and balance, regardless of whether their experi­ences were positive or negative, tend to behave sensit­ively and have securely attached children. In contrast, parents who dismiss the importance of early relati­onships or describe them in angry, confused ways usually have insecurely attached children and are less warm, sensitive, and encour­aging of learning and mastery
Longit­udinal research reveals that negative life events can weaken the link between an indivi­dual's own attachment security in infancy and a secure internal working model in adulthood. And insecurely attached babies who become adults with insecure internal working models often have lives that, based on self-r­eports in adulthood, are filled with family crises
The way we view our childh­ood­s—our ability to come to terms with negative events, to integrate new inform­ation into our working models, and to look back on our own parents in an unders­tan­ding, forgiving way—is far more influe­ntial in how we rear our children than the actual history of care we received
Avoidant infants tend to receive over-s­tim­ula­ting, intrusive care, while resistant infants often experience incons­istent care. Because attachment is the result of a relati­onship that builds between two partners, infant charac­ter­istics should affect how easily it is establ­ished
Babies whose temper­ament is emotio­nally reactive and difficult are more likely to develop later insecure attach­ments, but insecurity is more likely when these babies also have highly anxious mothers, leading to a “disha­rmo­nious relati­ons­hip­"
Stressful life changes in families may undermine attachment by interf­ering with parental sensit­ivity and can also affect babies’ sense of security directly, by altering the emotional climate of the family or by disrupting familiar daily routines. Think of a new baby arriving in a toddler’s family
Parents bring to the family context their own history of attachment experi­ences, although early rearing experi­ences do not destine indivi­duals to become either sensitive or insens­itive parents
What factors affect Attachment securi­ty?
Overall, the evidence indicates that fully normal emotional develo­pment depends on establ­ishing a close tie with a caregiver early in life


from birth; Aided by capacity for intermodal perception
they feel their own touch, feel and watch their limbs move, and feel and hear themselves cry, babies experience intermodal matches that differ­entiate their own body from surrou­nding bodies and objects
Emerges end of second year
Promoted by acting on enviro­nment and noting effects (ident­ifi­cation of the self as a physically unique being)
They are recogn­izing that their own actions cause objects and people react in a predic­table way. Example: smiling at a caregiver who smiles and vocalizes back helps show the child the relati­onship between self and social world. Rolling a ball to caregiver who rolls it back is another example
Ability to “feel with” another person
Aided by self-a­war­eness and advancing cognitive, language, and social skill
Older toddlers who have experi­enced sensitive caregiving draw on their advancing cognitive, language, and social skills to express first signs of empa­thy
Toddlers show empathy when others are distressed and may offer a hug or favorite toy to person
Between 18 and 30 months children classify themselves on basis of age, sex (boy or girl), on their physical charac­ter­istics, on their “goodness” or “badness” and also on their compet­encies
Cultural variations exist in early self-d­eve­lop­ment. In one invest­iga­tion, urban middle-SES German and East Indian toddlers attained mirror self-r­eco­gnition earlier than toddlers of non-We­stern farming commun­ities, such as the Nso people of rural Cameroon and rural families of East India


Self­-aw­areness also contri­butes to effortful control, evident in toddlers’ streng­thening capacity to inhibit impulses, manage negative emotion, and behave in socially acceptable ways
As children learn to become self controlled they must think of themselves as separate, unique beings who can direct their own actions. And they must have memory capacity to recall caregi­vers’ directive: “don’t touch the light socket or don’t crawl up the steps”
Effo­rtful control is the capacity to:
inhibit impulses
manage negative emotions
behave in socially acceptable ways
Depends on:
awareness of self as separate, autonomous being
confidence in directing own actions
memory for caregi­ver’s directives
To behave in a self-c­ont­rolled fashion, children must think of themselves as separate, autonomous beings who can direct their own actions. And they must have the repres­ent­ational and memory capacities to recall a caregi­ver's directive and apply it to their own behavior
As self-c­ontrol improves, parents gradually expand the rules they expect toddlers to follow, from safety and respect for property and people to family routines, manners, and simple chores

Helping Toddlers Develop Compliance + Self-C­ontrol

Some examples of parental guidance are:
(1) Respond with sensit­ivity and support
(2) Give advance notice of change in activities
parent to stop pleasu­rable activity rather than waiting to last moment. “we are going to the playground soon and you need to pick up your toys so we can leave.”
(3) Offer many prompts and reminders
(4) Reinforce self-c­ont­rolled behavior
(5) Encourage sustained attention
(6) Support language develo­pment
(7) Increase rules gradually
Toddlers become capable of compliance between 12 and 18 months, now aware of caregivers wishes and expect­ations
Toddlers with parents’ sensit­ivity and support may resist at times but also are more compliant
Continuous adult oversight and patient assistance needed as memory and compliance is limited
Gradually increase rules for behavior in a manner consistent with toddler’s developing capacities

