My Little Baby Book

by Kira Placido


This little flyer is about development, or how humans change over time psychologically and physiologically from before birth until death.


The following stages will be covered:

  • Prenatal (section 1)
  • Childhood (section 2)
  • Adolescence (section 3)
  • Adulthood (section 4)

Prenatal (Before Birth/Pregnancy)

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Pregnancy is an interesting part of the development of a child, where growth occurs at an extremely fast rate, and the mother feels the brunt of hormonal changes and find herself in strange eating habits. For example, when my mother was pregnant with me, she had cravings for pumpkin pie all the time.

1. Germinal Stage: this stage is the first two weeks of pregnancy where the child is what is known as a zygote.
  • This part of pregnancy begins when the sperm and egg cells unite (conception).
  • This stage also includes the start of cell division, which will then form a blastocyst, which if made up of the ectoderm (future skin and nervous systems), endoderm (future digestive and respiratory systems), and the mesoderm (future muscular and skeletal systems).
  • Implantation occurs during this stage. Implantation is when the cells "nestle" into the lining of the uterus, and the blood vessels and membranes that form between the two will provide nourishment during the development of the child.

2. Embryonic Stage: this portion of development occurs from two weeks to two months where the child is what is known as an embryo.

  • The neural tube forms about twenty-two days after conception and will later become the spinal chord.
  • Around the fourth week, the blood vessel (that will one day become the heart) starts to beat, and the formation of the head and its features begins about this time.
  • At about week five, buds (that will later be the arms and legs) begin to take shape.
  • At week eight, the embryo has developed all of the basic organ (except for the sex organs), and is about an inch in length.

3. Fetal Stage: this stage occurs from the second month all the way until birth in which the child is known as a fetus.

  • Development continues in this stage of the structures formed in the embryonic stage, and the neural tube become the spine and brain. Sex organs also begin to appear at this time.
  • By the end of the third month, the fetus will have all of its body parts formed, and will weigh about three ounces.
  • During months three through six (the second trimester), development continues of previously formed organs, but the development of things like fingernails and eyelashes begins at the same time. The fetus increases dramatically in size at this time, growing about six times its previous breadth.
  • In the sixth month until birth (third trimester), the fetus continues to develop and prepare for life outside the womb. For example, the lungs begin to expand and contract to prepare breathing.

Infancy and Childhood

Newborn (Neonate) Reflexes

There are many reflexes and actions that we as humans do everyday without thinking, like grabbing a coffee cup or car keys. But we had to learn how to do that at some point. That times would be during infancy. For example, when I was a newborn, I had to have one thing in each hand at all times or my parents wouldn't hear the end of my crying.

Some reflexes are:

  1. Grasping/Palmer Reflex: a baby will close its fingers in a grasp when its palm is touched or stroked. This lasts for five or six months.
  2. Rooting Reflex: this happens when the corner of the child's mouth is touched or stroked and it will open its mouth and turn its head in that direction. This helps the baby when it's going to feed.
  3. Sucking Reflex: when the corner of the baby's mouth is touched, it will begin to suck. This reflex doesn't start until around the thirty-second week of infancy and doesn't become strong until the thirty sixth.
  4. Swallowing Reflex: the child will swallow when its fauces or palate is stimulated. This usually goes hand-in-hand with the sucking reflex.
  5. Babinski Reflex: when a baby's foot is stroked, the big toe bends back and the other toes spread out. This reflex usually lasts until about two years of age.
  6. Moro Reflex: this happens when a baby is startled by a loud sound, sometimes even its own cry. The newborn will then begin crying and squirming. This reflex usually lasts for five or six months after birth.

I did a lot of these reflexes as a kid, especially the Babinski reflex.


Temperament is the personality or the combination of the traits of a person. There are four basic temperament styles:
  • Easy
  • Slow-to-warm-up
  • Difficult
  • Mixed

As a baby, I was an easy, relaxed kid. My mom worked from home, and I had a blast entertaining myself and not generally getting into trouble.

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An attachment is the bond between those that take care of the baby and the child itself. I, personally, was most attached to my mom because as a little baby, my mother was the one that fed me.

Imprinting is when a newborn creature, not necessarily a human, creates a "bond" with the type of animal it meets at birth. From that moment on, it mimics the behavior of its "bonded" animal. This usually happens between the parent and the child. This explains my attachment because my mom was one of the first people I saw.

As an infant, I loved my baby swing.

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Cognitive Development (Part 1)

There are four stages in cognitive development. The first is the Sensorimotor Stage (0-2 Years Old). In this stage, infants and toddlers acquire knowledge through sensory stimulation and manipulation of their surroundings.

One thing I did at this stage was I had dumped a bag of flour on the floor and pretended to swim in it.

