National diploma in health studies

Life span development

Tutor:  Trish Gregory                            

                                              TASK ONE

Human development first begins at conception. Though there is physical development there is not much social, intellectual and emotional development involved.


During conception the fertile egg is being fertilised by the male sperm. Then within 0n to one and a half day the fertilised egg begins to divide in to cells. The cells then develop to form an embryo. By eight weeks the embryo grows to about 3-4 cm and now has a heartbeat, starts growing ears, eyes, mouth, legs and arms and this is now known as a foetus. The foetus then continues to develop with all the organs till 32 weeks when it is ready to be born.



After the baby is born and continues to develop physically. Firstly when the baby

 Is born they have to learn how to take easily digestible foods such as breast milk and baby milk to grow. Their body organs and brains continue to develop but not so very fast. All babies are born with reflexes such as the rooting reflex which is the babies ability to turn their heads towards any touch on their cheeks, the grasp reflex which is when the baby is able to grasp to a finger placed in their palm and the walking reflex which is when a baby moves their legs and arms as if they were trying to walk. They have the ability to recognise and interact with people from their voices especially the mothers. But they can’t control their muscles or hold their heads upright or use their hands. Between 0-1 months they are able to lift their heads slightly, by 9 months they are able to roll over, by 9-10 months they are able to crawl and by 12 months they can stand alone. Normally at this stage children grow rapidly.


Infants have very little intellectual abilities. They learn from experience. Babies are born with the ability to sense things. They are also born with reflexes. Infants at the age of 3 months start developing language skills by making babbling noises and by the age of 12 months they begin to imitate sound they hear around them. They also have the abilities to cry when their carers leave the room and so they can sense absence. Children can also recognise their parents voices, smell and face.


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Children form emotional attachments to their parents and carers from birth and this is known as bonding. They become attached to their parents by the sound of their voice and smell. At this stage they begin to fear strangers with unknown voices and smells and feel more secured with familiar faces. Infants who form a secure bond with their carers grow up emotionally strong and prepared to cope with uncertainties in life than those who grow with an unsecure bond with their carers.


Infants have the skills and abilities to interact with their carers. By the time they ...

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