Every day while they interact with and learn about their environment they are creating new connections and pathways between nerve cells both within their brains, and between their brains and bodies.
As they approach one year of age, most infants are able to: Understand the concept of object permanencethe idea that an object continues to exist even though it cannot be seen Imitate gestures and some basic actions Respond with gestures and sounds Like looking at picture books Manipulate objects by turning them over, trying to put one object into another, etc.
These abilities may develop differently within enriched or deprived cultural environments. Infants and toddlers understand language before actually speaking language; children have receptive language, or an understanding of the spoken and written word, before acquiring productive language, or an ability to use the spoken or written word.
Parents can also pose their own questions to help kids become more creative problems solvers. Infants may recognize and remember primary caretakers, as well as familiar surroundings. In this way, cognitive development also determines the timing of language development.
Fill an accessible drawer or lower kitchen cabinet with baby-safe objects that vary in shape, texture, and size for your baby to discover. Equilibrium, which helps remove inconsistencies between reality and personal perspectives, keeps children moving along the developmental pathway, allowing them to make increasingly effective adaptations and decisions.
To learn more about the mental processes of infants, researchers have come up with a number of creative tasks that reveal the inner workings of the baby brain.