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Dental Care for Infants

Course Number: 387

Understanding an Infant is the First Step

In the first year of life a child is completely dependent on their parents. A major social behavior besides crying is non-reflexive smiling that starts when the child is 2-3 months of age. The child forms strong attachments with the adults (parents) through their nurture and care.

In the second year of life the child starts to develop language skills that assist them in relating with their family members. The child starts to feel independent and know they can set forth their will. Parenting and role model observation is very important at this stage. If the child sees aggression, the child will behave aggressively and vice versa. Discipline should be educational and not through punishment. Physical punishment will trigger more misbehavior rather than showing the child something they did was wrong. Children in the ages of 1-2 often have temper tantrums and are better if they are left unnoticed.

In the third year of life the child starts to eat by themselves and potty training starts. The child will be ready at the appropriate time, and this should not be started too soon if the child is not ready. Children at this age use the word “no” very often and ask “how” and “why” questions. The child’s identity is surfacing. By the third year, the child is socially interactive.