College Essay Examples

Physical and Cognitive Development in Infancy

Physical and Cognitive Development in Infancy

Physical and cognitive development are among the main milestones that an infant goes through as they pass through the different stages. Physical development refers to the motor skills that an infant develops during their early years of life. Physical development affects an infant’s connection with people around objects and the environment at large. An infant is said to be developing physically when it constantly refines its muscles, senses, and even the brain. On most occasions, infants learn to interact with the outside world by developing physical senses such as sight, touch, sound, and taste. On the other hand, cognitive development among infants refers to changes in how infants learn to think, recall, imagine, gather and solve problems around them. For example, when an infant is developing cognitively, they will be able to notice the sizes of objects easily and even try grasping them using their hands. The first year of life among infants is a critical stage where parents should be very keen. When an infant does not develop well at this stage, they may have problems moving to the other stages.

Summary and Analysis.

One of the main areas of study is concerned with analyzing how early infant physical and cognitive development impacts academic achievement during the preceding years of life. According to a study conducted by Ma-led Network investigators (2018), infancy is a critical period in life since it serves as a foundation for sensory and perceptual systems development (Ma-led Network Investigators, 2018). Most infants develop their language, gross, fine motor skills, and socioemotional characters during this time. In addition, when an infant develops their cognitive functioning during early life, it serves as a predictor of their cognitive competence later in life. As a result, caregivers and parents must ensure that they do not predispose an infant to factors that may impair brain development since these factors may have long-lasting effects (Ma-led Network Investigators, 2018).

Although infants are developing physically, some of them fail to develop in cognitive matters. As a result, this makes them have a mental ability that is remarkably very low. Findings from this study indicate that infants who come from poor socioeconomic backgrounds have a low intake of nutrients that are vital for their physical and cognitive development (Ma-led Network Investigators, 2018). Most infants from poor socioeconomic backgrounds also fall ill, and on most occasions, they do not receive quality healthcare services, which translates to impaired development.

Diarrhea illnesses is a common condition affecting children during their first year of life. Diarrhea during the early years of life, diarrhea has a direct impact on the cognitive development of infants. During diarrhea, an infant loses vital nutrients needed for cognitive development; hence, the nutrients should be replenished immediately (Ma-led Network Investigators, 2018). However, most of these infants suffer from a deficiency in B-Complex vitamins, which is crucial for brain development due to socioeconomic factors. Using findings from this study, further studies need to be conducted in establishing how enteropathogens can negatively impair an infant’s cognitive development and the approaches that can be used to prevent them (Ma-led Network Investigators, 2018).

Physical and Cognitive Development in Infancy

Infancy physical and cognitive development is an essential area of research that needs to be studied. Different scholars have already conducted different studies and can be useful in this study as well. For instance, a study conducted by Fischer et al. (2012) is useful since it helps outline how diarrhea during infancy can impair cognitive development. Another study by Perez et al. (2015) is also crucial since it outlines how interactions between an infant and a mother help them develop physically and mentally. Thirdly, nutrition is a vital aspect of both physical and cognitive development during infancy. The study by McGarel et al., 2015 is vital in this study since it indicates how malnutrition impairs an infant’s development. Lastly, an infant’s physical development encompasses different facets in life. As a result, the study by Monteiro et al. (2017) is essential in this study because it will offer insights regarding the different phases of physical development among infants.




Fischer Walker, C. L., Lamberti, L., Adair, L., Guerrant, R. L., Lescano, A. G., Martorell, R., … & Black, R. E. (2012). Does childhood diarrhea influence cognition beyond the diarrhea-stunting pathway? PloS one7(10), e47908.

MAL-ED Network Investigators. (2018). Early childhood cognitive development is affected by interactions among illness, diet, enteropathogens and the home environment: findings from the MAL-ED birth cohort study. BMJ Global Health3(4), e000752.

McGarel, C., Pentieva, K., Strain, J. J., & McNulty, H. (2015). Emerging roles for folate and related B-vitamins in brain health across the lifecycle. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society74(1), 46-55.

Monteiro, F. P. M., Joventino, E. S., Rouberte, E. S. C., Rabelo, P. R. S., de Aquino, M. D. S. T., & da Silva, E. B. (2017). Physical development of infants: an investigation in a hospital unit. Journal of Nursing UFPE online11(11), 4435-4444.

Perez, E. M., Hendricks, M. K., Beard, J. L., Murray-Kolb, L. E., Berg, A., Tomlinson, M. … & Vernon-Feagans, L. (2015). Mother-infant interactions and infant development are altered by maternal iron deficiency anemia. The Journal of nutrition135(4), 850-855.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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