During birth, a baby is transported from his mother’s womb into an almost entirely unfamiliar environment. Cognitive development in infants takes off quickly right after birth. They will be exposed to numerous influences and stimuli that will help them learn about the world around them.
Cognitive development in infants
Cognitive development in infants has been widely studied. However, the whole picture of how a baby’s brain develops is still unclear. It seems that cognition is deeply related to perception, but also to emotions. An infant’s learning process is very much linked to what the child experiences through his five senses.
Cognitive development in infants is dependent on a combination of both genetic and external factors. The child starts to learn in a socially stimulating environment. This is where parents play the biggest role. It is important for babies to be attached to parents to learn social skills through observation and imitation.
According to Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, a baby’s early cognitive development relies on his sensory and motor skills. He proposed that the infant develops by touching objects and interacting with his environment. Babies are active learners, even before they turn six months old. They can recognise familiar objects and persons from a very early age. Later on, the baby starts to understand the absence of objects or people and starts looking for them.
Research also showed that living in a harmonious environment is important for the baby’s development. An emotionally tense environment can have negative impact on the infant’s cognitive and emotional development.
Cognitive development in infants: How can parents help?
Find out what you can do to help on the next page…