My Baby Book

A Record of Development

December 18, 2014

Kate Cliff

Period 2

The Meaning of Development

Development extends beyond the formation of the body; development is all-enclosing of learning how to effectively communicate with others, discovering your personal view points, exploring emotions, and adding to your own knowledge of the world around you. Development is an ongoing process that comprises an entire life. A snapshot of my own development so far is shown in the presentation below.

The First Stage of Life

Prenatal Development: Progress Before Birth

Prenatal Development --- The process where the baby develops into a single cell zygote after contraception into an embryo and later a fetus. The average length of time for prenatal development is about 38 weeks from the conception. The three primary stages are as follows:

Germinal Stage --- The stage from conception to about the second week of pregnancy, where the zygote eventually begins to have cell production then attaches itself to the wall of the uterus.

Embryonic Stage --- This phase is very vulnerable and deformities are produced most often here; during this period, most of the organ systems are established. It comprises about 8 weeks from the conception. After the 8th week, the fetus begins to take on "typical human features."

Fetal Stage --- Lasting from the 9th week to the birth, here the organs during the embryonic period grow and differentiate.

At some points during my mother's pregnancy with me, she had a few needs that HAD to be fulfilled. One of those was the La Madeleine Strawberry Custard Tart(s). For about 2 weeks she would continually ask my dad, "Johnnnn. Can you get me a treaaaaat?" He complied, and they are still happily married to this day.
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The Second Stage of Life

Infancy and Childhood

Reflexes of the Neonate:

Grasping/Palmer Reflex --- If you place a finger on an infant's open palm, the hand will close around the finger. If you try to pull away the grip will tighten.

Rooting Reflex --- If the baby's cheek is stroked the baby will turn towards the side that was touched and begin to make sucking motions.

Sucking Reflex --- The baby will usually suck when the area around the mouth is touched.

Swallowing Reflex --- Pressure against the roof of the baby's mouth triggers the sucking reflex, usually with milk. As the milk enters the mouth, the swallowing reflex initiates. These two reflexes work together.

Babinski Reflex --- After the sole of the baby's foot has been firmly stroked, the big toe will move upwards while the other toes fan out.

Moro Reflex --- If you place the baby face-up on a soft surface, and support the baby, then allow the head to fall back then be quickly supported again, the baby should look started! He or she may then wave their arms and cry for about a minute.

My Life Is A Dickens' Novel

My parents saw a sonogram of me sucking my thumb in the womb, which continued until I arrived into this "tragic" world. I supposed I was preparing for life? I had no need for a bottle, pacifier, or special toy. I just liked having my mom and my thumb for company. Oh, and my mother coined the title as her phrase-- she says it whenever I look distressed. Up until I was two years old, I sucked my thumb as a means of comfort.


The natural disposition or combination of the different mental, physical, and emotional traits within an individual. For me, I was a slow-to-warm-up child. I certainly wasn't difficult and I was a good baby but I just didn't like affection as much. That is, until my little sister came along. Anna loves cuddling to this day, and when I saw her begin to get hugs and love from my mother, I naturally nudged in for my share.


When I was very little, I spent more time with my mom because my dad was either in graduate school or working during the early years of my life. So, she was the one I formed a stronger connection to. This fits within the theory of imprinting, which basically states that children form attachments with those who are their primary caregivers, and my mom definitely was. As for any objects, I didn't really have any special toys, pacifiers, etc. that I had particular regard for.

Cognitive Development

The process of developing intelligence and thought processes from birth onward. One important phase of this process is the Sensorimotor Stage. At this stage, small children usually begin to learn how to respond to stimuli in their environment and begin to understand rather than just act. For example, a child might suck their thumb on accident then later replicate the action because they found it pleasurable.

Development: Language and Physical

My first word was "dada" at around 9 months. (Our family remembers this because my mom was disgruntled that I had said "dada" and not "mama.") A funny phrase I used to say was "das budas," and no one understood what I was trying to communicate. Sometimes I would simply point my finger at you as if I were going to say something of great importance you, and then declare, "das budas."
I didn't really use telegraphic speech on a consistent basis; I would usually let you know what I wanted with a few phrases in my soft little voice, not three word sentences. But when I was perhaps two and half I would say loudly in the middle of the (silent) sacrament meeting at church, "Go now. I want to go NOW"...Evidently the services weren't up to my entertainment standards at the time.

Preoperational Stage

Preoperational Stage --- Here, the child learns to use language but does not yet understand concrete logic, and is not yet able to take the point of view of other people or mentally manipulate information. One day, I didn't want to go to school and had learned (vaguely) about chicken pox the day before. So, I took the sticker sheet with yellow, green, red, and blue circles and plastered them all over my body. Then, when my mom came in to check on me, I said, "Mom, I can't go to school. I'm sickkkk." ....She laughed, told me I was fine, then took off the stickers and drove me to school.

