These developments take place differently in different stages. Here is a bird eye view to the basics.
This development is basically how a child uses all his muscles in her or his body. So it is pretty much the complete movement of his body. As humans we are not born with complete brain development. As the baby grows up he or she learns to coordinate and control movements. The various activities that they involve themselves in, as a baby aids in these developments. Right from the baby kicking his or her leg involuntarily to stuffing his or her hand into the mouth all actions help in their development.
Motor skills are further categorized into two types
Gross Motor development:
This is the child's ability to use large muscles. This begins from a four month old turning on his or her stomach, a six month old trying to sit up or a one year old trying to walk with support. To aid gross motor skills we offer the surrounding to the child. We make sure it safe and offer maximum freedom for this development.
Fine motor development:
Any action that is more accurate like eating, writing, cutting etc requires the use of smaller muscles. Using our smaller muscles to do actions is termed as fine motor skills. For a newborn most of his actions are involuntary and is mostly aiding their gross motor development. Once they are able to control their legs and arms they need more activities that help develop fine motor skills. A strong fine motor development is required for activities like picking up an object, eating, writing, cutting etc. to aid fine motor development in your baby we can involve them in small household activities and getting the right toy as per their age.
Speech and language development:
This is the ability of the child to understand and reproduce the language that he or she is spoken to. A newborn starts reacting to different sounds in the environment. They first recognize their parent’s voice then their primary care giver and then the basic sounds in their language. A child first understands, reacts and then communicates using that language. As adults we should explain everything that we do to a child like “now I am going to lift you’ or “now I am going to shampoo your hair”, when we aid our actions with words a child’s ability to understand a language accelerates. A baby’s first three years are crucial for this development, therefore he or she ought to be exposed to an environment rich in sounds and language. Reading regularly to the baby also helps this development.
Social and emotional development:
Interacting with the people around them and figuring out things emotionally for themselves contribute to this development. Babies are constantly bonding with people around them. They learn from what they are subjected to. Our actions towards them help them develop socially and emotionally. Social developments are quick and spontaneous where as emotional takes a lot of time.
This is the ability of a child to understand and solve problems. The baby’s cognitive development begins from the moment of birth. The baby needs to understand the surroundings and learn the world around him. His or her actions right from looking at a colorful mobile and smiling to solving a simple puzzle later on is all because of his gradual cognitive development.
All these developments are aided by the adults, the environment and the toys that are offered to the child. We have to be aware of how we speak and act in front of the child. We should make sure we offer the right and safe environment to our child. It also becomes our responsibility to choose the correct toy as per the stage of development of the baby.