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Infant Develop: Emotion & Reasoning (for parents)

1hour 0.1CEUs

The class is also available as part of a Knowledge Collection

$39 Parenting: The First 6 Months See Details  


Discusses the emotional and cognitive development of the infant, including: attachment/bonding; the beginning of language; and emotional milestones.

Goal: to understand importance of bonding, emotional development and expression

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Infant Development: Emotional & Reasoning (Parenting)

Goal: to understand importance of bonding, emotional development and expression


Table of Contents

  1. Attachment/Bonding
  2. The Beginnings of Language
  3. Emotional Development


Chapter 1: Attachment/Bonding

How does an infant change and grow in the first 365 days of life?  We cannot predict exactly when a child will learn emotions, or exactly how a child bonds with a parent.  We can help children deal with all of the new and wonderful things they learn during their first year of life. 

What is bonding?  Bonding is the intense attachment that develops between you and your baby.  It makes parents want to shower their baby with love and affection, to protect and nourish him.  Bonding is what gets you up at 3:00 am to feed your baby.  Bonding is what makes you pay close attention to your baby's cries and is the motivation for you to learn what the cries mean. Scientists are still learning a lot about bonding.  They know that the strong ties between parents and their children provide the baby's first model for relationships.  These strong ties foster a sense of security and positive self-esteem.  Parent's responsiveness to an infant's signals is important for the child's social and cognitive development.

Bonding is important for a baby.  Studies of 2newborn monkeys who were given mannequin mothers at birth showed that despite the efforts of the baby monkeys to get a response through holding and touching the mannequins, the lack of a parental response caused stunted development, sadness, and failure to thrive in the young monkeys.  Scientists suspect that lack of bonding in human babies causes similar problems. Although there’s no firm schedule for bonding, early contact, such as breast-feeding within the first 30 minutes of life, fosters greater communication between a baby and a mother than waiting several hours to nurse as was common in the United States a few years ago.

Research has discovered that the healthy, not drugged newborn is often in what is called a "quiet alert" state for 45 to 60minutes after birth.  Newborns can see, they can hear and they will turn their heads toward a spoken voice.  They will also move in rhythm to their mother's voice. Mothers and fathers allowed to interact with their newborns in this time often look into the baby's eyes, stroke the baby, and speak to the baby in a high-pitched voice.  Some scientists speculate that there are instinctual behaviors triggered in the mother in response to the infant immediately after birth that facilitate her bonding with the infant, and thus promote the infant's survival. 

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to: 

  • Understand the importance of positive attachment and bonding for children and parents.
  • Recognize the issue of "separation anxiety" and why it happens
  • Understand the importance of beginning communication and its effect on language development
  • Identify the difference between receptive and expressive language
  • Identify the stages and development of language
  • Understand the initial stages of emotional development
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