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Crisis of the first year of life

Crisis of the first year of life – a transitional stage of development between an infancy and the early childhood. Results are mentality new growths: autonomy, speech as instrument of self-control, randomness of movements, understanding of existence of borders. The crisis period is shown by the expressed aspiration to independence, disobedience, emotional splashes – the child quickly is irritated, angry, shouts, cries, falls on a floor. Diagnostics is performed by children's psychiatrists, psychologists. Treatment is not required, crisis is the normal period, it is independently allowed by one and a half years.

Crisis of the first year of life

In modern psychology mental development is considered as the cyclic process consisting of the stable and crisis periods. Quantitative changes happen slowly, gradually. The quantum leap of development – crisis – continues 3-6 months, comes to the end with emergence of the new growths forming more complex relationship of the person with Wednesday. Internal experiences, requirements, motives are reconstructed. Crisis of 1 year is endured by children from 9 months to 1,5 years. Manifestations can be hardly noticeable or expressed. Heavy, long symptoms are widespread in families with authoritative style of education, hyper guardianship.

Reasons of crisis of the first year of life

The one-year-old child makes the first attempts of walking. The surrounding space extends, there is a separation from parents. The kid realizes ability to move independently, without the aid of mother, the father. There are first words, the speech changes character of the relations with people around, goes for mastering subject actions. On the one hand, external changes – walking, the speech, manipulative actions – are followed by emergence of new qualities of mentality. The need to show independence, to study space, objects is formed. On the other hand, the attitude of adults towards the child does not change. There are no conditions for independence manifestation, activity of the kid is stopped by the bans, cautions, habitual ways of actions of the parent.


Basis of age crisis is the contradiction between the settled relations with people, forms of activity and the changed requirements, the child's opportunities. Metamorphoses of mentality are based on physiological changes – maturing of structures of a brain, reorganization of the TsNS functional systems. Up to 9-10 months the organism of the baby is regulated by biological rhythms: needs naturally arise, are expressed by discontent, satisfied with the adult. By first year the speech becomes the self-order tool, but is still insufficiently developed for management of behavior. Biological rhythms lose organizing function. Walking, manipulative actions is in parallel formed, the space of the objects acting as sources of satisfaction of requirements (before crisis a source is the adult) opens. The impossibility to receive the desirable (a physical inaccessibility, the bans) is shown by "gipobulichesky reactions" – bright affective surges, regress of behavior.

Symptoms of crisis of the first year of life

Manifestations are observed at children from 10-12 months. Negative reactions are provoked by the relations of the previous stage of development – mother directs the child, tries to feed, put to bed, dress for walk, to use a carriage. Similar situations, the bans, refusals of adults limit independence. Sharply affect increases, the behavior corresponds to earlier period of development (regresses). The child loudly cries, shouts, falls, knocks fists, stamps legs. At frequent emotional attacks appetite is interrupted, the sleep becomes uneasy, the health worsens.

Actions, motives, needs of the child are defined by direct situations, images, memory representations. Whims, hysterics can suddenly arise: saw a cap – wanted to go to the street, mother brought a towel – burst into tears. The child begins to feel as a subject (source) of own desires. Having curiosity, shows excessive activity, mobility though coordination, accuracy are not developed. The kid reaches for electric devices, sockets, ware, books and other unexplored objects. Obstacles in a way (restrictions, the bans of adults) provoke emotional splash. The negativism is expressed by reactions of a protest, refusal to perform habitual rituals of meal, laying in a bed, washings, clothing. What there are more rules interfering independence manifestation especially pronounced symptoms of the crisis period are.


Crisis of the first year of life belongs to "small" age crises, proceeds rather easily, comes to the end independently. Complications are extremely rare, presented by emotional and behavioural deviations. They are formed at the prolonged crisis period when reactions of temporality turn into steady patterns of behavior. Lack of plasticity of education is the reason. Example: violent coercion to hygienic procedures fixes negative attitude to them of the child, reactions of refusal arise throughout the early childhood, preschool age.


Crisis of the first year happens in domestic surroundings, its manifestations are noticed by parents, close relatives. Usually difficult period is endured without intervention of experts, at the expressed symptoms, a long current the help of the psychologist, psychiatrist is required. Diagnostics is carried out by clinical methods. Are used:

  • Conversation. The anamnesis, existence of associated diseases, features of material living conditions of life, education methods is specified. Differentiation of manifestations of crisis from symptoms of psychoneurological pathologies is carried out on the basis of their duration, expressiveness, dynamics.
  • Observation. The expert pays attention to features of interaction of the parent and the child, estimates emotional, behavioural reactions of the kid. Difficulties of establishment of productive contact, negativism, protests, refusals, crying are characteristic of crisis.

Recommendations at crisis of the first year of life

The crisis periods – natural stages of development. The child does not need special treatment. Psychological consultations are shown to parents. The expert tells about ways of behavior, forming of the relations, the organization of a day regimen, leisure of the child enduring crisis. Adults need to recognize new requirements, the increasing independence of the kid, to learn to cooperate with him on the basis of subject actions. General list of recommendations:

  • Observance of a day regimen. An important new growth of crisis – acceptance by the child of borders, rules. A daily routine – the system providing definiteness of actions, rituals. Following the mode, the kid grows healthy, emotionally balanced, less whimsical.
  • Creation of the developing environment. It is important to organize apartment space according to age features of the child – to provide convenience of walking (a sexual covering, hand-rail), to pick up various objects on functions, texture, a form for manipulations. These measures will allow to realize independence.
  • Ensuring household safety. It is necessary to remove the sharp, fragile, being of value objects, to hide electric sockets, wires. Lack of sources of danger – the reasons for the bans – will reduce the frequency of emotional negative attacks.
  • An opportunity to show independence. It is necessary to allow the child most to carry out daily rituals, despite carelessness, sluggishness. The help has to be presented by the offer of cooperation.
  • Existence of feedback. Poor development of the speech does not allow the child to express desires correctly. It is impossible to ignore contact establishment attempts. It is important to understand the kid, and if it is impossible to satisfy a request, then to explain why.
  • Following to system of the bans. Parents have to coordinate, follow rules of conduct. Any "is necessary", it "is impossible" – to prove, carry out under any circumstances.
  • Refusal of violence. At whims, refusals the attention of the child should be switched by a game, the poem, the song, the story. Violent acts of the adult – direct provocation of shout, crying, a hysterics.
  • Manifestation of respect, love. It is necessary to build cooperation through positive emotions, the benevolent relation. It is important to show to the child love, to praise. Authoritativeness leads to formation of passivity, cowardice, lack of initiative.


The forecast is always favorable. Crisis of the first year continues within several months, comes to an end with high-quality changes of the mental sphere – emergence of subject activity, the speech, independence formation. It is impossible to warn the crisis period as it is a development stage, but not a pathological state. Adhering to recommendations of psychologists of high-quality change of relationship with the child, the correct organization of the environment and the mode, it is possible to reduce negative manifestations in behavior, emotions of the child, to reduce their duration and frequency.

Crisis of the first year of life - treatment

Pediatrics / Consultations of children's experts
3075 . 90
Psychiatry / Consultation in psychiatry / Specialists psychiatrists
3455 . 13
Psychiatry / Nursery psychiatry and psychology / Correction of violations of the mental sphere at children
1844 . 9

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