Importance Of Child Psychology
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Importance Of Child Psychology

Meaning and characteristics of Infancy and Toddlerhood

The term infancy traditionally is being used to refer to a person who is not capable of speaking and is thus helpless. Montessori Training researches refer to first two years of life as

infancy and to the individual who has not yet reached its school birthday as an infant. Legally, a person is regarded as an infant until he reaches the age of eighteen. A minor, therefore,

is an infant.

Hurlock has called this period as babyhood- a period extending from the end of the second week after birth until the end of the second year of life. By that time, the average baby is

relatively independent and can do many things for himself, which formerly had to be done for him. The term baby means an extremely young individual, but it does not carry the

connotation of helplessness that infant does (Hurlock).


1. Babyhood is the true foundation age-This is so because at this time many behavior patterns, many attitudes and patterns of emotional expression are laid.

2. It is a period of rapid growth and development.

3. It is an age of decreasing dependency.

4. It is the age of increased individuality.

5. Babyhood is the beginning of socialization.

6. Babyhood is the beginning of sex role typing.

7. Babyhood is an appealing age.

8. Babyhood is the beginning of creativity.

9. Babyhood is a hazardous age.

Physical Growth and Development by teacher training programmes

Meaning and Definition:

It is defined as rapid growth of different parts of body and their capacity to function. To get compete picture of children’s development, it is essential to know how they develop

physically as well as psychologically. The reason for this is that physical development influences children’s behavior both directly and indirectly.

a. Height and Weight:

Babies gain in both height and weight very rapidly for first two years. The usual rule of thumb is that an infant will double his birth weight by 5months and triple in the first year and

gradruple it by two and a half years. However, such guide-lines cannot be taken as hard-and-fast rules. There are individual differences as weight an increase is determined not only by

hereditary, but also by weight increase is factors, including nutrition. Poor nutrition in early childhood can have a very damaging and long lasting sometimes even permanent effects on

all aspects of development, not just on his weight.

b. Body proportions:

Even though virtually all the brain cells are present at birth, the brain doubles in size in the first year, and again by age of six. The brain cells and their out-growths increase. Full brain

(and skull) size, is not reached until adulthood. During infancy, most babies grow a full head of hair. The facial proportions change, from the fetal look of the newborn to the smooth

roundness characteristics of the babyhood.

c. Muscular Development:

Besides the weight contributed by the bones, increase in body weight comes mainly from muscle and adipose tissue.

At birth, muscle fibers are present, but undeveloped. After birth, they change in size, shape and composition. The muscle fibers grow in length, breadth and thickness. At maturity,

the muscles are at least five times as thick as at birth.

For the average person, muscle weight increases forty fold from birth to maturity.

d. Skeletal Development:

The skeletal system is made up of bones and teeth. Most people think of skeletal growth in terms of changes in height and weight and the appearance of teeth.

Instead of study skeletal frame of rigid bones that comprise the adult frame, the infant skeleton is mainly cartilage (soft, gristle-like tissue). Infants have large spaces between their

“bones” to give the joints great flexibility (so that bend without breaking). Infants can suck their toes without any trouble, but sitting or standing is made impossible. The infant bones

do not fracture (break) easily. But their bones may become deformed more easily than adult bones due to their softness.

e. Development of Teeth:

Baby teeth, or primary teeth, are fully formed under the gums when an infant is born. In fact, they begin to form when the fetus reaches its sixth week. They generally appear about six

months after the birth, but it varies greatly. So does the amount of discomfort that accompanies teething. The age at which teething occurs is simply a matter of the baby’s own growth

pattern, but most children have full set of twenty teeth by the time they are two and a half years old.

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