Child Development



TheChanges in Family Dynamics at the Birth of a Child

Thebirth of a newborn comes along with a lot of exhilaration from everymember of the family as they prepare to welcome a new member to thefamily. According to Steven (2014), the birth of a new baby is highlyimportant in such as way that it impacts on the dynamics of theentire family, including the extended family. A newborn createschanges in the way family members socialize and interact on aday-to-day routine.

  1. The newborn

Whena baby is born, it gets out of its comfort zone in which it wassheltered for nine months and comes into another totally differentenvironment. A newborn baby generally sleeps for over 18 hours a day,which is very health for their growth. However, a baby can cry a lotespecially when uncomfortable, feeling unwell or hungry. It isimportant to point out that newborn babies are highly sensitive toall the discomforts of their new environment. As a result, they mightexhibit difficult behavior, such as crying often especially at night,which can pose major challenges to the entire family. Parents maybecome anxious, frustrated and fearful about parenting skills. Ababy’s difficult behavior can also lead to poor communicationbetween family members, especially between the father and the motheraltering the way the entire family functions.

  1. The mother

Despitebeing over excited after being blessed with a new born baby, themother must be psychologically and emotionally prepared to deal withall the responsibilities which comes along with it and makeappropriate adjustments. According to Hatter (2015), the motherundergoes the most changes starting with her physical being to herpsychological and emotional beings. With the newborn’s arrival, theparents especially the mother may begin to undergo noteworthy sleepdeficiency which might negatively affect the way she interacts withother family members especially the spouse. Due to hormonal changestaking place in their bodies, some mothers experience what is knownas post-partum depression and exhibit symptoms such as: anxiety,frustration, temperamental among others (Steven, 2014).

  1. The father

Thebirth of a firstborn child transforms a man from being a spouse intoa father and the transition is significant and most of the timechallenging. According to Hatter (2015), the birth of a baby oftenenhances the connection between the father and the mother. The fatherbecome so attached to the child and as a result becomes so close tothe family especially the mother. It is believed that most men becomemore responsible after getting a baby since they strive so hard totake care of the mother and the child. However, as stated earlier,newborn babies are so fussy and may cry a lot at night and many arethe time the father has to help the mother in soothing the baby. As aresult, the father just like the mother suffers sleep deficiencywhich might strain the relationship between him and the mother.

  1. Siblings

Thebirth of a newborn into the family will also affect the othersiblings. According to Steven (2014) the impact of a newborn greatlydepends on the age of the elder child(s). A toddler will not havemuch knowledge to understand why mum and dad are always tired andbusy than usual and this may contribute to more clinginess. However,pre-school children are at a development stage that requires a lot ofattention especially from the parents (Hatter, 2015). Since theparents are so busy and give most of the attention to the newborn,pre-school siblings might go back to babyish behavior in order to getattention. Older children have the full knowledge of what ishappening with their parents and most of the times are verysupportive and fondly love their newborn.

  1. Extended family

Thebaby of a newborn is so important in such a way that it affects eventhe extended family. With the arrival of the baby, the extendedfamily especially the grandmother and the aunties become so close tothe family in order to assist in taking care of the newborn and theother older siblings. However, if the extended family is not involvedin taking care of the newborn, they may feel left out and ignoredresulting into emotions such as anger, sadness and bitterness(Hatter, 2015).

Theperceptual, motor, and physical development, in infants and inchildren ages one through three

  1. Birth to 3 Months

Duringthis stage, infant’s perceptual skills are minimal and they canonly gaze at the eyes of their caregivers and smile back at a smilingface. According to Lerner (2000), motor control develops from thehead, through the arms, the back to legs and the feet. At thisstage, infant’s movements are reflexive in nature. By one month, aninfant can turn its head from side to side when lying on the back orbelly. By three months, the baby can easily move its hands and arms(Labandz, 2013). Physically, infants grow quickly and put on body fatgiving them the characteristic infant look. From birth to fourmonths, infants grow about 20-30 grams per day. During this age,infants grow around 141m (6 inches) in height.

  1. 3 to 6 months

Bythis age, the infant perceptual skills are more developed and caneasily distinguish his caregiver and elder siblings from strangers.The baby can kick its legs while lying on the back and briefly graspstoys and other objects (Lerner, 2000). Between 3 and 4 months thebaby should be able to roll with belly to back first and by 6 monthscan roll back to belly. Physically, the infant adds more weight andthe bones become stronger.

  1. 6 to 12 months

Asthe infant approaches his first birthday, his perceptual and motorskills continue to develop and can begin to explore the world aroundhim. According to Labandz (2013) at 6 months, a normal infant can sitand begin to stand with support at 8 to 9 months. At 9 months babiescan crawl on their hands and knees and at 11 months they can standwithout support. The infant continues to add more weight but not asmuch as during earlier stages since most of the nutrients are used upin developing the bones.

