Second, infants and very young children are extremely dependent upon their parents for the gratification of their needs or providing them solutions to their problems. Their inner resources and capabilities are limited. A hungry infant has never been known to walk into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, and pour himself a glass of milk.
Third, infants and very young children do not have well-developed capability of communication their needs through verbal symbols. They do not yet have the language to share their problems and needs with others. Much of the time, parents are quite perplexed about what is going on inside preverbal children because babies don't go around clearly announcing that they have a need for affection or for releasing gas from their stomach.
Fourth, infants and very young children frequently may not even "know" themselves what is bothering them. This is because so many of their needs are physiological--that is, problems caused by deprivation of their physical needs (hunger, thirst, pain, and so on). Also, because of their undeveloped cognitive and language skills, they may not be able to figure out what problems they are experiencing.
Helping very young children meet their needs and solve their problems is therefore somewhat different from helping older children. But not as different as most parents think.*
*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's P.E.T. book