- Describe the abilities that newborn infants possess and how they actively interact with their environments.
- List the stages in Piaget’s model of cognitive development and explain the concepts that are mastered in each stage
- Critique Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and describe other theories that complement and expand on it.
- Summarize the important processes of social development that occur in infancy and childhood.
If all has gone well, a baby is born sometime around the 38th week of pregnancy. The fetus is responsible, at least in part, for its own birth because chemicals released by the developing fetal brain trigger the muscles in the mother’s uterus to start the rhythmic contractions of childbirth. The contractions are initially spaced at about 15-minute intervals but come more rapidly with time. When the contractions reach an interval of 2 to 3 minutes, the mother is requested to assist in the labor and help push the baby out.