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Babies grow and develop at a very rapid rate durin

Mr2g the first year of life. They grow physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. However, through this portfolio, I intend to discuss the physical growth and development patterns of the infant through their first year.

To begin with, development refers to the baby’s increased skill in using various body parts. When dealing with the development of a child there are three basic developmental rules. First Developmental Rule:
This rule states that babies develop in the head region first, then the trunk, and lastly in the legs and feet. Therefore, it is said that babies develop in a head-to-toe direction or cephalocaudally. For example, a baby can hold up their head before they can grasp an object with their hand. Also, they can feed themself before they can walk. Second Developmental Rule:
The second rule explains that children develop from the midline, or centre of the body, outward toward the fingers and toes. This stage or rule is the one which affects the development of motor skills. Motor skills are the child’s ability to control movement. There are two basic classifications of motor skills, gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are those which involve the large muscles. Whereas, fine motor skills are those involving the smaller muscle groups. For example, a child can grasp a big ball in their arms before they can catch a baseball in their hands. The fine skills of hands and feet are the last to develop. Third Developmental Rule:
Finally, this rule reveals that, as the brain develops, a child responds to more and more sights and sounds in their environment. Furthermore, they learn to respond to much finer details.

In this section, you will find specific break-downs of the baby’s body parts. I decided to do this to show how the baby grows and develops in each area of their body. Also, you will see how these developing body parts affect the developing motor skills of the child. The following areas will be discussed, their size and weight, the head, brain, eyes, ears, arms and hands and finally, the legs and feet and the trunk.

The average baby is 20 inches long at birth, or 50.8cm. However, not all babies are born the same length, generally, lengths vary from 18-21.5 inches or 45.7-54.6 centimetres.

The average baby weighs 7.5 pounds at birth, or 3.4 kilograms. Typically, the range is from 5.75-10 pounds or from 2.6-4.5 kilograms.

A general rule is that a baby increases in height by 50% and triples its birth weight in the first year. Clearly, this is a very rapid growth rate, however, the rate of growth slows down considerably after infancy. The Head
The head of a newborn baby is very large compared to the rest of their body. For example, compared to the baby’s total length of about 20 inches, the length of the head measures approximately 5 inches…which equals one-fourth of the total length.

There are four pieces of bone that make up the skull. These pieces are flexible. This is so that they can move slightly while the baby is being forced down the birth canal. The four skull bones will no join until the baby is about 18 months old. The area between the “pieces”, at the top of the baby’s head is called the fontanel, or the “soft spot”. The flexibility of the skull gives the baby protection form concussion caused by bumps or falls. I remember being warned when my little sister was born, not to touch her head because of this “soft spot”. However, through my research, I found out that you cannot hurt a baby by touching the head gently. The Brain
Even though the brain is large at birth, it’s development is incomplete. The part of the brain controlling posture and balance develops rapidly during the baby’s first year of life. Eyes
Babies are able to see at birth. Primarily, they notice movement. Also, research shows that newborn babies are best able to see an object that is between 5 and 18 inches away. Also, newborns are extremely sensitive to bright lights. Therefore, a baby may open his or her eyes in a dimly lighted room more comfortably then in a brightly light