Concrete Operational Stage

Concrete Operational Stage --- This essential phase is the beginning of logical thought. For example, a child would understand that if you had two even pieces of string then scrunched one up, the two pieces would still be equal in length. However, all thinking is not fully developed. One infamous example at my house includes me and my little sister. One hot summer day, we wanted "to keep cool" but we didn't have a pool. So instead of putting our toes in the bath tub with cool water, we decided to make our own pool by continually dumping buckets of water in the play room...The carpet was replaced soon afterwards.

I am the oldest child in my family and didn't have older friends or family members that greatly influenced me. However, I influence my little sister, who is four years younger than me, greatly. She comes to me when she is sad, excited, and even just bored. She looks carefully at what I wear and how I act and somehow thinks I am cool and funny. It's very sweet and I love her very much. I hope to continue to be a good influence on her.

Formal Operational Stage

This stage begins when adolescents are around 12 years old. They begin to develop the ability to do mathematical calculations, think creatively, use abstract reasoning, and imagine the outcome of particular actions.

Adolescent Egocentrism --- Basically the thought process revolves around the idea that the eyes of the world are always upon you and everyone will notice if you mess up or don't look perfect. Throughout middle school, I felt a need to look perfect and if I had a bad hair day and whatnot I would be less confident because I was sure that everyone had noticed and was judging me.

Adolescent Personal Fable --- The assumption that everyone else is obviously fascinated by you and that you are more unique than the rest of the planet. I still have this now; whenever I go over to to my friends, I automatically assume that with whatever story I tell them, they'll love it because I'M telling it.

Adolescent Imaginary Audience --- Everyone is watching you because you are so fascinating; if you are in a bad mood, it can be harmful because you are embarrassed. But if you are in a good place, you can become a little overconfident. I was mortally embarassed in 6th grade, because my mom knew I was self conscious and so, when she dropped me off for school, would shout, "Goodbye snookie wookie," "Have a nice day CUPCAKE," etcetera.

Different Parenting Styles

Authoritarian --- Here, the children are expected to follow the strict rules established by the parents. Failure to follow them results in punishment. If asked to explain, the parent would probably say, "Because I said so." These parents aren't responsive and expect their orders to be obeyed without question.
Authoritative --- Parents establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. They are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. When their children fail, these parents are forgiving rather than punishing. These parents are assertive and supportive. They want their children to be socially responsible and cooperative.
Permissive --- These parents rarely discipline their children and are more responsive than demanding. They do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation. Permissive parents play more the part of a friend than a parent.

Personality Development

Identity vs. Role Confusion (13-18 years old) --- Here, teenagers usually begin to feel confused or insecure about themselves and how they fit in to society. As they try to establish their personal identity, they may try out different roles, activities and behaviors.This is important because it helps them develop a sense of direction in life.

Intimacy vs. Isolation (18-30 years old) --- This period centers on forming intimate, loving relationships with other people. Having a fully formed sense of self (established during the previous stage) is an important part of making these connections. People with a poor sense of their personal identity usually have less committed relationships and have emotional isolation, loneliness, and depression.


These stages are so incredibly hard because for the first time in your life, you're starting to take off the training wheels of your parents' support and learning how to ride the bike on your own. You are starting to develop your own opinions and dealing with a flood of emotions and your clumsiness both physically and socially and have to climb a mountain of practical worries about the next phase in your life. You start to have a higher awareness of who and what is around you, and you are more critical of yourself than ever because you see the people around them as the people they present to the world, with diminished insecurities. You see what other people have freedom and wealth and love and you want it but you don't know quite how to get it so sometimes you fall down. Eventually you get back up and learn and are triumphant. But before then, there is a lot of trial and error, and it can be frustrating. However, discovering who you are is ultimately very rewarding and will be your foundation to build the rest of your life upon.

Time Stops for No Man (or Woman)

Generativity vs. Stagnation (middle adulthood, 40s through 50s) --- During this time, adults try to create things that will outlast them. Contributing to society and doing things to benefit future generations are important needs here. Generativity is caring for others and creating and accomplishing things that make the world a better place. Stagnation is the failure to contribute, resulting in a feeling of being disconnected with the community.

Integrity vs. Despair (old age, 60s and up) --- Here, you reflect on your life, your accomplishments, and wonder if what you did was impactful or worth it. Those who are satisfied feel fulfilled with a sense of integrity and those who are not feel bitter and regretful.

Where Will I Be?

By the end of those two stages I hope to have had obtained my master's degree in English Literature and my doctorate in law (my specialty being civil litigation) from BYU-Provo. The situation would hopefully include me holding a higher position in a firm or heading my own. But more importantly, I aspire to marry in the temple and love and raise children along my husband's side. I want to be hear little footsteps on the floors and stay up late rocking kids to sleep. I want to have trusting little fingers clutch mine and follow me through the world and be safel. I hope to have my children grow up and know that their parents love them and that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father know and love and watch over them. I want to be a mother. And one day, if I'm really really lucky, a grandmother.

The End