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Infant Health

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INTRODUCTION

Humans like all mammals are born small and weak. A child born in any part of the world, among any color, race, religion or region is the same. As it has a growing body and mind which from day one tends to adapt to its habitat and environment in terms of language, religion, social and emotional learning. Yet the first leap or bridge with a child and its parents or guardians understands each other. In the womb of a mother, a child lives for ninth months almost with out issuing any external demands for food, hygiene or other pressing requirements. However the day he comes not in the world, transforming from an embryo to a baby with eyes and ears possessing the five senses, now he tires to make us feel his presence by crying and making noise.

Different people respond to a child’s cry in different ways. For some it’s a sheer source of noise and distraction. However, when a mother hears her child’s cry her heart and mind rapidly start contemplating as to what he needs.  In this regards different experts come up with different set of guidelines more or less close in nature that can be adopted by the parent to diagnose his child’s need.

As per Rachel Lister in her work Infants and Toddlers, when a child cries one needs to address the problem starting from the basics and moving on in a series of steps as elaborated below:-

(a)       The prime requirements of an infant are food, hygiene and sleep. He or she would call out to you in case of hunger, needs a dipper change or simply cannot go to sleep because of its environment e.g. he is cold or feeling warm. Isolating the case out of these options and fulfilling the need of the child might calm him down.

(b)      If step 1 fails, then turn to step 2. Try isolating of your child is sick. If there are any external signs of problems, like ear infection, fever, a bent or sour limb or something, stomach disorder, all these cases need to be addressed by a doctor. At times the baby might be growing its teeth and feeling an agitation too.

(c)       Often it can be the case that your baby is simply missing his or her mommy, or is getting bored by a set of environment. Thus a change in these situations that suit the mood of a child may also calm him down.

It is pertinent to note that the interaction between the child and his parent owing to the response that one gives to his cries goes out a long way in his mental development and sense of language acquisition.  How?  As a child grown each day his mind develops. According to Smith et al. (2003) a child mind develops in four main areas of competence, i.e.  phonology or sounds, semantics or the encoded meanings, syntax or the way in which words are combined and pragmatics or knowledge of how language is used in different contexts.

Babies from one month old can produce "ooh" sounds which appear to grow out of pleasurable interactions with caregivers in a mutual "dialogue". The process of communication between an adult and an infant may be a mutual, rhythmic interaction. The attunement and "gaze-coupling" in which infant and adult take different roles is thought to anticipate the give-and-take of later dialogue (Stern, 1990). 

From about 6 to 9 months babies produce more vowels, some consonants and "echolalia", or the frequent repetition of sounds like "dadadada" which appear to have some phonetic characteristics of later speech. It is thought that a crucial part of the development of speech is the time caregivers spend "guessing" what their infants are trying to communicate thus integrating the child into their social world (Smith, Cowie & Blades, 2003).

CONCLUSION

A child’s interacting with his parnets is the first direct influening factors that breaks his speal of ignorance and innocense and starts bringing him in line with the world around him. If considerable care and affection is mising from this interaction, it affects the Childs growth and thus has prolonged affects on his normal growth and process of language acquisition.

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