  1. 12 to 24 months

Byage one, a baby’s perceptual skills are much developed and easilydistinguish his close associates such as elder siblings fromstrangers (Lerner, 2000).Duringthis developmental stage, a child uses perceptual skills todistinguish the various features of the environment. By age one, anaverage baby cab take a few steps on their own. Between age13 and 15months, walking skills improves and the child can walk steadilyunassisted. Playing movements such as kicking and throwing ballsstart at 18 months. The baby continues to add weight and heightgradually and their bones continue to harden to support theirmovements and weight.

  1. 24 to 36 Months

Duringthis development stage, the child uses perceptual skills todistinguish various features of the environment by the way theyappear such as their color, height and depth. During this stage,balance improves and the toddler can walk with a steady pattern. Thetoddler can learn to stand briefly on one foot and easily jump overobjects by age 3. At 34 months, a toddler can walk upstairs throughthe use of a railing. Movement skills improve tremendously and by age3 the child can comfortably ride a tricycle. Physically, the childadds more weigh since his bones are developing. However, the growthin weight slows down and grows more in height and by age 2, a childshould have reached about half their adult height (Labandz, 2013).


HatterK. (2015).How a Newborn affects family dynamics. Availableat:

LabandzS. (2013).PhysicalDevelopment in Children Ages 0-3 Years Old.Available at:

Lerner,C. (2000). TheMagic of Everyday Moments. Zero To Three,Washington, DC

Steven K. (2014). Howa Newborn Affects Family Dynamics.Available at:

Child Development



Aschildren develop, they pass through different developmental stagesthat can be marked by varied activities. These activities anddevelopment ideas, based on the age groups, have been discussed inthe books, “Developing play for the under 3s” and “Problemsolving, reasoning and numeracy in the Early Years Foundation Stage”.The chief aim of this paper is to compose a list of activities andideas that can be considered interesting as discussed in these twobooks these activities would be organized according to age groups.

Fromthe book, “Developing play for the under 3s”, child developmentstages can be put into sensory stages, which fall under treasurebaskets, heuristic play, and further development. There are differentactivities and ideas that are associated with these sensory stages.Treasure baskets are usually designed for infants that are sitting,but that then move to walking. This includes infants that are 6 –12 months (Hughes, 2010. Pp. 34). The treasure basket contains itemsthat are washable and adults providing them should feel confidentabout them this ensures that they do not include anything that theydeem unsuitable to the basket. According to Hughes (2012), a treasurebasket provides a baby with an opportunity to make choices forexample, it helps a child decide which objects to select and when topick them (Hughes, 2012. Pp. 36). When a treasure basket is beingintroduced to a seated infant, it should be put in front or to theside of him/her. This kind of play is completely child led the adultsupports the child and observes him/her at all times (Hughes, 2010.Pp. 62). During this stage, infants are involved in sucking,handling, waving, and banging the objects in the treasure basket.Introducing treasure basket to infants at this stage is critical thetreasure basket helps infants in developing confidence,concentration, logical reasoning, independence, and eye/handcoordination. The treasure basket helps in the development of sight,taste, sound, smell, and touch. As children develop, their countingand calculating skills develop differently. However, their countingand calculating skills can be categorized according to their age.When children are 40 – 60 months, they have proper developedcounting and calculating skills. They can easily identify numbers andcount using objects having the shape of the numbers that is, theycan clearly recognize numerals.

Atthe age of 12 – 18 months, most babies are usually ready foranother challenge. This is where heuristic play can be introduced tothe babies. Different objects at this stage aid a child in exploringthe cause and effect of the objects. Through a simple categorization,a child increases his/her sensorial experiences. For example, a childlearns some concepts like little and big, same and different, heavyand light, and one, few and many through heuristic play (Hughes,2012. Pp. 30). Heuristic play improves a child’s socialinteraction, making him/her take turns and consider the desire ofothers. In some settings, where a child is approaching 3 yrs,heuristic play and music may be introduced to children. Adults mayalso provide activity cards, in case they see them necessary.According to Hughes (2012), some activities that can be categorizedas heuristic play include picking up items and putting them in adifferent place, piling objects into towers and later knocking themdown, emptying items out of containers, dropping items from a height,and lining up objects among other things (Hughes, 2012. Pp. 29).


Hughes,M.A. (2010). DevelopingPlay for the Under 3s: The Treasure Basket and Heuristic Play.New York: Routledge.

Hughes,M.A. (2012). ProblemSolving, Reasoning and Numeracy in the Early Years Foundation Stage.New York: Routledge.