A Guide for Growth and Development of the First Year Your Little One
Oleh: Morinaga Platinum
Mommy must often hear the term "growth and development" when discussing about the care pattern of the Little One. Although interconnected between one and another, the process of growth and development are two different things. "Growth" is associated with an increase in the number and size of cells in all body parts that can be measured, such as weight and height. Whereas "development" is associated with the complete enhancement of body functions that can be achieved through growth and stimulation.
The Little One is very dependent on Mommy in fulfilling all the factors supporting the growth, such as nutritional intake, affection, guidance, feelings of security, and others. Understanding the growth of the Little One is very important because by doing so Mommy can recognize the possible growth disorders that occur.
Shortly after birth, the Little One will lose weight about 10% of birth weight. When your Little One reaches the age of 2 weeks, his weight and height begin to increase. When your Little One is six months old, he/she will weigh twice the birth weight. Reaching 1 year ole, your Little One’s weight will reach three times the birth weight.
So, what kind of growth and development process which is considered normal for the Little One in the first year of life? Consider the following guidelines:
Age 4 Months
- Social or Emotions: Smile spontaneously, following faces like smiling or sad
- Language or Communication: Start babbling, babbling with expressions and mimicking sounds, crying differently to indicate hunger, anger, sickness, or boredom
- Cognitive (Thinking): Showing sadness or happiness, grabbing a toy with one hand, presence of eye-hand coordination like seeing a toy and picking it up, eyes following moving objects to the left and right
- Motoric (Movement): Head upright, begin to roll to his/her stomach and back by him/herself, hold and swing toys, put the hand to the mouth
Age 9 Months
- Social or Emotions: Starting to fear strangers, not wanting to escape from Mommy, have favorite toys
- Language or Communication: Understanding the word 'no', pronouncing 'mamamama' or 'papapapa', imitating a person's voice or movement, using a finger to point
- Cognitive: Finding objects when hidden, playing 'peek-a-boo'
- Motoric: Mastering the grip of the fingers to pinch, standing by holding on, reaching for a sitting position by him/herself, crawling
Age 12 Months
- Social or Emotions: Showing fear, picking up a book to be read, performing a motion or making a repetitive sound to attract attention, raise a hand when he/she is dressed
- Language or Communication: Easily respond to commands, wave or shake head, make sounds with different intonations, say 'mama' and 'dada', try to imitate words spoken by others
- Cognitive: Throwing, wagging objects, finding objects that are hidden easily, can point correctly to an object or person, combing, drinking from a glass, picking up and removing items from a box, using a finger to point
- Motoric: Starts creeping, can stand on his/her own, can walk several steps
Mommy needs to remember that the Little One grows and develops at his/her own pace. The speed of achievement in mastering a certain ability varies from one child to another. In addition to nutrition, Mommy must pay attention to stimulation that can support the intelligence of the Little One. Playing is the right stimulation for him/her. Find creative ideas at the Morinaga Multiple Intelligence Play Plan site for children’s growth. Play stimulation does not only make the Little One to feel relaxed but also sharpen his/her intelligence
Knowing the growth stage of the Little One is very important, especially to recognize early when there is a delay. Discuss the obstacles that may be encountered by the Little One with a pediatrician.