There are different age periodizations, based on certain criteria for the physical and mental development of a person. But no matter what approach this or that periodization is based on, they all begin in the same way - from the neonatal period, which covers the time interval from the moment of birth until the child reaches two months of age.
Many people are frightened by the word "crisis", causing negative associations. Parents are afraid of the teenage crisis in their children. The three-year crisis is less well-known, but it also causes a lot of trouble for adults.
Meanwhile, developmental psychology does not attach any negative meaning to the concept of an age crisis. Moreover, human life begins with a crisis of the newborn.
This crisis is associated with the transition from intrauterine to extrauterine existence. Within the framework of the theory of psychoanalysis, birth is considered as a trauma, the consequences of which a person experiences throughout his life. This, of course, is an exaggeration, but the birth really becomes a serious shock for the child. It gets into a colder and lighter environment, richer in sounds, the method of obtaining nutrients and oxygen changes, and the "weightlessness" provided by amniotic fluid disappears. You have to adapt to all this, it is no coincidence that in the first days of life, children lose weight.
To facilitate the passage of the newborn crisis, the child needs to create conditions that vaguely resemble intrauterine life. People did this intuitively long before the birth of scientific psychology: the round shape of the cradle, reminiscent of the uterus, the rocking that the fetus feels in the womb when walking. During the neonatal period, you can take the child in your arms without fear of "spoiling", preferably so that he can hear the beating of the mother's heart, which he heard in the womb.
Features of the neonatal period
Newborn is the only period in which the biological principle appears "in its pure form", without any admixture of the social. A child is born with a set of innate reflexes (instincts). Some of them will soon fade away - for example, the stepping reflex, diving (holding the breath when a large amount of water gets on the face), grasping. The last reflex was of practical importance in the distant human ancestors, allowing the cub to hold onto the mother's fur.
Food reflexes are of particular importance. The sucking reflex is triggered by any touch on the lips or even the cheeks of the child. The swallowing reflex is sufficiently developed, but the gag reflex very easily conflicts with it, so newborns often spit up after eating.
Of the sensations, the most developed are the sense of touch in the mouth and taste. Vision, muscle sensations are worse developed. The development of sensations does not happen by itself - the child needs impressions that he can get only when communicating with adults. If there is a lack of impressions (sensory hunger), later developmental delay is possible. This problem exists in orphanages, where the staff, with all their might, cannot pay enough attention to each baby during the period of newborn and infancy.
At about a month and a half, the child begins to be active when an adult appears - smiling, waving his hands, expressing emotions with a voice. This is how the child reacts to any person; differentiated reactions will appear later. This is a complex of revitalization - the main psychological "acquisition" of the neonatal period. With it, the child's communicative development begins, which will continue at the next age stage - during infancy.