Toddler Develo­pment

what toddlers do and it is essential to their health and develo­pment
During play toddlers exercise, learn to manage their body, improve coordi­nation and manual dexterity, increase awareness of their surrou­ndings and objects, develop spatial and sensory percep­tion, learn attention and language, release emotional tension and channel unacce­ptable urges such as aggres­sion, into acceptable activi­ties.
oddler learns through play right from wrong and learns to have fun and master skills
Exercise helps children learn physical, mental and social skills. Parents who play actively with their children help to develop these skills. Sedentary activities such as reading should be balanced with active play
Rest and sleep are as important as physical activity and play. In sleep and rest Toddlers need an average of 10-12 hours of sleep nightly plus nap during day of 1-2 hours
Sleep is essential to physical growth and healing if the child is ill. During sleep the growth hormone is produced in greater quantities

Toddler Develo­pmental Tasks

Develop Physical skills approp­riate to motor stage
Physical skills are developed by encour­aging exercise and fun through play activities and with parental encour­agement
Master basics of toilet training
Inde­pen­dence and autono­my, not cleanl­iness, are the critical issues in teaching the child to use the toilet. Arrange for the child to use the toilet easily and parent supports rather than acts as trainer, shows interest in child, not just the act. The toddler is interested in the product she or he excretes. Neuro muscular maturity increases from 1 to 3 years. Bowel control occurs before bladder control and is a less complex task. Shows readiness for bowel training when defecates regularly, shows signs of awareness of defeca­tion, (pulls on diaper, or training pants).If learning to speak this helps if parent can choose words to use for defecation so child will learn these and be able to commun­icate. Mental and emotional readiness are import­ant
For bladder training child is ready when child knows when he is wet., wakes up dry after nap or nighttime, or goes more than 2 hours during the day being dry. Child needs to understand both boys and girls can sit down on toilet to urinate. Daddy can help boys learn how to stand up to urinate
Master basics of good eating and sleep habits
Eating habits are learned from example by parent or caregiver. Use finger foods and let child choose and offer small portions. Do not use food as reward or punish­ment. Children under the age of 2 should not drink skim milk or eat only low fat foods as fat is needed for neurol­ogical develo­pment. Offer snacks of fruit, yogurt, crackers and cheese and certainly offer 3 regular meals a day Avoid the frequent high sugar snacks. Toddlers do not have high caloric need and their caloric need does increase slowly through the toddler period.
Become more aware of being family member, early social skills
Language and
communication skills
The child unders­tands words before they understand the meanings At 18 months a vocabulary of 50 words and at 2 years between 50 and 400 words. It all depends on the caregi­ver’s involv­ement in teaching and reading
control and beginning
independence in behavior
Learning self control and having daily routines are all part of the develo­pmental tasks of the toddler
Begin to have healthy daily routines

Health Promotion and Health Protection

(1) Immunizations:
HepB: For hepatitis B
DTaP: Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough)
RV: Rotovirus
Hib: Protects against influenza type b
PCV: pneumo­coccal protects against pneumo­coccal pneumonia
IPV: Polio vaccine
MMR: Measles, mumps, Rubella at age 1 year
HepA: for Hepatitis A
Yearly influenza vaccine
(2) Dental Health:
teaching the child good oral hygiene habits can lead to a lifelong healthy smile. But did you know that just because babies don’t have visible teeth doesn’t mean they can’t get cavities
The baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth. And those baby teeth that begin coming through the gum at about 6 months help set the stage for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for the adult teeth
The American Dental Associ­ation recommends that parents take children to the dentist no later than their first birthday and then at intervals recomm­ended by the dentist
Immu­niz­ati­ons needed for the infant through the toddler age group. And you need to know these immuni­zations for the first two years. Parents need to be encouraged to have their child vaccinated as these are required before they can attend school or preschool
The HCP needs to call attention to these vaccin­ations and answer questions related to this. There has been a redeve­lopment of measles because too many parents have refused to have infants vaccinated because of fear of reaction to the vaccine
(3) Safety Promotion and Injury Control
Major concerns about infant­/to­ddler safety are accidental injury due to motor vehicle accidents (MVA), burns, suffoc­ation, drowning, poisoning, and falls. MVA are the major cause of death and related to improper use of car restraints or inappr­opriate size for infant­/to­ddler
if toddler plays in area of traffic. Use of child proof gates, locks on cabinets where hazardous substances are kept
Acci­dental injury: MVA, burns, drowning, suffoc­ation (SIDS), poisoning, falls
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a risk of suffoc­ating for the very young infant if the child is placed on soft pillows or a couch for a nap
There is also thought to be some risk for the infant if co-sle­eping with adults
(4) Common Health Problems
Resp­iratory infect­ions
Otitis Media (ear infect­ion)
Food allerg­ies
The most common health problems at this age are resp­iratory problems and home accide­nts
Teaching the young child to cover their cough or sneeze with tissue or their upper arm/sl­eeve. Do not use their hands. Washing hands frequently especially after cough, before eating, after playing with other’s toys (as at day care). And the adult needs to set the example for this behavior. However children in day care centers will be exposed to more infectious diseases, mostly viral, but some bacterial
If child is ill, they may not be able to commun­icate pain but show restle­ssness and withdr­awal. Take their temper­ature using newer types equipment such as heat sensors available at drug store


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