At this age, I had this rabbit toy that my grandmother gave me that I was obsessed with.

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Language Development

My first word was "dada" like most babies, as it's easy to pronounce. I was about a year old when my mother could clearly tel I was saying it.

One of my favorite thing to say was to "muse-git". This word literally meant music to me.

Telegraphic speech is a simplified form of speech where only the main concepts of the sentence are expressed, leaving out grammar and excess wording.

I used this when I wanted one of my parents to hold me. I would just say "up".

Physical Development

I was about eight months old when I learned to sit up.

I was six months old when my first tooth came in.

I was almost one year old when I took my first steps.

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Cognitive Development (Part 2)

The second stage of cognitive development is the Preoperational Stage (2-7 Years Old). In this stage, children learn through imaginative play, have issues with logic and point of views of others.

At this age, I learned how to swim, and I started dancing.

My favorite toys at this age were puzzles.

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Cognitive Development (Part 3)

The third stage of cognitive learning is the Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 Years Old). This is where kids think more logically, but they still might not be able to grasp hypothetical or abstract concepts because of rigid thinking.

In this age range, my little sister was born, and I was so excited to have her around to dress up and play with. I kind of thought of her as my very own living baby doll.

I was pretty done with toys at this point.

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Lev Vygotsky's Theory

Lev Vygotsky's Theory is known as the Zone of Proximal Development and is the range of development level between the child's actual stage decided through testing and the level of the child in a group or with an adult.

The person who probably influenced me as a child is my cousin Karlie. When I was a baby, I wasn't a fan of binkies unless they were hers.

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Cognitive Development (Part 4)

The last stage of learning is the Formal Operational Stage (12 and up). This is the stage where kids develop a more logical way of thinking and find more than one solution to a problem. They also are able to use deductive reasoning and understand abstract ideas.

Adolescent egocentrism is the tendency of a child or teen to feel that others will think the same way as them and to only be concerned with their own thoughts or needs. For example, when I remember something embarrassing I did when I was younger, I cringe and feel like the person is still laughing at me to this day, but they probably don't even remember it.

Another thing that happens at this stage is adolescent "personal fable". This is where teens feel that they're so special and unique that none of life's problems affect them. I used to do this when I would imagine myself going on adventures and getting out of trouble unscathed and being the heroine.

Adolescent "imaginary audience" is where a child imagines he/she has many people observing him/her enthusiastically. This wasn't much of an issue for me until I took a test and did something like drop my pencil or sneeze.

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Parenting Styles

There are three main parenting styles:

  • Authoritarian: the parent uses strict guidelines and rules to try and shape a child's behavior a certain way.
  • Permissive (Laissez Faire): the parent allows the kid(s) to follow his/her impulses and is more of a resource for the child to use.
  • Authoritative (Democratic): the parent attempts to direct the child in a logical, problem-oriented way. They give reasoning on why certain rules are in place and listens to objections to the rules.

The parenting style I feel is the best is authoritative probably because thats what my parents were. This parenting style gave me more of an autonomous, laid-back personality.

Personality Development

There are a few stages of personality development (originally discovered by Erik Erikson) that teens generally go through:

  • Identity vs. Role Confusion (13-18): at this stage, teens are beginning to develop individual personalities, but worry about fitting in and finding their "role" in society.
  • Intimacy vs. Isolation (18-30): the internal debate of adults on if they'll be alone in life romantically or if they should look or hope for love.

These two stages can be particularly hard to get through. As people develop differently, their sense of self will be varied and unique. But as teens get more and more involved in the world around them, they may find themselves to be a round peg in a square hole with the choice to either conform or stay who they are. This stage is difficult because it's very dependent upon one's surroundings and what one wants most: acception or themselves. The second stage is also a very delicate situation. It has to do with whether or not relationships with people in the past have failed, and it has to do with the tendencies and personality of the person. It's easy to embrace the thought of "I'll be single forever," but it's just as easy to be optimistic, depending on previous relationships.

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Personality Development (Continued)

Another couple of Erikson's stages of development are:

  • Generativity vs. Stagnation (Middle Adulthood 40s-50s): Adults wonder how they're contributing to the world and tend to start nurturing things that will outlast them.
  • Integrity vs. Despair (Old Age 60s and up): adults start to wonder if their life was meaningful, and they consider if they're proud of their accomplishments.

I have not reached these stages, but there are things I would hope to achieve in both of them. In the previous stage, I hope to contribute the same amount as most people in society. I don't want to change the world, but I don't want to be dead weight. I don't strive to be in the spotlight, but to drag others down would only sink my life into further... well, I would say darkness. In the latter, I hope that I can look back and say that I've lived just about as much as I want to. I would hope that I could live a life of adventures on my terms and in my own way.