The neonatal phase and baby years are the first two years in a child’s life. It is a period of rapid change physically and psychologically. The child moves from being completely dependent to becoming more independent. During this stage a child forms bonds with significant people in their lives – the nature of these relationships have a lasting effect on future social relationships. During this phase the uniqueness of the individual becomes apparent. Through socialization the child learns that certain actions are acceptable while others are not allowed.
In the first two years of a child’s life he has to master certain tasks:
- He learns to walk.
- He learns to ingest solid food.
- He learns the basics of communication through language.
- He starts to learn to use the toilet.
- He falls into a routine of sleep, eat and interacting.
- He develops an emotional communication with his parents and siblings.
The degree of success attained depends largely on the opportunities the child gets and the help and direction the child receives from significant others.