Cognitive Infant Development: Year One

Cognitive Infant Development

The decision to grow a family is an exciting one. Babies introduce countless moments of joy, pride, and warm affection. In between the cute coos and gurgled laughter is constant development. While each child is unique, there are certain milestones for cognitive infant development to celebrate along the way.

Meeting these milestones gives parents confidence that their baby is on track for the next developmental step, such as attending a voluntary prekindergarten program (VPK).

As a parent, you may be wondering what your baby should know by the time that they celebrate their first birthday.

Milestones for Cognitive Infant Development for One Years Olds

Here are seven milestones for cognitive infant development to celebrate with your little one.

1. Demonstrate Curiosity

Most children who are one year old demonstrate curiosity and show a piqued interest in the world around them. Curious behavior can manifest in several ways such as turning knobs, opening cupboards, and pushing buttons.

2. React to Humor

Babies start to respond to amusing situations with a giggle and a smile. These humorous moments may seem absurd, but the ability to respond with a reaction is a milestone. Normally, babies around five months enjoy laughing and making others laugh.

3. Speak A Handful of Words

It’s not expected for a child to be fluent in their first language by the age of one. However, most babies can speak between one to three simple (and sometimes incomplete) words. As a parent, watching your infant reach language milestones is a joy.

4. Imitate Behavior

Simple, imitative behavior is often evident in the first year of an infant’s life. Take note as your baby remembers and repeats actions. By imitating behaving, the child is deducing similarities between themselves and those around them.

5. Respond to Music

Babies can start responding to music from as young as a couple of months old. While a toddler typically starts dancing around 18 months, a baby can show interest by kicking their feet to the music. Babies respond to the rhythm and tempo of the music. In fact, many find music more engaging than speech.

6. Follow Simple Directions

An infant should have the ability to understand basic instructions by the age of one. For example, if you tell your child to pick up a toy, they would be able to complete the action. They should also be able to put items in a container and let go of items without help.

7. Memory Moments

By the age of one, most infants can find items that have been hidden in front of them. Another way that memory ability is demonstrated is by remembering certain images in a book and being able to point them out.

Other Development Milestones to Celebrate

There are a few other milestones to consider, such as fine-motor skills, gross-motor skills, and social skills.

For example, the following achievements are seen with most one-year-olds:

  • Sleeping more at night and less during the day
  • Ability to stand alone and walk while holding onto furniture (also known as cruising)
  • Clapping hands
  • Eating with fingers
  • Tripled birth weight and doubled birth height
  • Grow a couple of baby teeth

Each of these milestones is an estimate and should be celebrated as part of your child’s journey.

What’s Next for Cognitive Development?

The milestones for infant development are guidelines to indicate the cognitive skills that your infant should be demonstrating. It’s important to celebrate the wins – however big or small – and encourage your baby with their successes to build confidence.

At Providence Children’s Academy, we offer expert education for infants, toddlers, and young children. Contact us today at 954-570-6914 to find out more about our curriculum and how it can help to stimulate your precious child.


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