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Precocious Behavior in Infants

by Barbie Carpenter

Parents of infants often measure their little one's growth based on their physical development. However, physical development is just one aspect of infant development. Behavioral growth is also an important marker, and some infants display precocious behavior as early as 1 or 2 months of age. Understanding advanced behavior helps you evaluate your child to determine whether he is on the right developmental track -- or even exceeding expectations.

Language

Although language development might seem far off when you have a baby, infants communicate. A precocious infant will communicate early, even at 1 or 2 months old. At this stage, signs of language development include turning in the direction of your voice, which can occur almost immediately in a precocious little one, according to the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development. A precocious 1-month-old can express delight by laughing. Other early signs of language development around this age include cooing at you and associating sounds with their objects. Babbling before five months is also advanced, according to a web page on the Brown University website.

Social

You might not think of your infant as social, but social skills begin to evolve throughout the first year of her life. Advanced social milestones include responding positively to playtime before 4 months old, engaging adults in meaningful interactions before 10 months old and displaying a sense of humor before 10 months old, according to a web page on the University of Illinois at Chicago website. In advanced infants, common games such as peek-a-boo can occur before the age of 4 months.

Emotional

Initially, an infant expresses her emotions by crying. However, other emotional behaviors develop over the first year, and some infants show emotion at an early age. Spontaneous smiling can occur at 1 month of age for a precocious infant, according to the Brown website. Babies who start to show affection by 9 months old are advanced for this meaningful social milestone. Separation anxiety as well as attachment to a certain toy or blanket can develop before 8 months of age in precocious children.

Discipline

Discipline can be challenging, if not impossible, with an infant. However, precocious infants will respond to discipline earlier than other babies their age. Precocious infants can respond to simple parental commands before their first birthday, according to the University of Illinois at Chicago website. Before 10 months of age, a precocious infant can learn to cooperate and share with others. Also at this age, advanced infants can show guilt when they know they did something wrong.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

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