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A baby’s mind is like a sponge, constantly soaking up information. Everything is a new and exciting experience for a newborn baby. She is always absorbing information through her five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.



  • What is intellectual development?
  • How does the intellectual development of a child progress as he grows?


What is intellectual development?

A baby’s mind is like a sponge, constantly soaking up information. Everything is a new and exciting experience for a newborn baby. She is always absorbing information through her five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Human beings never stop learning, but the rate at which babies learn cannot be achieved by an adult. The baby’s emotions and intellect are developing during the first weeks of life, just as rapidly as size, weight and coordination. Babies do not grow, develop and learn at a constant rate. During a learning spurt, the baby will devour new ideas and skills and apply them immediately.

How does the intellectual development of a child progress as the child grows?

What the baby understands in the first 3 months

Focusing on objects and distinguishing voices.

The newborn baby

* The baby can focus on your face and recognize it.
* She can also distinguish your voice from all others.


Four weeks

* If you talk to her, she will mimic your movements.
* She will also start recognising you as a source of comfort and stop crying when you pick her up.


Six weeks

* She will smile back at you. Her eyes will be able to follow a moving toy.


Eight weeks

* She will focus on a brightly coloured object held above her head.
* Then follow it with her gaze as you move it from side to side.


Three months

* She will immediately see a toy held above her.
* She will smile when you speak and squeal and gurgle with pleasure.
* She will show obvious signs of curiosity and interest.


Four months

* She will react in an excited manner at feeding time.
* She will laugh and chuckle when played with.
* She will turn her head towards any sound.


Five months

* She can express fear, anger and disgust.


Six months

* The baby will be able to differentiate between different kinds of food and develop dietary preferences.
* She will also be fascinated by mirrors as she can see herself.


Seven months

* She will start understanding simple words and playing.


Eight months

* She will know her name and will understand the concept of “no.”
* She will try to attract your attention by making little sounds.



Nine months

* She will exhibit a will of her own.
* She will display an interest in toys and games.


Ten months

* She will be able to clap her hands and wave goodbye.
* She will also show that she understands a few words and very short, simple statements.


Eleven months

* She will enjoy games and dropping things.
* She will be fascinated by sound and will want to shake and bang objects.


Twelve months

* She will derive great pleasure in making you laugh and will do things that amuse you repeatedly.
* She will enjoy looking at books.
* She will have learned a few simple words.

The Second Year

During the second year, the baby will consolidate the physical skills she has learnt in the first year and she will master one of the most difficult intellectual skills – speech.

Fifteen months

* She will want to brush her own hair.
* She will understand the meaning of kissing.
* She may not understand individual words, but will be able to comprehend quite complex sentences.


Eighteen months

* She will know the names of the different parts of her body and identify them.
* She will be able to point at objects like a dog, cow or ball
* If you ask her to fetch something, she will.


Twenty-one months

* She will understand and obey simple requests.
* She will come to you and draw your attention towards things that interest her.
* She will love scribbling with a pencil.


Two years

* By now, the baby becomes quite self-sufficient and can amuse herself.
* She will be quite happy playing.
* She will make strokes with a pencil.
* She will know the names of familiar objects and use them.


This is the stage when your child’s favourite word is “why?”. She will be inquisitive about several things. The child will now learn to establish links between different things. Her sense of creativity and imagination will be awakened. She will learn to think ahead and to plan.

Two years, three months

* Your child will develop a sense of self.
* She knows who she is and can say her name.
* She will become more assertive about what she wants.
* She will impose her will against yours.
* She will try to build houses and castles with bricks.


Two years, six months

* She will know both her first name and her surname.
* She will enjoy lending you a hand with simple chores.
* She will be able to draw vertical and horizontal lines.


Two years, nine months

* She will know the difference between boys and girls.
* She will be able to learn nursery rhymes and repeat them.
* She will ask questions and begin to understand numbers.
* She will try to draw a circle, but will not succeed without help.


The Third Year

* Her social skills will improve and she will enjoy playing with other children.
* She will comprehend the meaning of words like “on”, “under” and “behind”
* She will be able to formulate quite complicated sentences.
* She will almost be able to draw a circle.
 

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