Infant Observation

Topics: Jean Piaget, Theory of cognitive development, Itsy Bitsy Spider Pages: 5 (1827 words) Published: December 16, 2012
For this assessment I chose to observe my six- month old daughter, Abigail, interacting with her mother, Melissa. Abigail is our third child and Melissa is comfortable with her role as mother. Abigail was born full term and is a healthy baby. All developmental milestones have been reached up until this point. She is a happy baby. Abigail and her mom began the morning with Abigail getting dressed. She smiled and cooed at her mother as soon as she saw her and was taken out of her crib. Melissa said, “good morning” to her in a pleasant tone and Abigail squealed with delight and began moving her arms and legs in excitement. They hugged for a bit and then Abigail was placed on the bed to have her diaper changed and get dressed. She was very alert and happy focusing on her mothers face. Abigail’s reaction to the presence of Melissa demonstrates that there is a strong emotional bond between them. This directly correlates with Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development of trust versus mistrust. The stimulation that is presented to Abigail is warm and pleasant which allows for Abigail to feel safe and secure. She responds to this with smiles and moving her body. Melissa sang “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” using hand gestures and tickling her. Abigail responded with shrieks of laughter with her eyes focused on her mother’s hand gestures. Abigail was aware of when she would be tickled and was delighted with this routine as it was repeated several times as she got dressed. Mother kissed her on her neck which delighted her and made her laugh. It appeared that they were in tune with each other. This short interaction demonstrated that Abigail was familiar with the routines that take place while Melissa sings the song. She was able to anticipate when she would be tickled and would almost wait for the action to happen and begin laughing. It is evident that this duo has created a secure bond with each other. Piaget’s substage 3 in the sensorimotor stage is also taking place as Abigail is reacting to responses from the environment when Melissa gestures at certain parts of the song. Melissa picks her up and they walk to the mirror to inspect her outfit. Abigail stared into the mirror but continued to be focused on her mother. Melissa spoke to her the entire time describing the clothes and the colors Abigail was wearing and telling her what a pretty baby she was. This is important to emphasize because Melissa is setting the foundation for pre-language skills. While she is holding Abigail and speaking to her, language development is happening. Melissa stated that she does this purposively so that Abigail hears the inflection of her describing the objects. She speaks to her in a playful voice securing the bond between them. Abigail was brought into the living room and placed in the center of the floor in a sitting position with support from a pillow. As Melissa went to retrieve toys, Abigail followed her movements throughout the room. Although Abigail doesn’t cry when she is put down, she is intent on following Melissa’s movements. Melissa never left her sight but it seems that Abigail may already be aware at some level of separation anxiety. The presence of her mother allows her to feel secure. Tracking her mothers movements ensured her sense of securement. The next part of the observation focused on exploratory play. As described by Davies (2004), exploratory play involves the exploration of objects with use of eyes, mouth, and hands to learn about the objects shape, color, texture, movement and sounds. Melissa sat down in front of Abigail and introduced a treasure box that when pressed sang songs. It also opened up to have several plastic colored coins inside the box. She encouraged Abigail to press the buttons to show her how it made noise. While the box was open, Abigail reached in and grabbed the coins and put them straight in her mouth. Melissa tried to re-direct her to put the coin in the box and...

References: Clearfield, M., & Nelson, N. (2006). Sex differences in mothers’ speech and play
behavior with 6-, 9-, and 14-month old infants. Sex Roles, 54 (1/2), 127-137.
Davies, D. (2004) Child development: A practitioner’s guide (2nd ed.). New York:
Guilford Press.
Hutchison, E., & Contributors. (2011). Dimensions of human behavior: The changing
life course (4th ed.). California: Sage Publications.
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